Swearer leads new Born This Way Foundation study

Swearer leads new Born This Way Foundation study

01 Sep 2016    

Susan Swearer, Willa Cather Professor of Educational Psychology, is the lead researcher for the first large-scale international study examining the mental health experiences of Spanish-speaking youth. The study, part of The Born Brave Experience Series from the Born Brave Foundation, will survey a diverse sample of Hispanic youth and young adults including those who represent a range of sexual orientations and gender identities.

“We are excited to expand the Born Brave Experience Studies to include the Spanish-speaking community,” said Swearer, chair of Born This Way Foundation’s Research Advisory Board. “This population is growing here in the United States and around the world, making it critical to include these young people in any examination of youth wellness and mental health. This survey will allow us to better understand the unique factors that affect the wellbeing of Spanish speaking young people, and thus how to empower them to live healthy, thriving lives.”

There are approximately 400 million Spanish speakers worldwide, including nearly 40 million in the United States where an estimated 17% of the population is Hispanic. Currently in its third year, the Born Brave Experience Studies focus on improving understanding of the factors that influence youth engagement, mental health, and emotional wellbeing.

Grounded in existing psychological research, the Born Brave Experience Studies are designed to identify the conditions that empower young people to live their best lives and to improve the services and resources available to them online and offline. Working with partners around the country and with youth themselves, the research is used to promote kindness and bravery in schools, homes and communities.

Swearer is also founder of the Empowerment Initiative at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL) that supports translational research designed to foster positive, accepting communities free from bullying and other negative behaviors. She also co-directs the Bullying Research Network at UNL that serves as a virtual clearinghouse to support national and international research initiatives in effective bullying prevention and intervention.

Led by Lady Gaga and her mother Cynthia Germanotta, Born This Way Foundation was founded in 2012 to support the wellness of young people and empower them to create a kinder and braver world. Born This Way Foundation achieves this by shining a light on real people, quality research and authentic partnerships. Working with more than 50 non-profit organizations, Born This Way Foundation has connected over 150,000 young people with services and programing in their communities. Born This Way Foundation has also partnered with the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, the National Council for Behavioral Health, and the National Association of School Psychologists to collect data from more than 2,500 young people. This research, presented in 2014, 2015, and 2016 at the American Psychological Association’s annual conference, improved the understanding of young people's views of mental-health services and delivery methods.

A Spanish version of the Born This Way Foundation's news release is available at http://go.unl.edu/crcw.

College of Education and Human Sciences
Educational Psychology