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Research priorities

Monday 26 – Wednesday 28 February 2024


The conference also served as an opportunity to highlight research priorities that are essential for better understanding the impact that adversity, violence and traumatic experiences have on adolescents, and for improving prevention, recovery and response efforts.

Three key areas that were highlighted as research priorities include:

Integrating neuroscientific research into policy

  1. Understanding how the adolescent brain responds to adversity, violence and traumatic experiences is crucial for informing effective policy. Therefore, research priorities in this area include uncovering how neurobiological processes impact not only behaviour but also resilience in adolescents, in order to understand how to more effectively support recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration.
  2. By increasing research in this area, study findings can help refine interventions so that they better address the needs of adolescents, strengthening prevention strategies and provide more targeted support systems.

The impact of digital technology on adolescents

  1. In a world where digital technology is increasingly present in adolescents’ lives, there is a need for more targeted research on the role that digital devices can play, particularly, in relation to recovery and support following adversity, violence and traumatic experiences.
  2. Equally, there is also an urgent need for more research surrounding the potential dangers associated with technology and violence, including gender-based violence. Tech-facilitated violence encompasses a wide range of phenomena, including online harassment, cyberbullying and online crimes against children such as child sexual exploitation and abuse, all of which require further research to better understand how prevention efforts can be tailored to safeguard adolescents

Effective child and youth participation

  1. Despite the increasing understanding of the importance of youth participation in policy development and intervention design, further research is needed to better understand how to put this into practice.
  2.  Ensuring that adolescents’ participation is not tokenistic but rather leads to tangible change, and that is not only sustainable but also fosters a sense of ownership and empowerment among adolescents remains a major challenge.
  3. Accordingly, research which seeks to refine strategies for more meaningful child and youth engagement that leads to lasting and impactful change is vital.





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