Richards' research focuses on the mental health and development of youth of color growing up in highly disadvantaged communities. Consistent exposure to community violence and stress can lead to the development of behavioral and emotional problems, and diminished quality of life. Positive relationships with significant adults and peers, and the development of protective factors foster resilience in youth. Her lab is engaged in several projects addressing these themes, with ongoing collaborations with community organizations and youth in Chicago's high violence, low income communities.
Examines the protective effects of neighborhood, family, and school cohesion following community violence exposure in urban African American adolescents.
Describes the relation of severity and level of community violence exposure to daily affect, emotional distress, and problem behaviors in urban African American adolescents living in low-income communities.
Evaluates a cross-age peer mentoring program for youth in high violence Chicago communities.
Describes the effects of a culturally relevant and resilience based intervention, the Civic Engagement Curriculum, on young African American adolescents growing up in a context of toxic stress.