Conducting Translational Research on Child Development in Community Settings: What You Need to Know and Why It Is Worth the Effort
Introduction Conducting translational research on child and adolescent development in community settings can be both extremely rewarding and incredibly difficult. The rewards include the opportunity to make real differences in people’s lives, to influence public policy, and to help bridge the gap between science and practice. The challenges include how to build connections in communities, maintain internal validity in less controlled settings, and fulfill the demands of an academic research career. The goal of this chapter is to discuss some of these challenges and opportunities in order to prepare young investigators for this type of work. Because I (Guerra) have spent my entire career trying to forge these linkages, I am happy to be able to share these experiences with the next generation of scholars. I am helped in this task by Melinda Leidy, a recent PhD and current postdoctoral researcher.