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About Us

Our mission is to improve adolescent health, education, and well-being through developmental science.

We do this by communicating the opportunities of the adolescent years and sharing the science in ways that positively impact policies and practices that serve young people.

We are working to achieve these critical long-term outcomes:

  • Change the public narrative to increase respect for adolescents and build recognition that the rapid learning that occurs during these years offers opportunities to shape positive futures.
  • Advance knowledge of how interventions and practices can most effectively promote positive development, especially for those farthest from opportunity.
  • Improve policies and increase funding to advance equity in adolescent growth and development.

Investing in Adolescents: Setting Up Our Country for Long-term Success

Who We Are

Our Co-Executive Directors are neuroscientist Adriana Galván, PhD, and developmental scientist Andrew Fuligni, PhD, both at UCLA. We support the activities of the National Scientific Council on Adolescence (NSCA) and the Youth Scientific Council on Adolescence (YSCA). Learn more about us on our People page.

Our Story

The Center for the Developing Adolescent was founded in 2015 at UC Berkeley by Dr. Ron Dahl and a leadership team of researchers studying adolescent development. Inspired by the success of science-based efforts to better support early childhood, the Center was created to advance the understanding of the adolescent years as a similar period of opportunity when research-informed practices, programs, and policies can create positive impacts on the health, education, and social and economic success of young people.

The original leadership team included Dr. Dahl along with Nick Allen, Andrew Fuligni, Adriana Galván, Jennifer Pfeifer, Ahna Suleiman, and Linda Wilbrecht.

CDA joined UCLA in 2021, under the leadership of Dr. Galván and Dr. Fuligni.

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