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Who We Are

The Youth, Media, & Wellbeing Research Lab grows out of the expertise, interests, and experiences of seasoned and emerging scholars committed to exploring adolescent development and the various factors that contribute to their identity and wellbeing. A project of the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College, the Lab builds off the legacy of deep social science research that grows out of the lives of women and girls, families and communities. Our work is bolstered by the perspectives and insights of Wellesley College undergraduates who contribute to our research projects.

Our Team


Director/Principal Investigator, Senior Research Scientist

Linda Charmaraman, PhD, is a senior research scientist at Wellesley Centers for Women and director of the Youth, Media, & Wellbeing Research Lab. Her research focuses on risky and resilient digital media behaviors within vulnerable peer and family contexts. Recent research interests include digital citizenship and how to engage youth in (re)defining and monitoring healthy digital media use.


 Wellesley College Department of Computer Science, Human-Computer Interaction Lab and Media Arts and Sciences (MAS) program

Catherine co-leads the Youth, Media, & Wellbeing Research Lab activities pertaining to summer STEM workshops and developing apps for healthy social media use in middle school. Her research interests focus on how people relate to each other through social technologies and the social implications of our increasing dependence on the internet.


Lisette M. DeSouza, Ph.D., is an Associate Research Scientist working with scholars at the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) and at the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW). Lisette takes an intersectional approach to the positive development of systematically marginalized youth, with the goal of youth- and community-initiated social change. This research agenda takes several forms: access to and involvement in quality youth development programs, workforce development, and civic engagement.


Alyssa Gramajo is a Research Associate at the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College. At WCW, Gramajo supports the work of the Youth, Media & Wellbeing Research Lab as the project coordinator for data collection. In this capacity, Gramajo is a liaison to schools overseeing recruitment and scheduling, data management, dissemination projects, and manuscript editing. She also works closely with the lab’s Wellesley College student research assistants and interns.


Jennifer M. Grossman, Ph.D., is a senior research scientist at the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) and a former National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) postdoctoral research fellow at WCW. Her research uses quantitative and qualitative methods to investigate adolescent development, sexual health, and risk-taking, with an emphasis on family communication about sex and relationships, and contexts of teens’ environment and identity, such as gender, race, and ethnicity.


Diane Gruber is a Research Associate specializing in Child and Youth development at the National Institute of Out-of-School Time (NIOST). She brings her expertise to the Youth, Media, & Wellbeing Research Lab as an experienced field data collector and interviewer.


Consulting Methodologist

Dr. Alicia Doyle Lynch, Founder of Lynch Research Associates, is a Developmental Psychologist specializing in statistical and methodological approaches for studying child and adolescent development. For over a decade, she has been contributing statistical and methodological expertise to grants and research programs in academic and non-academic settings. She has expertise in the most up-to-date statistical modeling strategies and methodological techniques and is highly skilled in assisting organizations in the collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of data and the development of research programs that promote strategic change.


Research Associate (assistant methodologist)

At WCW, she supports research scientists by managing datasets and performing statistical analyses for research projects, publications, and proposals. Her research areas include adolescent sexual health, emerging adult sexual health, media technology use, and the role of parenting and extended family. She has a special interest in understanding the role fathers play in supporting their teens and young adults.


Consulting web app developer






These students are alumni of the Youth, Media, & Wellbeing Research Lab, having served as research interns, data collectors, or human-computer interaction interns.

Our Partners


This work is made possible by the support of major grants and gift-funded awards. Funding has come from the National Institutes for Health; Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media & Child Development; the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; and the Wellesley Centers for Women’s 35th Anniversary Fund, Susan McGee Bailey Women’s Perspective Fund, Harold Benenson Memorial Grant, and the Nan May Holstein New Directions Award.


Research Partners and Visiting Scholars


Director, Health Promotion Research Center at Dartmouth


Center on Media and Child Health, Boston Children’s Hospital


Wellesley College Department of Psychology


Wellesley College Department of American Studies


Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a physician in the Departments of Medicine and Neurology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.


Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School.


Department of Pediatrics, University of Wisconsin Madison


Director, Wellesley College Quantitative Analysis Institute


MPH candidate, Brown University


Tufts Institute for Human-Animal Interaction, Tufts University



Youth, Media, & Wellbeing Research Lab

Wellesley Centers for Women

Wellesley College – CHE
106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02481-8203

781 283 2486



Examining the complex factors that determine a young person’s identity, including their race, gender, sexuality, political and socio-economic status.

Mainstream Media


Examining the effects of the media messages that youth receive across their screens, magazine pages, and the airwaves.

Social Media


Understanding engagement with social media, the struggles and opportunities that families and schools encounter, implications for health and wellbeing, and adolescent’s own autonomy.

WCW logo W

Wellesley Centers for Women
Wellesley College
106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02481-8203 USA


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