Our Research

Building on a history of research participation, Bridge has partnered with MGH’s Psychiatry Department and their Center of Excellence to form a robust collaboration that unites researchers with the often-understudied demographic of homeless youth. This partnership allows Bridge to leverage the expertise and resources of a world-renowned research organization to assess the efficacy of our model and methods. In an increasingly data-driven world, providing proof of impact and testing our services through research solidifies our status as a leader in the field of youth homelessness, and provides us with concrete results we can share and disseminate.

Research Papers

Substance Use Disorders and Psychiatric Illness Among Transitional Age Youth Experiencing Homelessness (2023)

This study, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP), administered a semi-structured psychiatric diagnostic interview to determine rates of specific behavioral health disorders and comorbid (co-occurring) substance use diagnoses. To read the MGH article on the study, click hereThis article was chosen as one of the JAACAP’s Editors’ Best of 2023. 

Research Posters

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Prediction of One-Year Housing Outcomes Among Youth Experiencing Homelessness in a Rapid Re-housing Program (2023) – presented at the Harvard Public & Community Psychiatry Symposium 2023

This research poster utilized a retrospective chart review looking at youth participating in Rapid Re-housing (RRH) following one year of being housed in their own apartments. The poster identifies factors associated with success and positive outcomes after one year of RRH services. We found that those not experiencing Cannabis Use Disorder had more successful outcomes in RRH than those who were.

Demographic, Psychosocial, and Service Use Factors Associated with Beliefs and Attitudes Towards Substance Use in Youth Experiencing Homelessness (2023) – presented at the Harvard Public & Community Psychiatry Symposium 2023

This study looked at data within the MY-BEST Randomized Controlled Trial taking place at Bridge (see below). This poster looked at data from session number 3 from MY-BEST which utilizes a structured interview to elicit participants’ attitudes and beliefs about substance use. Higher alcohol use and PTSD symptom severity was associated with beliefs around the effectiveness of 12-step groups and other types of recovery supports.

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Prevalence, Comorbidity, and Psychosocial Correlates of Psychopathology and Substance Use Disorders Among Homeless Transitional Age Youth: Preliminary Findings (2021)

This study examined the prevalence of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) reported by a group of youth utilizing Bridge services in 2020 – 2021 and found that 95% of youth had experienced at least one Adverse Childhood experience and on average, youth had Bridge had experienced 4 ACES in their life.

Ongoing Research

BART (Bridge Assessment, Referral, and Treatment) Project: BART is a three-month intensive life skills intervention that we are offering to youth when they are matched to Rapid Re-Housing (RRH). The goal of BART is to see if this intensive life skills training helps them to accelerate employment, maximize income, and obtain education. We will also be examining whether this intervention reduces the amount of rental assistance participants need.

MY-BEST (Motivating Youth: Brief Experiences with Substance Treatment) Project: MY-BEST is a brief, 5-session Motivational Enhancement intervention designed specifically for youth experiencing homelessness. We are conducting a randomized controlled trial* of 40 youth, in which 20 received our new MY-BEST treatment program, and the other 20 received our traditional case management. We are evaluating whether the group that received the MY-BEST program has greater success in overcoming substance use than those who received case management.

*A randomized controlled trial is a method for evaluating new interventions — participants are chosen at random to receive the new intervention or the traditional method, and attempts are made to “control” (keep equal) all other conditions between the groups so that any gains made by those that received the new intervention can be reasonably attributed to it rather than to some other difference between the groups.