garnering resilience in traumatized youth and families study is granted loan as part of national institute of child health loan repayment program

An adolescent-caregiver mental health intervention study has been awarded a grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) as part of its Loan Repayment Programs (LRPs).

Garnering Resilience in Traumatized Youth and Families (GRIT), led by Assistant Professor Dawn Bounds, is an intervention for adolescents with a high number of adverse childhood experiences, along with their caregiver.

The study is funded by the Office of Inclusive Excellence and has recently garnered support from the 2021 Athalie R. Clarke Achievement Award for Nursing Research

Screening for adverse childhood experiences

After the Chicago transplant came to California, she learned of the state surgeon general’s push for universal screening of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)

ACEs are events such as divorce, neglect or abuse that occur before one turns 18. They can have profound consequences on one’s health and future. Screening for them is important, Bounds says.

“It’s a big and wonderful movement,” she acknowledges. But there’s a problem: There just aren’t enough mental health care providers to go around. As a result, providers simply don’t ask about ACEs. “If you don’t have mental health referrals, you don’t talk about it. That’s problematic.”

She hopes the mental health and wellness intervention will ultimately be a tool primary care providers can refer patients to as needed.

Over the past year, she has trained a diverse cadre of nursing and public health students to be health coaches for a pilot study on GRIT.

About NIH LRPs

The NIH LRPs are a set of programs established by Congress that are designed to recruit and retain highly qualified health professionals into biomedical or biobehavioral research careers. The escalating costs of advanced education and training in medicine and clinical specialties are forcing some scientists to abandon their research careers for higher-paying private industry or private practice careers.

The LRPs counteract that financial pressure by repaying up to $50,000 annually of a researcher’s qualified educational debt in return for a commitment to engage in NIH mission-relevant research. 

Email Dawn Bounds.

For more information, to support a future nurse or nurse-led research, please connect to Juliana Goswick, Director of Development at