Tanager Place Research Center

In 2012, Tanager Place launched the Research Center with a mission to facilitate research that has the potential to expand knowledge and positively affect children and families.  The Tanager Place Research Center is a collaboration with five local academic institutions and the only one of its kind in the Midwest.

Recent Studies

Our outcomes and collaborative research studies—funded by generous private donations—have the potential to directly impact clinical practice and policy. A few of our recent studies include:

Play therapy techniques to enhance child behavior
University of Iowa’s Dr. Volker Thomas joined a team from Tanager Place ClinicSuccess Within The Child to conduct a family-based intervention called Filial Therapy, which integrates proven play therapy techniques to enhance child behavior and build strong child-parent relationships. Research could impact best practices for children and their families struggling with mental illness.

Biological correlations of eating disorders to develop treatment and prevention
Estimates indicate nearly 10% of adolescent women deal with symptoms of eating disorders, and many suffer consequences that lead to serious medical complications. Dr. Melinda Green, Associate Professor of Psychology at Cornell College, leads a study to increase effectiveness of prevention programs and gain better understanding of bio-indicators that identify a high risk factor of the onset of eating disorders. Results have the potential to greatly benefit adolescents and their families by updating treatments approaches and conceptual models of binge/purge behaviors.

Impact of traumatic childhood experiences on caregivers
Dr. Jacob Christensen, Mount Mercy University, and graduate student Nicole Brighton are working to determine if a link exists between a caregiver’s traumatic experiences and their relationship to children. The findings will help behavioral health professionals design treatments for families who have experienced trauma. Results will break damaging behavioral cycles often caused by trauma such as abuse, imprisonment, and substance abuse, and will increase opportunities for healing.

For more information, contact:

Teresa Kurtz
Director, Community Outreach & Research


To learn more about our partners, visits these websites:

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