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Alvin Thomas appointed to national children’s well-being forum

Professional headshot of Alvin Thomas at Nancy Nicholas Hall

Alvin Thomas, assistant professor of Human Development & Family Studies and Phyllis Northway Faculty Fellow, has been appointed to serve on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Forum for Children’s Well-Being: Promoting Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Health for Children and Youth.

Thomas, whose work exists at the intersection of positive child and youth development and father involvement, joins a committee made up of fellow researchers and other diverse stakeholders from across the country committed to improving the wellbeing of children and young people.

His term on the forum runs until Sept. 30, 2025.

“It is an honor to be of service to American families through the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Forum for Children’s Well-Being: Promoting Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Health for Children and Youth,” Thomas says. “If we expect to reclaim the narrative related to fatherhood, especially for Black non-resident fathers, policy makers must be part of that change. I hope that my stint with the NASEM will be marked by initiatives that improve the lives and trajectory of families.”

Thomas’ research is focused on anti-racism efforts that benefit Black children, Black fathers, and their families and communities. He addresses four general categories while embracing a lifespan perspective: fatherhood and parenting; youth violence; impacts of social media; and effects of race and discrimination.

He also recently moderated a National Academies workshop on “Building Resilience in the Face of Emerging Threats to Child and Youth Well‐Being.”

The forum, according to its website, “aims to inform a forward-looking agenda for building a stronger research and practice base around the development and implementation of effective and equitable programs, practices, and policies to promote cognitive, affective, and behavioral health for all children, adolescents, and emerging adults.”

The goal of the National Academies Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE), under which the forum falls, is to “provide independent, evidence-based advice to decision-makers on key questions of national importance” in these areas.