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Current Projects & Grants

With scores of grants and contracts received since the Institute's inception in 1999, the projects implemented by IFNL are too numerous to list. Among the largest initiatives that the Institute is currently undertaking are the following:

South Carolina Association for Positive Behavior Support Network

Clemson University through the Institute on Family and Neighborhood Life is partnering with the South Carolina Association for Positive Behavior Support Network to provide a framework for schools to implement programs that build the social competence of students and the adults who are working with children. This collaboration provides a platform for advancement and dissemination of evidence based-practices to develop, implement and sustain multi-tiered systems of support through professional development and technical assistance.  


Building Healthier Communities in the Dominican Republic: Faculty-led and multi-disciplinary project on trans-cultural and international health

The Building Healthy Communities Creative Inquiry is an interdisciplinary, holistic effort dedicated to improving the health of Las Malvinas II, a poverty-stricken community in the Dominican Republic (DR). The project initiated in fall 2015. Accomplishments include a Community Health Assessment (CHA), a Community Health Improvement (CHIP) and Action Plan, and upcoming research on Positive Youth Development and Civic Engagement. The project incorporates action and community-engaged research methods including both quantitative and qualitative research. The project allows the research team to engage Las Malvinas II leadership and allied community and governmental organizations for orienting future efforts in improving the health and well-being of this community. The project is facilitated by a partnership between Clemson University and a local university (Iberoamerican University [UNIBE]). The project is funded by the Creative Inquiry program at Clemson University.

Bullying Prevention

The Institute on Family and Neighborhood Life is leading efforts in the United States to implement the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program.  The Olweus Program is a comprehensive approach that includes schoolwide, classroom, individual, and community components. The program is focused on long-term change that creates a safe and positive school climate. It is designed and evaluated for use in elementary, middle, junior high and high schools (K-12). The program’s goals are to reduce and prevent bullying problems among schoolchildren and to improve peer relations at school. The program has been found to reduce bullying among children, improve the social climate of classrooms, and reduce related antisocial behaviors, such as vandalism and truancy. The Olweus Program has been implemented in more than a dozen countries around the world, and in thousands of schools in the United States.  For more information, visit

Faculty and staff in IFNL are also engaged in a large-scale project to implement and evaluate comprehensive school-based interventions to address bullying and related behavior problems and improve school climate.  The 4-year research project is funded by the National Institutes of Justice and carried out in collaboration with the Chesterfield County School District (SC) and the Chesterfield County Coordinating Council. For more information, contact Susan Limber (

Campus-wide Suicide Prevention

With funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA), IFNL is partnering with faculty in the Department of Psychology, various Student Affairs divisions such as the Student Health Center,  Healthy Campus, Counseling and Psychological Services, the Dean of Students Office, New Student and Family Programs, Residential Life, and various student representatives.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students. This project will build upon Clemson’s existing resources to create an enhanced and comprehensive suicide prevention approach that focuses on promoting mental health seeking and filling in gaps in resources and infrastructure.

Clemson Sustainable Community Project

The Clemson Sustainable Community Project focuses on the use of technology to improve the attitude and skills in the academic areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and in STEM professional disciplines; of students who participate in the Boys and Girls Club After-School Program at Mary H. Wright Elementary and Chesnee Elementary Schools provide efficient access to educational resources, and provide essential technological skills for youth and adults in at-risk environments. This project is a comprehensive, intensive, community-based program developed with active citizen participation in all phases. It calls for collaboration among community partners, curriculum areas, and capacity building for sustainability, as well as a holistic approach that views the individual in the context of the family and community.

Cross-Cultural Cognitive Interviewing to Develop a Bilingual and Quantitative Instrument to Access Partnership Trust in Community-Engaged Health Research and Interventions

The purpose of this research is to develop a bilingual (i.e., English and Spanish) instrument to measure partnership trust as an outcome of community-engaged health research and interventions in South Carolina (SC). Specific aims of this study are: (1) to develop, back-translate, and pilot test a bilingual partnership trust’s measurement instrument; and, (2) to evaluate the newly developed partnership trust measurement instrument cross-culturally with English and Spanish speaking stakeholders of a community-based health organization in SC (PASOs), using cross-cultural cognitive interview methods. Data and outcomes from this study will be used as the basis to submit a competitive National Institute of Health (NIH) research grant proposal to test the validity and reliability of the partnership trust instrument within various states in the United States (US) and across US Hispanic countries of origin. This project is funded by the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences (CBSHS) annual IMPACT grants program.

Interactive digital intervention to prevent violence among young adults

Faculty from YFCS (Martie Thompson) and Department of Psychology (Heidi Zinzow) at Clemson University are partnering with “Happy People Games” on a National Institutes of Health-funded Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) project. The goal of the project is to develop an innovative, theoretically-driven, and evidence-based sexual assault prevention program  that can be easily disseminated to reduce rates of sexual assault on college campuses. This collaboration of an interdisciplinary team of experts from digital game design, app production, sexual violence prevention, and health behavior digital game interventions will entail the development and refinement of an interactive sexual assault prevention app for college students.

Momentum Bike Club

Grounded in the Principles of Positive Youth Development, Momentum Bike Clubs provides consistent mentoring support through bicycle clubs in Greenville County to middle and high school youth.  Young people and adults learn to repair and maintain bikes and build stamina and friendships as they explore roads and trails on bikes.  Some outings are riding for the sake of riding while others are to a specific destination, such as a tour of a museum or a radio station.  Exposure to healthy nutrition and active lifestyles are proven ways of enhancing physical, emotional, and intellectual development.  All youth need supportive people in their lives. Momentum Bike Clubs seeks to provide that, one pedal turn at a time. Read more

Suicide Prevention among Youth

IFNL faculty has been awarded Distinguished Investigator funding by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to investigate the epidemiology of suicidal trajectories in youth transitioning to adulthood. Little is known about how suicide risk changes over the course of emerging adulthood. This project will use data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to determine how suicide risk changes over the span of 13 years and what risk and protective factors predict these trajectories. These findings will provide an empirically and theoretically-supported basis for targeted suicide prevention programs.