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Reed W Larson


Dr. Larson’s research identifies the types of key experiences that young people have in arts, STEM, and leadership programs that facilitate their development of skills for problem solving, learning from emotions, and sustaining motivation in challenging work. These findings are used to train program staff and design programs that empower youth.


  • Ph.D. University of Chicago, Committee on Human Development
  • BA University of Minnesota, Department of Psychology, 1973


Additional Campus Affiliations

Professor Emeritus, Human Development and Family Studies
Research Professor, Human Development and Family Studies

Recent Publications

Larson, R. W., Orson, C. N., & McGovern, G. (2023). Responding to Teenagers’ Emotional Meltdowns: How Outward Bound Instructors Facilitate Development of Anxiety Management Skills. Journal of Adolescent Research, 38(4), 761-799.

Larson, R. W., & Rusk, N. (2021). Youth programs are important spaces for emotional learning. Journal of Youth Development, 16(4), 207-225.

Orson, C. N., & Larson, R. W. (2021). Helping Teens Overcome Anxiety Episodes in Project Work: The Power of Reframing. Journal of Adolescent Research, 36(2), 127-153.

Perry, S. C., Izenstark, D., & Larson, R. (2021). How to bargain successfully with adolescents: What can be learned from youth development professionals. Journal of Community Psychology, 49(7), 2472-2492.

Griffith, A. N., Johnson, H. E., Larson, R. W., & Buttitta, E. K. (2020). A qualitative examination of critical feedback processes in project-based youth programs. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 62, Article 101892.

View all publications on Illinois Experts