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McNair Scholar 2012Pertesia Gadson

Pertesia Gadson is a junior at the University of Minnesota, Rochester.  She is majoring in Health Sciences.  Her primary research interest revolves around advancing the health and education of at risk youth, but she is also interested in genetics because she finds phenotypes fascinating.

My dream is to obtain my bachelor degree from the University of Minnesota, Rochester then I would like to receive my doctorate degree.  I aspire to obtain those degrees because essentially I would like to give my services back to the community through teaching and research.

Research project

Perceptions of Healthy Partner and Relationship Characteristics among Adolescents

Abstract: Adolescents receive little guidance from adults on how to define and develop healthy relationships (Noonan & Charles, 2009).  Characteristics of healthy relationships include reciprocal communication, managing uncomfortable emotions such as anger and jealousy, and mutual respect (CDC, 2012).  Obtaining a better understanding of what adolescents consider to be healthy and unhealthy can inform the development of health promotion efforts.  The main research question was about the extent that adolescents’ stated qualities of ideal partners and relationships were consistent with what health professionals would define as healthy.  Adolescents’ stated qualities of ideal partners and relationships were consistent with what health professionals would define as healthy.  Teens discussed several reasons for settling.  Some adolescents were adamant that no one should settle for less than what he or she views as important.  These teens may be valuable resources in designing and delivering health promotion programs. Download poster. [PDF]

Faculty profile

Dr. Sonya S. Brady is Assistant Professor in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota School of Public Health.  Dr. Brady received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology and biological/health psychology from the University of Pittsburgh.  Her research specializes in health risk and protective behavior during adolescence and young adulthood; developmental and psychosocial influences on risk-taking; socioeconomic and ethnic disparities in consequences of risk-taking; mechanisms linking stressful life circumstances to health risk behavior and factors promoting resilience; promotion of health protective behavior; and public policies affecting adolescent health.  Dr. Brady has been a McNair faculty mentor for three years.