Kevin Tan

Educational Background and Practice Experience

Kevin Tan received his PhD from the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. He received his Master’s in Social Work from the Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis, and his Bachelors in Social Work (Honors) from the National University of Singapore. He has worked as a school social worker in Singapore. He also worked in a suburban school district in the St. Louis, Missouri area. While there, he developed a district-wide universal screening approach for identifying and monitoring groups of high school students for related interventions.

Research and Teaching Interests

Professor Tan’s research focuses on understanding profiles of youth risk and protective factors, developmental patterns of problems behaviors, and their social contextual influences. Based in a person-oriented developmental psychopathology perspective, his work focuses on interventions that target pattern-specific developmental risk. He has published work in the area of youth risk and protective factors, family influences, and school social work practice. The goal of Professor Tan’s work is to promote the implementation of prevention research in school settings. Professor Tan teaches courses in Social Work Practice with Children and Adolescents and Program Evaluation.

Current Research

Professor Tan and his research team are examining developmental patterns of social-emotional learning (SEL) needs among high school students. Professor Tan has received campus funding and his work is currently funded by the Spencer Foundation. Based on schools in Central Illinois and New Jersey, Professor Tan tracks patterns of students’ SEL needs and monitors the influence of school, family, and peer factors on students’ academics and behaviors. Findings from Professor Tan’s projects are used to develop systematic and scientific approaches to designing appropriate school-based interventions that serve students according to their individual needs. Professor Tan works with administrative and teacher teams to understand SEL data, and he promotes strategies to support the social, emotional and behavioral health of students, families, and their communities.

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