Job Title: Research Scientist, Wraparound Evaluation and Research Team
Jonathan Olson, PhD, is a Research Scientist in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington. His research career has focused on studying the effectiveness of behavioral health interventions and mental health outcomes for youth and young adults, and he has been a valued member of the NWI since 2018 when he joined the Wraparound Evaluation and Research Team (WERT) at UW.
While pursuing a Bachelor of Science in psychology at Boston College in 1993, Jonathan found himself drawn to classes that focused on supporting individuals with mental health needs, an interest he was able to pursue further in graduate school as he engaged in projects related to community-based supports for young people. Upon joining WERT, Jonathan was excited to see how closely their work aligned with his previous research in supporting community-based and policy-level programming for youth and families. Jonathan says he loves working with both WERT and the Wraparound community as a whole, and is impressed by the energy and enthusiasm Wraparound providers have for their work: “It is really rewarding to host a webinar and have hundreds of people from around the country join us because they want to learn about new and emerging research or to gain skills related to a new resource.”
Jonathan’s team has recently completed an exciting and comprehensive new research project which has been accepted for publication in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Over the course of this meta-analysis of Wraparound evaluations, they reviewed thousands of scientific abstracts in an initial screening which they narrowed down to 17 articles, reports and dissertations, and found results with direct implications for the Wraparound field of practice: relative to comparison groups of youth, those enrolled in Wraparound experienced better outcomes, with the largest effects found for residential placements, school functioning and overall costs. Jonathan says the project was extremely rewarding, and he and the WERT are looking forward to their next (and ongoing) research projects related to how systems-level factors influence Wraparound implementation.
When he is not working, Jonathan finds himself spending time with his family, including his three kids and three dogs, and enjoying the outdoors. He is looking forward to the end of the pandemic so he can participate in cyclocross races again.