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Boys Town Logo


Over 100 Years of Life-Changing Research

Father Flanagan was a scientist at heart. He used the cutting-edge psychology and sociology of the day to create a new type of environment that gave his boys their best chance at success. Evidence-based social and psychological treatments, along with a healthy dose of love and spirituality, were the treatments he preferred.

Our research is unique because we take our findings from the lab and apply them to the latest, most innovative care for the children, families and patients we serve. Staying true to our mission of changing the way America cares for children, we share our research nationwide to impact healthy outcomes for children across the country and around the world.

Young boy smiling

Advancing Behavioral Health Research for Children

The Child and Family Translational Research Center is the continuation of Father Flannagan’s mission, with research into early 20th-century juvenile justice and how treating juvenile offenders like children, instead of adults, could change the trajectory of their lives. Over one hundred years later, we conduct applied research focused on understanding the nature of problems children and families face in today’s world and identifying the most effective ways to help them.

Recent areas of research include:

  • Common Sense Parenting
  • Well Managed Schools
  • Psychosocial Development and Risk
Therapist helping child

Internationally Recognized in Hearing and Balance

Boys Town National Research Hospital has developed international protocols for interventions for childhood deafness and pioneered the newborn hearing screening technologies that  are now instituted in hospitals and clinics around the world.

Boys Town Hospital has helped thousands of children hear through our cochlear implant program which has had participants from all 50 states and around the world.

Recent areas of research include:

  • Improving Treatments for inner ear problems
  • How sound travels through ears
  • Hearing and healthcare outcomes for individuals with Down Syndrome
Child taking hearing test

Leading the way in Childhood Speech & Language Research

Our language scientists in the Center for Childhood Deafness, Language and Learning conduct translational research that advances care for children and adolescents with communication needs associated with language disorder, deafness and related neurodevelopmental conditions.

Boys Town National Research Hospital also sponsors Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) website DLD and Me, which is helping to bring attention to this very common brain difference that makes talking and listening difficult. Approximately two children in every classroom have DLD.

Areas of research include:

  • Word learning in noisy environments
  • The impact of language disorders on academic success
Child in Research Helmet

Neuroscience Research with Cutting-Edge Technology

The Boys Town Institute for Human Neuroscience focuses on advancing and expanding neuroimaging and brain health research. The Institute’s focus on pediatric brain health allows researchers to better understand how the brain changes as children move through puberty and into adulthood.

Recent areas of research include:

  • Puberty and development
  • Mental Health
  • Effects of environmental toxins, such as radon
Young child wearing advanced diagnostic helmet

in Research

We are recruiting research participants of all ages and abilities for in-person and virtual studies. All participants will be compensated for their time.