ICSRA was founded in 1999. Since then, ICSRA has conducted a national Youth in Iceland program of surveys, consisting of extensive data collection and information dissemination concerning family and adolescent welfare.  Part of this effort was designed to inform the need for population-wide primary-prevention through research aimed at arresting and reversing observed increases in adolescent substance use.

The research output of the Centre continues to be at the forefront of international research efforts. This is evidenced by a flow of publications in peer-reviewed journals, covering a wide spectrum of important health and social issues concerning adolescents, including smoking and alcohol use, school satisfaction, health behaviour, and academic achievement, physical activity and participation in sports, adolescent emotional well-being, suicidal behaviour, and studies of custodial care of adolescents. ICSRA works closely with governmental and non-governmental organisations in Iceland and abroad to provide expert and logistical support for youth research and intervention projects.

Since its establishment, ICSRA has established active collaborations with international research groups at Columbia University and Teachers College, New York; the University of California, Irvine; Northwestern University, Chicago; Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York; King’s College, London; the Karolinska Institute, Sweden; and the National University of Ireland, Galway.

ICSRA is located at Reykjavik University (RU), a vibrant international university with 500 faculty members and around 3,000 students.