Howard C. Stevenson

Constance Clayton Professor of Urban Education; Professor of Africana Studies

Applied Psychology and Human Development Division

Graduate School of Education
University of Pennsylvania

Phone: 215-898-5666

Email: howards@gse.upenn.edu

Professional Biography

Dr. Howard Stevenson is the Constance Clayton Professor of Urban Education, Professor of Africana Studies, and former Chair of the Applied Psychology and Human Development Division in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. From 1994 to 2002, he was faculty master of the W. E. B. DuBois College House at Penn. In 1993, Dr. Stevenson received the W. T. Grant Foundation’s Faculty Scholar Award, a national research award given to only five researchers per year which funds five years of research. In 1994, Dr. Stevenson was a Presidential Fellow at the Salzburg Seminar in American Studies, where 35 other community activists and researchers from 30 countries to present their community health intervention projects. In 1995, Dr. Stevenson served on a 12-member academic panel to consult on the development of a National Strategic Action Plan for African-American Males, sponsored by the National Drug Control Policy Office in the Office of the President. Dr. Stevenson has served for 29 years as a clinical and consulting psychologist working in impoverished rural and urban neighborhoods across the country.

Research Interests and Current Projects

His research publications and clinical work involve developing culturally relevant "in-the-moment" strengths-based measures and therapeutic interventions that teach emotional and racial literacy skills to families and youth and have been funded by the W.T. Grant Foundation, Annenberg Foundation, and the National Institutes of Mental Health and Child Health and Human Development. Two NIMH research projects — one, entitled PLAAY (Preventing Long-term Anger and Aggression in Youth), found that the impact of a cultural socialization intervention reduced the rejection sensitivity of the PLAAY youth compared to a control group. The intervention involved the culturally relevant teaching of emotional empowerment through athletic movement in basketball (TEAM), self-control in martial arts (MAAR), cultural pride reinforcement in group therapy (CPR), and bonding in family interventions (Community Outreach through Parent Empowerment, or COPE) to help youth cope with face-to-face violence, social rejection, and stress in school and neighborhoods from peers, family, and authority figures. A modified version of PLAAY currently underway recruits girls and parents are taught to be assistant coaches to monitor and intervene with youth’s emotional challenges during play.

The second NIMH project, Success of African American Students (SAAS), identified the protective role of racial identity and racial socialization processes in the development of emotional coping strategies for African-American students and families in predominantly White independent schools. Currently, Dr. Stevenson is conducting a classroom-based racial negotiation skills-building intervention called Can We Talk? for teachers and students, to reduce negative stress reactions in student-teacher relationships. A 3rd NICHD project partners Dr. Stevenson with Penn professors in Nursing and Arts and Sciences, Loretta and John Jemmott, and Christopher Coleman to co-lead the SHAPE-UP: Barbers Building Better Brothers Project. The SHAPE-UP Project trains Black barbers as health educators to provide HIV/AIDS/STDS safe sex and retaliation violence risk reduction and negotiation skills to Black heterosexual 18-24 year old males during haircut appointments.

Dr. Stevenson’s recently published book, Promoting Racial Literacy in Schools: Differences that Make a Difference (Teachers College Press) focuses on how educators, community leaders, and parents can emotionally resolve face-to-face racially stressful encounters that reflect racial profiling in public spaces, fuel social conflicts in neighborhoods, and undermine student emotional well-being and academic achievement in the classroom.

Selected Publications

Stevenson, H. C. (2014). Promoting racial literacy in schools: Differences that make a difference. New York: Teachers College Press.

Adams-Bass, V. N., Stevenson, H. C. & Slaughter-Kotzin, D. (2014).Measuring the meaning of Black media stereotypes and their relationship to the racial identity, Black history knowledge, and racial socialization of African American youth. published online 25 April 2014. DOI: 10.1177/0021934714530396, http://jbs.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/04/24/0021934714530396

Adams-Bass, V. N., Bentley-Edwards, K. L., & Stevenson, H. C. (2014).That’s not me I see on TV: African American youth interpret images of Black females.Women, Gender, & Families of Color, Spring, 2, 1,79-100.

Bentley, K. L., Thomas, D. E., & Stevenson, H. C. (2013). Raising consciousness: Promoting healthy coping among African American boys at school. In C. Clauss-Ehlers, Z. Serpell & M. Weist (Eds.), Handbook of Culturally Responsive School Mental Health: Advancing Research, Training, Practice, and Policy (pp 121-133). Springer.

Coleman, S. & Stevenson, H. C. (2013). The racial stress of membership: Development of the faculty inventory of racialized experiences in independent schools. Psychology in the Schools, 50, 6, 548-566.

Adams, V. N., & Stevenson H. (2012). Media socialization, Black media images and Black adolescent identity. In Racial Stereotyping and Child Development. Contributions to Human Development, Karger, Slaughter-Defoe (Editor), Vol 25, 28-46. Karger: New York. (DOI: 10.1159/000336272)

Slaughter-Defoe, D. T., Stevenson, H. C., Arrington, E. G. & Johnson, D. J. (2012). Black educational choice in a climate of school reform: Assessing the private and public alternatives to traditional K-12 public schools, Praeger: ABC-Clio Publishers: Santa Barbara, CA.

Stevenson, H. C. & Arrington, E. G. (2012). “There is a subliminal attitude”: African American parental perspectives on independent schooling. In D. T. Slaughter-Defoe, H. C. Stevenson, E. G. Arrington & D. J. Johnson, (Eds.) Black educational choice in a climate of school reform: Assessing the private and public alternatives to traditional K-12 public schools, Praeger: ABC-Clio Publishers: Santa Barbara, CA.

Arrington, E. G. & Stevenson, H. C. (2012). “More than what we read in books”: Black student perspectives on independent schools. In D. T. Slaughter-Defoe, H. C. Stevenson, E. G. Arrington & D. J. Johnson, (Eds.) Black educational choice in a climate of school reform: Assessing the private and public alternatives to traditional K-12 public schools, Praeger: ABC-Clio Publishers: Santa Barbara, CA.

Slaughter-Defoe, D. T., Myers, M. J., Stevenson, H. C., Arrington, E. G. & Johnson, D. J. (2012). Introduction: Toward Black educational choice. In D. T. Slaughter-Defoe, H. C. Stevenson, E. G. Arrington & D. J. Johnson, (Eds.) Black educational choice in a climate of school reform: Assessing the private and public alternatives to traditional K-12 public schools (pp 1-10). Praeger: ABC-Clio Publishers: Santa Barbara, CA.

Stevenson, H. C., Slaughter-Defoe, D. T., Arrington, E. G. & Johnson, D. J. (2012). Visible Now? Black educational choices for the few, the desperate and the far between. In D. T. Slaughter-Defoe, H. C. Stevenson, E. G. Arrington & D. J. Johnson, (Eds.) Black educational choice in a climate of school reform: Assessing the private and public alternatives to traditional K-12 public schools, Praeger: ABC-Clio Publishers: Santa Barbara, CA.

Serpell, Z., Hayling, C., Stevenson, H. C., &. Kern, L. (2009). Cultural considerations in the development of school-based interventions for African American adolescents with emotional/behavioral problems. Journal of Negro Education, 78 (3), 321-332.

Stevenson, H. C. & Arrington, E. G. (2009). Racial-ethnic socialization mediates perceived racism and the racial identity of African American adolescents. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 15, 2, 125-136.

Thomas, D. & Stevenson, H. C. (2009). Gender risks and education: The particular classroom challenges of urban, low-income African American boys. Review of Research in Education, 33,160-180.

Bentley, K. L., Adams, V. N., & Stevenson, H.C. (2009). Racial socialization: Roots, processes and outcomes. In H. Neville, B. Tynes & S. Utsey. (Eds.), Handbook of African American Psychology (pp 255-267). Sage Publications.

Thomas, D. E., Coard, S. I., Stevenson, H. C., Bentley, K, & Zamel, P. (2009). Racial and emotional factors predicting teachers' perceptions of classroom behavioral maladjustment for urban African American male youth. Psychology in the Schools, 46, 2, 184-196.

Stevenson, H. C.Fluttering around the racial tension of trust: Proximal approaches to suspended black student-teacher relationships. School Psychology Review 37: 354-358, 2008.

Hall, D., Cassidy, E., & Stevenson, H. C.: Acting “tough” in a “tough” world: The validation of a fear of calamity measure among urban African American adolescents. Journal of Black Psychology, 2008.

Fantuzzo, J., Stevenson, H., Abdul Kabir, S., & Perry, M.: An investigation of a community-based intervention for socially isolated parents with a history of child maltreatment. Journal of Family Violence, 2007.

Hall, D. M. and Stevenson, H. C.Double Jeopardy: Being African American and "Doing Diversity" in Independent Schools. Teachers College Record 109(1), 2007.

Davis, G. Y. & Stevenson, H. C.: Racial socialization experiences and symptoms of depression among Black youth. Journal of Child and Family Studies 15(3): 293-307, 2006.

Hughes, D. L., Johnson, D., Smith, E., Rodriguez, J., Stevenson, H. C., & Spicer, P.: Parents’ ethnic/racial socialization practices: A review of research and directions for future study. Developmental Psychology 42(5): 747-770, 2006.

Cassidy, E. F. & Stevenson, H. C.: They wear the mask: Hypermasculinity and hypervulnerability among African American males in an urban remedial disciplinary school context. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma 11(4): 53-74, 2005.

Stevenson, Jr., H. C.Playing with anger: Teaching coping skills to African American boys through athletics and culture. Westport, CT.: Greenwood Publishing, Praeger. (eds.). 2003.

Stevenson, H. C., Davis, G. Y., & Abdul-Kabir, S.Stickin’ To, Watchin’ Over, and Gettin’ With: An African American Parent’s Guide to Discipline. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 2001.