Professional Biography

Shawn Jones is a National Science Foundation SBE Postdoctoral Fellow in the Human Development and Quantitative Methods division at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. Currently, Shawn works with Dr. Howard Stevenson in the Racial Empowerment Collaborative (REC), which centers on applied research to promote racial literacy and empower families as a means of reducing the deleterious impact of race-related stress. He received his doctorate in Clinical Psychology with a Child and Family emphasis from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was a Child Clinical Psychology Pre-doctoral intern at UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. During his time at UNC, Shawn was both a Ford Foundation Predoctoral and Dissertation Fellow. Shawn also holds a Master of Health Science in Mental from Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health (2010) and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Duke University (2008).

Dr. Jones endeavors to impact the psychosocial wellbeing of Black youth and their families by: a) exploring mechanisms undergirding culturally-relevant protective and promotive factors; b) translating basic research into interventions that harness the unique strengths of the Black experience; and c) disseminating this research to be consumed, critiqued and enhanced by the communities the work intends to serve. Clinically, Dr. Jones is committed to the provision of culturally-informed child, couple and family therapy and assessment. Finally, Dr. Jones is passionate about eliminating racial health disparities, particularly those related to mental health services, which he sees as obtainable through stigma-reduction and mental health literacy interventions. 

Research Interests and Current Projects

Dr. Jones’ research interests have increasingly focused on culturally-relevant protective and promotive factors for Black youth and their families. Currently, Dr. Jones is investigating the dynamics that underlie how Black families navigate the racial socialization of their children through the Raising Our Offspring Every Day (ROOTED) project. ROOTED is a series of three related but distinct studies, each of which uses a mixed method approach (collection of both quantitative and qualitative data). The primary aim of the first study is to use survey and interview methods to elucidate the ways in which Black families representing a diverse structural spectrum (e.g., non-residential co-parents, extended kin, blended families, LGBT couples) undertake the racial socialization of their children together. The primary aim of the second study is to capture the synergistic and bidirectional nature of racial socialization “in the moment”, by using media-based scenarios to create and code ecologically-valid, family-level conversations. The primary approach of the third study is to prospectively assess how Black co-parents at various developmental stages anticipate (and modify) teaching their children about race “in-the-future”.

Dr. Jones’ master’s thesis examined the protective role of racial identity in the context of emotional responses to vicarious racism. His comprehensive exam was a systematic review of racial-ethnic mechanisms of change in psychosocial prevention and intervention programs. The resulting peer-reviewed article (Jones & Neblett, 2016), is among the first in the field to offer recommendations for reducing the lack-of “cross-talk” between basic and applied science surrounding racial and ethnic protective factors for Black youth. Dr. Jones’ dissertation project used both quantitative (behavioral coding) and qualitative (interview) methods to understand the ways in which two-parent, heterosexual Black couples navigate the racial socialization process. This work revealed ways in which Black families work together to safeguard the psychological well-being of their children, and was supported through a grant by the Fahs-Beck Fund. 




Ph.D. (Psychology) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2016

M.A. (Psychology) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2013

M.H.S. (Mental Health) Johns Hopkins University: Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2010

B.S. (Psychology) Duke University, 2008

Areas of Expertise

Black youth and family psychosocial wellbeing

Racism-related stress and coping processes

Racial-ethnic protective factors (racial socialization, racial identity, Africentric worldview)

Couples therapy 


Selected Publications

Jones, S. C.T. & Neblett, E. W. (2016). Racial-ethnic protective factors and mechanisms in psychosocial prevention and intervention programs for black youth. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review [Online first, June], 134-161. doi: 10.1007/s10567-016-0201-6 

Hoggard, L. S., Jones, S. C.T., & Sellers, R. M. (2016). Race cues and racial identity: Implications for how African Americans experience and respond to racial discrimination. Journal of Black Psychology [Online first, May], 1-24. doi: 10.1177/0095798416651033. 

Jones, S. C.T. & Neblett, E. W. (2016). Future directions in research on racism-related stress and racial-ethnic protective factors for Black youth. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology [Online first, May], 1-13. doi: 10.1080/15374416.2016.1146991.  

Bardone-Cone, A. N., Calhoun, C. D., Fischer, M. S., Gaskin-Wasson, A. L., Jones, S. C.T., Schwartz, S. L. Wise, E. H., and Prinstein, M. J. (2016). Development and implementation of a diversity training sequence in a clinical psychology doctoral program. The Behavior Therapist, 39(3), 65, 67-8, 70, 72-5.

Jones, S. C.T., Neblett, E. W., Lee, D. B., & Gaskin, A. L. (2014). Assessing the African American child & adolescent: Special considerations and assessment of behavioral disorders. In L. T. Benuto & B. D. Leany (Eds.), Guide to psychological assessment with African Americans (pp. 105-120). New York, NY: Springer.  

Jones, S. C.T., Lee, D. B., Gaskin, A. L., & Neblett, E. W. (2014). Emotional response profiles to racial discrimination: Does racial identity predict affective patterns? Journal of Black Psychology, 40(4), 344-358. doi:10.1177/0095798413488628  

Gaskin, A. L., Jones, S. C.T., Lee, D. B., & Neblett, E. W. (2013). Socialization. In P.L. Mason (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Race and Racism (2nd ed.) (Vol. 4, pp. 80-83). Detroit, MI: Macmillan Reference USA.