School of Health and Human Sciences


Stephanie Irby Coard, PhD
Associate Professor
PhD, Columbia University
Phone: (336) 334-4666
Curriculum Vitae

Classes Taught

  • HDF 303 Adolescent Development: Puberty ~ Young Adulthood. This is one of our foundation courses, required of all of our majors. This course also draws students from other departments (e.g., education, social work). This course typically enrolls 50‐70 students, and introduces students to concepts, theories, and research related to critical developmental processes occurring during adolescence. The course consists of lecture, discussion, and small group activities and takes a cultural approach to development by infusing discussion of every aspect of development with a cultural perspective
  • HDF 321 Issues in Parenting. This is one of our foundation courses, required of all our majors. Students enroll in this course with modest knowledge of child development and the theoretical foundations of human development and family studies. We examine the theories and principles of parenting from diverse viewpoints and placing emphasis on how various contexts influence parenting (both directly and indirectly).

Brief Bio

Stephanie Irby Coard, PhD is currently a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at UNC Greensboro (UNC‐G). Prior to joining UNCG in 2006, Dr. Coard held appointments at Duke University (2002‐ 2006) in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Gender in the Social Sciences (REGSS), and the Sanford Institute of Public Policy. She is also a former Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine, Child Study Center (1998‐2002).

Dr. Coard earned a BA from North Carolina State University in both Psychology and Business Management; an MSEd in Developmental Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania; and a PhD in Counseling Psychology from Columbia University. She completed a Pediatric Clinical Pre‐Doctoral Internship in the Division of Behavioral and Developmental Pediatrics, University of Maryland Medical Center and a Post‐Doctoral Fellowship in the Division of Adolescent Medicine, University of Maryland Medical Center.   A psychologist and clinical researcher, Dr. Coard primarily conducts research on youth conduct problems, antisocial behavior and violence; racial, ethnic and cultural influences on child mental health treatment and prevention; and cultural adaptations of interventions and community dissemination. Her understanding of socio‐cultural factors as they relate to the etiology, treatment and prevention of child mental health problems has informed her work on a number of federally funded studies. Most notably, she was awarded a Scientist Development Award (K01) from the National Institute for Mental Health to pursue research on translation, implementation and testing of clinically efficacious interventions into community settings; and in culturally adapting and testing those interventions to ensure successful dissemination within urban and inner‐city communities. A primary focus of this research has been the development of culturally‐relevant strategies to assist African American parents to prevent and manage common behavior problems of young children. She has also been awarded Small Business Innovation Research  (SBIR) funding from the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development. These funded studies have resulted in the development of an observational measure of racial socialization and a parenting curriculum and written materials. The Parent‐Child Race‐Related Observational Measure (PC‐RROM) is a parent‐child observational measure of the race‐related communication and interaction.  Black Parenting Strengths and Strategies (BPSS) is an evidence‐based culturally relevant parenting program for use African American families for preventing and managing common childhood behavior problems. Black Parenting Strengths and Strategies – Child (BPSS‐C) is a strengths‐ and culturally‐based program that aims to promote cultural, social and emotional health and academic success within African American children. The BPSS programs have been developed to incorporate the most successful strategies used by parenting and child development specialists, while drawing on the strengths, unique parental strategies and processes inherent in Black families (e.g., racial socialization).

With close ties to the African‐American community, Dr. Coard has always concerned herself with increasing awareness and sensitivity to how ethnicity and race impact the process and outcome of mental health treatment and in the implementation of evidence‐based practices in communities of color. She has published original research in this area and regularly lectures at local and national professional meetings. She currently teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Applied Theories and Principles of Parenting, Issues in Parenting, Adolescent Development, and Ethnicity and Context in Child and Family Policy in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, University of North Carolina ‐ Greensboro.

Dr. Coard is a member of the American Psychological Association, Div.12 (Clinical), 53 (Clinical Child), 45 (Ethnic Minority Issues), Society for Prevention Research, Society for Research in Child Development, Society for Research on Adolescence, The Association of Black Psychologists and the National Black Child Development Institute, Inc.. She has served as Chair, American Psychological Association Task Force on Resilience and Strength in Black Children and Adolescents and as Assistant Director, the Partnership for Excellence in Mental Health Interventions Education and Research (PREMIER) program at Duke University School of Medicine.  PREMIER is an NIMH funded post‐ doctoral fellowship program which provides training for qualified persons of color who seek to become academic mental health intervention researchers. Dr. Coard’s consultation work raises awareness and sensitivity to how socio‐cultural issues impact developmental, educational and mental processes and outcomes for African American youth and families. This includes the design, dissemination and evaluation of evidence‐based and culturally‐appropriate assessment tools and intervention programs for African American youth, families and professionals providing services to them. Specific topic areas of consultation include: prevention of conduct disorder, aggression and violence; racial, ethnic and cultural influences on youth and families; racial socialization processes, racial identity development; resiliency and empowerment, academic achievement, practical and culturally relevant approaches to parenting; and intervention development and community dissemination in diverse cultural contexts.

Teaching Philosophy

My teaching philosophy is designed to empower students through knowledge, illustrate the need for diversity in social settings, create agents of social change, and to accommodate different learning styles.  My goal in teaching is to foster the acquisition of a base of concepts and learning skills to facilitate further learning and thinking. In all of my courses I guide students in the evaluation of evidence, critical thinking, argument development, verbal and written expression, and the application of general principles to novel settings.   My courses are all structured around three common themes:  an emphasis on research, the development of writing skills and the generation of enthusiasm for scientific inquiry and application.

Teaching and Research Philosophy (Pdf)

Research Interests

My research mission is to contribute to the understanding, prevention, and treatment of child and adolescent mental health problems, particularly as they relate to youth and families of color. This includes remaining at the forefront of research in prevention and comprehensive treatments for youth in order to facilitate awareness of the importance of examining and understanding the role of culture and related concepts, such as ethnicity and race.  These factors contribute to the complexities of developmental and psychological processes, and are of vital importance to the understanding of culturally diverse populations.  My work integrates existing knowledge on culture, ethnicity, and race with intervention efforts aimed at treating and preventing child mental health problems. As these evidenced‐based interventions are applied to children within communities of color, the understanding of culture and how specific culture‐related factors influence implementation and acceptance become paramount.   With this mission in the forefront, my primary research focus centers around the influence of racial, ethnic, and cultural factors on child and family mental health and well‐being.  This research focus consists of two modes of inquiry: applied and theoretical.

The applied portion of my research focuses on the development and testing of culturally‐relevant and contextually‐focused preventive interventions that target youth and families of color and the multiple environments in which they operate.  These interventions are parent and family directed for the prevention of conduct disorder, aggression and later violence via management of common youth behavior problems. The theoretical portion of my research focuses on the study of race‐related developmental and familial processes (e.g., color consciousness, racial socialization) and their influence on the psychological well‐being and functioning of youth and families of color.

Selected Publications

  • Holleran-Streiker, L., Castro, F., Kumpfer, K., Marsiglia, F., Coard, S., & Hopson, L. (2008). A dialogue regarding cultural adaptations of interventions. Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, 8, 1-10.
  • Coard, S., Foy-Watson, S., Zimmer, C., & Wallace, A. (2007). Considering culturally relevant parenting practices in intervention development and adaptation: A randomized control trial of the Black Parenting Strengths and Strategies (BPSS) Program. The Counseling Psychologist,35, 797-820.
  • Caldwell, M., Miller Brotman, L., Coard, S., Wallace, S., Stellabotte, D., & Calzada, E. (2005). Community Involvement in Adapting and Testing a Prevention Program for Preschoolers Living in Urban Communities: ParentCorps. Journal of Childand Family Studies 14(3), 373-386.
  • Coard, S. & Sellers, R. M. (2005). African American families as a context for racial socialization. In V. McLoyd, N. Hill, and K. Dodge (Eds.), African American family life: ecological and cultural diversity (pp. 264-284). New York: Guildford Press.
  • Stevenson, H., Winn, D.M., Walker-Barnes, C. & Coard, S. (2005). Style Matters: Towards a culturally relevant framework for interventions with African American families. In V. McLoyd, N. Hill and K. Dodge (Eds.), Emerging Issues In African-American Family Life: Context, Adaptation, and Policy. New York: Guildford Press.
  • Coard, S., Wallace, S., Stevenson, H., & Miller Brotman, L. (2004). Towards culturally competent preventive interventions: The consideration of racial socialization in parent training with African American families. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 13 (3),277-293.
  • Miller Brotman, L, Klein, RG, Kamboukos, D, Brown, EJ, Coard, S., and Sosinsky, L. (2003). Preventive intervention for urban, low-income preschoolers at familial risk for conduct problems: A randomized pilot study. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 32 (2), 246-257.
  • Breland, A., Coleman H., Coard, S., & Steward, R. (2002). Differences among African American Jr. High students: The effects of skin tone on ethnic identity, self-esteem and cross-cultural behavior. Dimensions of Counseling: Research,Theory and Practice, 30 (1), 15-21.
  • Coard, S., Breland, A., & Raskin, P. (2001). Perceptions of and preferences for skin color, Black racial identity, and selfesteem among African Americans. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 31(11), 2256-2274.
  • Coard, S., Nitz, K., & Felice, M. (2000). Sociodemographic, family and health characteristics: Associations with repeat pregnancies in urban adolescent mothers. Adolescence, 35(137), 193-200.
  • Coard, S. & Holden, E. (1998). The effects of race and ethnicity on mental health services in pediatric primary care.

Manuscripts Submitted/Resubmitted

  • APA Task Force on Resilience and Strength in Black Children and Adolescence (submitted). Conceptualizing resilience and optimal development among African American children and adolescents.
  • Coard, S., McCoy, S., Pasamonte, K., & Herring, M. (resubmitted).Mirror mirror on the wall: Color consciousness among African American children and families and the importance of racial socialization
  • Coard, S. Stevenson, H., Harrell, S. P., Thomas, D., & Bentley K. (resubmitted). Validation of the Daily Life Experiences of Racism Stress Scale for Black Adolescents.
  • Stevenson, H. C., Harrell, S. P., Coard, S. I., Thomas, D., Bentley, K., & Davis, G. (resubmitted). Racial socialization experiences and perceived racism effects on adolescent psychological symptoms.
  • Stevenson, H. C., Harrell, S. P., Coard, S. I., Thomas, D., Bentley, K., & Davis, G. (resubmitted). Validating the multiple dimensions of perceived racism frequency for African American adolescents.

African American Family Strengths & Strategies Lab

Read about my African American Family Strengths and Strategies (AAFSS) Research Lab

Interested in being a AAFSS lab member?(PDF)

Contact Dr. Coard's Research Assistant and AAFSS Lab Coordinator.