Using culturally-relevant theoretical frameworks, the Strengths, Assets, & Resilience (StAR) lab explores the ways in which families, schools, and communities influence positive development among African American adolescents and youth.

Research Themes

Family Relationships

Although adolescence is a time of increasing autonomy, parent-adolescent relationships can have important implications for youths' transition into adolescence and into emerging adulthood. Current lab interests include: 1) parenting in the context of adolescence; 2) fathers' parenting experiences and involvement; and 3) dyadic relationships.

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Racial and Cultural Processes

Race- and culturally-specific experiences have been associated with the development of African American adolescents. Using risk and resilience models, we examine how these experiences (e.g., racial discrimination) can influence parent and adolescent well-being. Cultural protective factors (e.g., ethnic-racial socialization) are of particular interest.

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School & Community Influences

There are multiple factors that can contribute to the successful development of youth. The lab has a specific interest in understanding how school and community contexts are associated with adolescents' adjustment (school; psychological). We are particularly interested in understanding how youths' community engagement impacts positive adjustment.

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Gender & Development

Gender has been suggested as an important context for understanding adolescent experiences and subsequent outcomes. Current research directions of the StAR lab include: 1) highlighting gender variation in risk, promotive and protective factors and 2) illuminating within group variation in African American girls' social experiences and well-being.

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Current Projects

Representations of Fatherhood: Roles, Awareness, & MEaning (ReFRAME Study)

Numerous scholars have discussed the multigenerational impacts of negative stereotypes and deficit perspectives regarding African American fathers. Still, outside of qualitative studies, very little research...

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Fathers and Mothers in the Lives of Youth (F.A.M.I.L.Y) Study

Investigation exploring African American fathers’ parenting practices and influences on adolescent development. The FAMILY project is a longitudinal survey-based study with father, adolescent, and mother...

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African American Adolescent Girls’ School Experiences and Wellbeing: Identifying Resilience Factors

Investigation exploring the school and peer experiences of African American adolescent girls. This investigation includes survey and daily diary measures. Recruitment begins in Summer 2018!...

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Recent News

New Publication: African American fathers’ race-related concerns for the adolescents and parenting strategies

Watch a video of study highlights here Cooper, S. M., Burnett, M., Johnson, M. S., Brooks, J., Shaheed, J., & McBride, M. (2020). ‘That is...

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Marketa Burnett, Graduate Advisory Council Representative

Marketa Burnett is serving on the UNC Department of Psychology & Neuroscience’s Graduate Advisory Council for 2019-2020.

StAR Lab Members join the American Psychological Association, Division 35’s, Graduate Student Board

Margarett McBride and Janae Shaheed will serve on Division 35, Section 1’s Graduate Student Board.