Keisha L. Bentley-Edwards

In Funded Scholars
Keisha L. Bentley-Edwards
Keisha L. Bentley-Edwards

Keisha L.



Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology
University of Texas at Austin

Professional Bio

Keisha L. Bentley-Edwards, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology and a Faculty Affiliate in the African and African Diaspora Studies Department at the University of Texas at Austin. She earned her undergraduate degree at Howard University, where she was exposed to research that used the concept of resiliency to support students at risk for academic failure. While earning a Masters degree in Developmental Psychology at Teachers College at Columbia University, she continued studying resiliency by examining how Black girls avoided drug and alcohol use. She then served as the Director of Intercultural Development at a small private university where she managed initiatives targeting Black and first generation student persistence, faculty of color retention and the evaluation of academic diversity objectives. In this role, Dr. Bentley-Edwards realized that these students’ cultural and community context were very present in their meaning making, but absent in most aspects of their university life. She earned her PhD in the Applied Psychology & Human Development Department at the University of Pennsylvania, where she received vigorous training on developing culturally relevant assessments, and using cultural strengths and contexts to support resiliency. At Penn, she also earned a graduate certificate in Africana Studies. Dr. Bentley-Edwards has created measures of racial socialization, racial cohesion and same-race violence. Her work has been published in the Journal of Black Psychology, Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, as well as in chapters for several textbooks. In 2011, Dr. Bentley-Edwards was inducted into UT Austin’s Society for Teaching Excellence. She has been sought out by the media to provide insight on how Black families and communities respond to racially-charged incidents.  Dr. Bentley-Edwards believes that as a developmental psychologist, is imperative that her research improves the health and well-being of all communities, and especially for Black children and families.

Project Description

This project addresses the gap in the research literature and practice regarding Bullying and African American youth by informing stakeholders of the best bullying assessment and socialization practices for this population. Specific Aims. 1-Identify valid and reliable bullying assessments for Black children; 2-Determine the types of bullying socialization Black children receive; 3-Identify best practices in bullying assessment and socialization for Black children. Research Question/Hypotheses. Which bullying assessments are validated and reliable for Black children? What types of bullying socialization do Black children receive? What are the best bullying assessments and socialization messages for Black children? The Conceptual Model is based on Whaley’s Cognitive-Cultural Model of Violence Prevention and Stevenson’s Racial/Ethnic Socialization theory. This project utilizes a systematic review and meta-analysis strategy using journal articles and reports to determine how socialization and assessments inform and identify Black children’s bullying experiences

My New Connections Experience

After attending the New Connections Symposium, I knew that becoming a Scholar in the program would propel my career and research trajectory. I applied to the New Connections Program so that I would gain the mentorship and funding that would allow me to have a widespread and positive impact on the health of Black communities.

The Details
  • New Connections Status: Junior Investigator
  • Award Year: 2014
  • RWJF Team/Portfolio: Vulnerable Populations
  • Project Name: Identifying Culturally Appropriate Bullying Assessments to Address Disparities in Assessment and Treatment of African American Bullies and Victims

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