Title: Associate Professor; Ph.D.
Office: 247 Coffey Hall
Ph.D., The University of Memphis, 2003
M.S., The University of Memphis, 1999
B.S., University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, 1997
Website: PACCT Lab
My current research program focuses on African American youth who are exposed to multiple risk factors and the processes by which these youth and their families overcome adversity.
A central aim of my current research program is to identify coping strategies that are related to more positive outcomes for African American youth. The majority of research on coping in childhood and adolescence has been limited with regard to ethnicity and SES. We are attempting to address this limitation by examining the types of coping strategies that African American youth use to cope with various stressors and how these coping strategies relate to psychological symptoms (e.g., depression) and executive functioning abilities. To address these issues, we collect data with youth in local schools and community-based mental health agencies. Also, in 2005, my research team, in conjunction with colleagues at Virginia Commonwealth University, began development of the Africultural Coping Systems Inventory – Youth Version (Y-ACSI). The Y-ACSI is a culturally- and contextually-relevant coping measure for African American youth that can be used as a supplement to more general coping measures.
A second aim of my research program is to identify family-level predictors of coping strategies of African American youth. Family and parenting factors such as support and socialization have been found to be especially important for promoting positive outcomes in African American youth. I am interested in how protective family factors encourage youth to use more adaptive coping strategies. Over the past few years, my research team has been working with Family Focus Chicago, and we have collected data with youth (grades 4th – 8th) and their parents. We are answering a number of questions with these data. For example, does parental support predict more adaptive coping in youth? How do African American parents socialize their children to cope? Do parental influences on coping vary by family structure or child gender? In addition, we are working with Family Focus Chicago to use our findings to enhance their youth and family programs.
We have also begun a new project, Project Achieve, with Urban Prep Academy in Chicago to identify the individual, school, peer, family, and community factors that predict academic functioning and social-emotional behavior in male students of color. Specifically, the project seeks to the unique and interactive effects of factors that are associated with fewer social and emotional difficulties and higher levels of academic functioning for male adolescents of color. The current project is a collaborative effort between Urban Prep administrators and our lab. We are collecting survey-based data annually with 9th – 12th grade students. The project utilizes a strengths-based approach and will measure key strengths and assets embedded within individuals, families, peer relationships, schools, and communities that may enhance the academic and social-emotional well-being of the youth in the context of stressors.
Finally, I am collaborating with colleagues at DePaul University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and The University of Virginia on a grant to develop an intervention that teaches contextually relevant coping strategies to youth in the context of mentoring relationships. Our research has shown that youth benefit most from coping efforts if those coping efforts are used in the context of strong interpersonal relationships. In collaboration with partner schools and community-based organizations, we are developing a coping curriculum and a protocol for integrating the coping curriculum into mentoring relationships.
Gaylord-Harden, N. K., Cunningham, J. A. & Zelencik, B. (2011). Effects of exposure to
community violence on internalizing symptoms: Does desensitization to violence occur in African American youth? Journal of Abnormal Child
Psychology, 39, 711-719.
Gaylord-Harden, N. K., Elmore, C., Campbell, C. L. & Wethington, A. (2011). An examination of the tripartite model of depression and anxiety in African American adolescents: Stressors and coping strategies as common and specific correlates. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 40, 360-374.
Murry, V. M., Berkel, C., Gaylord-Harden, N. K., Copeland, N., & Nation, M. (2011). Neighborhood, poverty, and adolescent development. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 21, 114-128. Invited Paper.
Gaylord-Harden, N. K., Cunningham, J., Holmbeck, G., & Grant, K. (2010).
Suppressor effects in coping research with African American Adolescents from low-income communities. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 78, 843-855.
Gaylord-Harden, N. K., Campbell, C. L., & Kesselring, C. (2010). Maternal parenting
behaviors and coping in African American children: The influence of gender and stress. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 19, 579-587.
Gaylord-Harden, N. K., Taylor, J., Campbell, C. L., Kesselring, C., & Grant, K.
(2009). Maternal Attachment and Depressive Symptoms in Urban Adolescents: The Influence of Coping Strategies and Gender. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 38, 1-12.
Mandara, J., Gaylord-Harden, N. K., Braggs, B., & Richards, M. H. (in press).
The effects of changes in racial identity and self-esteem on changes in African American adolescents' mental health. Child Development.
Gaylord-Harden, N. K., & Cunningham, J. A. (2009). The impact of racial discrimination
and coping strategies on internalizing symptoms in African American youth. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 38, 532-543. Invited paper.
Edlynn, E. S., Gaylord-Harden, N. K., Richards, M. H., & Miller, S. A. (2008). African American urban youth exposed to violence: Coping skills as a moderator for anxiety. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 78, 249-258.
Gaylord-Harden, N. K. (2008). The influence of student perceptions of parenting and coping
on achievement and classroom behavior among African American children. Psychology in the Schools, 45, 763-777.
Gaylord-Harden, N. K., Gipson, P., Mance, G., & Grant, K. (2008). Coping patterns of
African American adolescents: A confirmatory factor analysis and cluster analysis of the children’s coping strategies checklist. Psychological Assessment, 20, 10-22.
Landis, D., Gaylord-Harden, N. K., Malinowski, S. L., Grant, K. E., Carleton, R. A., & Ford, R. E. (2007). Urban adolescent stress and
hopelessness. Journal of Adolescence, 30, 1051-1070.
Gaylord-Harden, N. K., Ragsdale, B. L., Mandara, J., Richards, M. H., & Petersen, A. C.
(2007). Perceived Support and Internalizing Symptoms in African American Adolescents: Self-Esteem and Ethnic Identity as Mediators. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 36, 77-88.