Title: Professor, Clinical Psychology; Affiliated with Developmental Psychology Program
Office: 204 Coffey Hall
Ph.D., University of Chicago
The focus of my research has been on the daily experience and mental health and well being of adolescents with the extensive use of a time sampling technique called the Experience Sampling Method (ESM). In the last decade my focus has been on the health, and mental health of low income, urban African American youth. Two large NIMH funded data sets have allowed the examination of multiple relevant constructs by my students and me in the form of publications, master’s theses, and dissertations. Focused more specifically on exposure to violence, in particular, community violence, and what contributes to it, as well as the effects of exposure, one dataset is composed of a cross sectional sample of 5th through 8th grade students and the other consists of a longitudinal study starting with 6th grade and following the students once a year through the 8th grade.
Consistent exposure to violence and stress can lead to the development of behavioral and emotional problems, gang/clique engagement, and diminished quality of life. African American and Latinx youth living in low income urban families and communities are most affected by these daily social and economic disadvantages. Positive relationships with significant adults and peers, and the development of protective coping factors foster resilience in these youth. My lab is engaged in an ongoing collaboration with several community organizations in four of Chicago’s high violence, low income communities.
The main lab project is testing the effectiveness of an intervention, a community based cross-age peer mentoring program, funded by the Department of Justice. This multi-disciplinary project (with the School of Social Work) engages both qualitative and quantitative data. This project has the goals of 1) preventing negative outcomes related to violence exposure/engagement and promoting positive development among both mentors and mentees, 2) disseminating knowledge at both the community and academic levels, and 3) eventual implementation in other low income urban communities.
With the help of one of my former graduate students, Dakari Quimby, we were awarded a grant from the Chicago Community Trust to sustain the mentoring intervention at two sites in Englewood and Bronzeville this past summer. A key component of our community-based model is the participation and leadership of the community partner organizations. This grant has helped us maximize the impact of the project and utilize the social capital of community partners and prosocial high school youth by laying the groundwork for continuing the program long-term.
A second project involves a collaboration with Enlace, a community based organization that serves the Little Village neighborhoods, where residents are Mexican American. We have a GIS mapping project and data from focus groups to understand better the experience of the youth who live there, with the goal of reducing their exposure to, and engagement in, community violence.
Our most recent project, the DuPage County Trauma Collaborative, involves collaboration with DuPage County Probation in the suburbs of Illinois to evaluate Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) compared to treatment as usual. We are in the process of collecting survey data from several youth ages 10-17 from DuPage County who are receiving treatment for trauma exposure at one of four local mental health agencies. This evaluation is designed to assess the effectiveness of TF-CBT in reducing trauma symptoms as well as delinquency, as many of these youth are at risk of engagement with the juvenile justice system.
McCrea, K. T., Richards, M., Quimby, D., Scott, D., Davis, L., Hart, S., Thomas, A., Hopson, S. (2019). Understanding violence and developing resilience with African American youth in high-poverty, high-crime communities. Children and Youth Services Review
, 296–307. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2018.12.018
Dusing, C.R., DiClemente, C., Miller, K., Onyeka, C., Murphy, B., Richards, M.H., Moore, A. (2018). Aggression among High-Risk African American Young Adolescents: Impact of Relational Proximity to Perpetrators of Violence. Psychology of Violence. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/vio0000220
Love, E., Morency, M., Miller, K., Onyeka, O., & Richards, M. (2018, May 18). How to Involve Young People in Afterschool Programs | Scholars Strategy Network. Retrieved from https://scholars.org/brief/how-involve-young-people-afterschool-programs
Quimby, D., Dusing, C. R., Deane, K., DiClemente, C. M., Morency, M. M., Miller, K. M., … Richards, M. (2018). Gun Exposure Among Black American Youth Residing in Low-Income Urban Environments. Journal of Black Psychology, 44(4), 322–346. https://doi.org/10.1177/0095798418773188
Torres, S. A., Santiago, C. D., Walts, K. K., & Richards, M. H. (2018). Immigration policy, practices, and procedures: The impact on the mental health of Mexican and Central American youth and families. The American Psychologist
Richards, M.H., Tyson-McCrea, K., Dusing, C.R., DiClemente, C., Deane, K., Quimby, D. (2017). Interim report for the evaluation of a cross-age peer mentoring program for youth in high violence Chicago communities. Office of Justice Programs’ National Criminal Justice Reference Service. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/grants/251379.pdf
Quimby, D., Richards, M.H., Santiago, C.D., Scott, D., Puvar, D. (2017). Positive Peer Pressure among Black American Youth and the Roles of Ethnic Identity and Gender. Journal of Research on Adolescence.
Richards, M., Lewis, G., Sanderson, R. C., Deane, K., & Quimby, D. (2016). Introduction to Special Issue: Resilience-Based Approaches to Trauma Intervention for Children and Adolescents. Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma
(1), 1–4. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40653-016-0081-4
DiClemente, C. M., Rice, C. M., Quimby, D., Richards, M. H., Grimes, C. T., Morency, M. M., Pica, J. A. (2016). Resilience in Urban African American Adolescents: The Protective Enhancing Effects of Neighborhood, Family, and School Cohesion Following Violence Exposure. The Journal of Early Adolescence
, 1 -36. 272431616675974. https://doi.org/10.1177/0272431616675974
Deane, K., Richards, M., Mozley, M., Scott, D., Rice, C. (in press). Posttraumatic Stress, Family Functioning, and Externalizing in Adolescents Exposed to Violence: A Moderated Mediation Model. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.
Gross, I.M., Hosek, S., Richards, M.H., & Fernandez, M.I. (2016). Predictors and profiles of antiretroviral therapy adherence among African American adolescents and young adult males living with HIV. AIDS Patient Care and STDs. 30(7): 324-338.
Richards, MH, Lewis, G., Cornelli Sanderson R., Deane, K., & Quimby, D. (2016). Introduction to Special Issue: Resilience-Based Approaches to Trauma Intervention for Children and Adolescents. Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma, 9(1). 1-4.
Richards, M.H., Romero, E., Deane, K., Carey, D., Zakaryan, A., Quimby, D., Gross, I., Velsor-Friedrich, B.V., Thomas, A., Burns, M., & Patel, N. (2016). Civic Engagement Curriculum: A culturally relevant,
resilience based intervention in a context of toxic stress. Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma, 9(1). 81-93.
Goldner, J., Ragsdale, B., Richards, M. & Gross, I. (2015). The relation of severity and level of community violence exposure to daily affect, emotional distress, and problem behaviors among African American adolescents. Violence and Victims 30(3), 432-449. DOI: 10.1891/0886-6708.VV-D-13-00129
Velsor-Friedrich, B., Richards, M., Militello, L., Deane, K., Scott, D., Gross, I., & Romeo, E. (2015). The impact of community violence on school-based research. The Journal of School Nursing, 31(6), 397-401.
Romero, E., Richards, M.H., Harrison, P.R., Garbarino, J. & Mozley, M., (2015). The Role of Neighborhood in the Development of Aggression in Urban African American Youth: A Multilevel Analysis. American Journal of Community Psychology, 56(1-2), 156-169. DOI: 10.1007/s10464-015-9739-6.
Kohl, K., Gross, I., Harrison, P.R. & Richards, M.H. (2015). Numbing and hyperarousal as mediators of exposure to community violence and depression in urban African American youth. Journal of Child and Adolescent Trauma, 8, 33-43. DOI: 10.1007/s40653-015-0038z.
Richards, M., Romero, E., Zakaryan, A., Carey, D., Deane, K. Quimby, D., Patel, N., & Burns, M. (2015). Assessing urban African American youths' exposure to community violence through daily sampling method. Psychology of Violence. 5(3), 275-284. doi: 10.1037/a0038115.
Goldner, J., Quimby, D., Richards, M.H., Zakaryan, A., Miller, S. A., Dickson, D. & Chilson, J. (2014). Relations of parenting to adolescent externalizing and internalizing distress moderated by perception of neighborhood danger. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. doi:10.1080/15374416.2014.958838.
Carey, D., & Richards, M. (2014). Exposure to community violence and social maladjustment among urban African American youth. Journal of Adolescence, 37, 1161-1170. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2014.07.021.
Bohnert, A., Burdette, K., Dugas, L., Travers, L., Randall, E., Richards, M., & Luke, A. (2013). Multi-method analyses of discretionary time use and health behaviors among urban low-income African American adolescents: A pilot study. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 34(8), 589-598.
Richards, M.H., Sanderson, R.C., Celio, C.I., Choi, I., Grant, J., & Deane, K. (2013). Service-learning in early adolescence: Results of a school-based curriculum. Journal of Experiential Education, 36 (1), 5 - 21, DOI 10.1177/1053825913481580.
Thomas, A., Carey, D., Richards, M.H., Velsor-Friedrich, B., Romero, E., & Pittman, K. (2012). African-American youth and exposure to community violence: Supporting change from the inside. Journal of Social Action in Counseling and
Psychology, 4 (1), 54-68.
Velsor-Friedrich, B., Militello, L.K., Richards, M.H., Harrison, P.R., Gross, I.M., Romero, E., & Bryant, F.B. (2012). Effects of coping-skills
training in low- income urban African-American adolescents with asthma. Journal of Asthma. 49(4):372-9. Epub 2012 Feb 21.
O’Donnell, P.C., Richards, M., & Pearce, S., Romero, E. (2012). Gender Differences in Monitoring and Deviant Peers as Predictors of Delinquent Behavior among Low-Income Urban African American Youth. Journal of Early Adolescence, 32
(3), 430 - 458.
Boyce, C.A., Robinson, W.L., & Richards, M.H. (2011) Introduction: Burgeoning directions for the prevention of youth violence. Journal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community. Special Issue: Innovative Community-based Approaches to Violence Prevention for Urban Youth, 39, 93-97. Special Editor of Special Issue: With Cheryl A. Boyce and W. Lavome Robinson. Innovative Community-based Approaches to Violence Prevention for Urban Youth. Journal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community, 39 (2) 2011.
Sweeney, C. Goldner, J., & Richards, M. (2011). Daily emotional experience and exposure to violence. Journal of prevention and Intervention in the Community. Special Issue: Innovative Community-based Approaches to Violence
Prevention for Urban Youth, 39, 114-131.
Goldner, J., Peters, T., Richards, M. H. & Pearce, S. (2011) Exposure to Community Violence and Protective and Risky Contexts Among Low Income Urban African American Adolescents: A Prospective Study. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 40, 174-186.