Donte Bernard, expert on racial disparities in mental and behavioral health, speaks at colloquium

Donte Bernard, expert on racial disparities in mental and behavioral health, speaks at colloquium

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Donte Bernard, an assistant professor of clinical psychology at the University of Missouri, is a leading authority on racial disparities in mental and behavioral health. He will discuss his own efforts in an upcoming talk titled “A Call to Action to Reconceptualize Adverse Childhood Experiences for Black Youth: Forget the Forest for the Trees.” This direct guest presentation will be hosted by the Department of Psychological Science Diversity Committee and will be held on Thursday, September 7, at 4:00 pm in Room 343 of the Graduate Education Building.

Adverse childhood experiences (ACE, e.g., verbal, physical, and sexual abuse, parental divorce or incarceration, substance use, and mental illness of family members) are well-established risk factors for mental health problems. It has been. Unfortunately, current thinking about the role of these adverse events is largely based on studies using white samples and overlooks how culturally-relevant forms of adversity uniquely manifest in black communities. It is Furthermore, research rarely considers the structural factors that put young black people at risk for ACEs and adverse health effects. The purpose of this talk is to highlight how his ACE framework should be expanded to include the most important forms of adversity for black youth.

Bernard has a master’s degree and a Ph.D. He holds a doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He completed his APA-accredited internship at the University of Miami Mailman Child Development Center and completed his postdoctoral fellowship at the Medical College of South Carolina.

Bernard’s current research focuses on:

  • Understand the interplay between racism, traumatic stress, and health, including characterizing the adverse effects of adverse childhood experiences in black and other racially marginalized youth.
  • Identify cultural risks (e.g., John-Henryism) and protective factors (e.g., racial identity) that may influence or explain the association between racism and health across key developmental periods. Identify.
  • We explore the racialized nature of the impostor phenomenon in black emerging adults, including its relationship to racism-related stressors and other culturally-relevant factors.

For more information, please contact Kori Kent (

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