Racial discrimination is a persistent and pernicious stressor that can have negative consequences on the mental health, academic outcomes, and well-being of youth of color. Dr. Saleem’s research examines the influence of racial stressors on the psychological health, academic success, and adjustment of African American adolescents and families. Dr. Saleem uses a strengths-based lens to understand the benefits of ethnic-racial socialization and other culturally relevant factors against racial stressors across ecological contexts and development. Her current research examines the direct and protective effects of school ethnic-racial socialization for African American and Latinx adolescents. The presentation will highlight Dr. Saleem’s program of research focused on understanding family, neighborhood, and school protective factors against racial discrimination for adolescents. Implications and future research directions will be discussed.
Dr. Farzana Saleem is a University of California Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of California Los Angeles. Dr. Saleem has a joint appointment in the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior and the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, with affiliation in the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies. She received her PhD in the Clinical-Community Psychology doctoral program at the George Washington University and completed a child and adolescent clinical internship, with a specialization in trauma, at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Dr. Saleem conducts community and school-based research focused on identifying factors across contexts that can reduce the effects of racial discrimination on the psychological adjustment of adolescents, with a focus on understanding ethnic-racial socialization in families and schools. She is interested in conducting empirical research and creating programs/interventions focused on reducing racial stress, eradicating mental health and academic racial disparities, and promoting the well-being of marginalized and racially diverse youth, families, and communities.