Donte Bernard, Expert in Racial Disparities in Mental and Behavioral Health, to Give Colloquium

Donte Bernard, Expert in Racial Disparities in Mental and Behavioral Health, to Give Colloquium
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Donte Bernard, a University of Missouri assistant professor of clinical psychology, is a leading researcher in racial disparities in mental and behavioral health. He will discuss his work in an upcoming talk titled, "A call to action to reconceptualize adverse childhood experiences among Black youth: Missing the forest for the trees." This in-person guest presentation is hosted by the Department of Psychological Science Diversity Committee and will be held at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept 7, in Graduate Education Building room 343.

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs; e.g., verbal, physical or sexual abuse; parental divorce or incarceration; substance use or mental illness in a member of the household) are well-established risk factors for mental health problems. Unfortunately, current thinking about the role of these adverse events is from studies using mostly white samples, thus overlooking how culturally relevant forms of adversity may uniquely manifest in Black communities. Further, research largely fails to consider structural factors that put Black youth at greater risk for ACEs and negative health effects. The purpose of this talk is to highlight how the ACEs framework should be expanded to include paramount forms of adversity among Black youth.

Bernard received his M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He completed an APA-accredited internship at the University of Miami Mailman Center for Child Development and a post-doctoral fellowship at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Bernard's current research focuses include:

  • Understanding the interplay among racism, traumatic stress and health, including characterizing the harmful effects of adverse childhood experiences among Black and other racially marginalized youth.
  • Identifying cultural risk (e.g., John Henryism) and protective factors (e.g., racial identity) that may influence and/or explain the link between racism and health across critical developmental periods.
  • Investigating the racialized nature of impostor phenomenon among Black emerging adults, including its relation to racism-related stressors and other culturally relevant factors.

For more information, please contact Kori Kent (


Kori Kent, project coordinator
Department of Psychological Science


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