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Shardé McNeil Smith is an assistant professor of African American Studies and an affiliate faculty member of Human Development and Family Studies. She earned her M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Purdue University-Calumet and Ph.D. in Family Relations from Florida State University. Her research focuses on the effects of social stress exposure on mental and behavioral health outcomes within the African American family context and the role of social support as a protective factor. A primary area of her research focuses on the intra- and interpersonal effects of racial discrimination on mental health in the parent-child and the couple context.

Overall, findings from her research demonstrate within-group variation in how stress exposure impacts the African American family’s mental and behavioral health and highlights the need to go beyond between-group differences.