Office & Hours
Office: SZB 506J
Hours: By appointment



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Courses of Instruction
Fall Semesters:
EDP 362 Psychology of the African American Experience
EDP 385  Individual through the Life Cycle
Spring Semesters:
EDP 385 Adolescent Psychosocial Development
EDP 363M 5-Psychological Development of Black Women

Mailing Address
The University of Texas at Austin
Educational Psychology
1912 Speedway, Stop D5800
Austin, TX 78712-1289

Full Vita
download vita (pdf)


Note: Dr. Bentley-Edwards is not accepting new doctoral students for the 2016-2017 academic year. The research of Dr. Keisha Bentley-Edwards focuses on the racial experiences of youth. In particular, she examines how cultural strengths can be used to minimize the negative outcomes related to bullying, racism stress, violence and aggression, and community stressors. Dr. Bentley-Edwards has co-developed measurements of racial/ethnic socialization and developed assessments of racial cohesion and perceptions of same-race violence in the Black community. These culturally relevant measures ascertain how racial experiences influence youth health and academic outcomes. Dr. Bentley-Edwards also examines racial socialization in White families, and how these conversations impede or facilitate healthy interracial relationships. As a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Connection Scholar, Dr. Bentley-Edwards currently studies the assessment, treatment, and socialization processes of Black children who experience bullying.


B.S., Psychology, Howard University, 1997

M.A., Developmental Psychology, Columbia University, Teacher’s College, 2000

Graduate Certificate in Africana Studies, University of Pennsylvania, 2007

Ph.D., Applied Psychology and Human Development/Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Development, University of Pennsylvania, 2009

Representative Publications

Bentley-Edwards, K. L., Agonafer, E., Edmondson, R., & Flannigan, A. (In Press). If I can do for my people, I can do for myself: Examining racial factors for their influence on goal efficacy for Black college students. Journal of College Student Development.

Bentley-Edwards, K. L. (2014). Hope, agency or disconnect: Scale construction for measures of Black racial cohesion and dissonance. Journal of Black Psychology. Advance online publication.

Bentley-Edwards, K. L., & Chapman-Hilliard, C. (2014). Doing race in different places: Black racial cohesion on Black and White college campuses. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education. Advance online publication.

Bartoli, E., Bentley-Edwards, K. L., Michael, A., Garcia, A. M., & Ervin, A. (In Press). What do White counselors need to know about race?: White racial socialization in counselor education programs. Women & Therapy.

Bentley-Edwards, K. L., & Adams-Bass, V. N. (2013). The Whole Picture: Examining Black women through the life span. In H. O. A. Jackson Lowman (Ed.), Afrikan American women: Living at the crossroads of race, gender, class, and culture (pp. 189-201): Cognella Press.

Adams-Bass, V. N., Bentley-Edwards, K. L., & Stevenson, H. C. (2014). That’s not me I see on TV: African American youth interpret media images of Black females. Women, Gender and Families of Color, 2(1), 79-100.

Recent Awards

  • Member, University of Texas at Austin, Society for Teaching Excellence, 2011—Present
  • University of Texas at Austin Dean’s Fellowship, 2013-2014
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Connections Symposium Attendee & Travel Award, 2013

Current Research Projects and Grants

Identifying culturally appropriate bullying assessments to address disparities in assessment and treatment of African American bullies and victims

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-New Connections, Junior Investigators Grant.

This project addresses the gap in research literature and practice regarding Bullying and African American youth. I am conducting an extensive review of the literature to ascertain the degree to which African American youth are included in bullying assessment and intervention efforts, as well as the socialization youth receive about bullying from family, teachers and their communities.

Using Cultural Strengths To Combat The Deleterious Effects Of Same-Race Violence.

University of Texas at Austin College of Education Dean's Fellowship.

This project investigates racial socialization and racial cohesion for its ability to mediate the relationship between same-race violence exposure and negative outcomes. This project includes the piloting of a measure of same-race violence.

Research Interests and Expertise

The majority of Dr. Keisha Bentley-Edwards’ research focuses on racialized day-to-day experiences ranging from overt racism and bullying to the institutional barriers that may compromise paths to healthy lives and success in school. She is interested in how cultural strengths can be used to promote resiliency, particularly in Black children into their adulthood. Most recently, Dr. Bentley-Edwards has studied the unique bullying experiences of African American children.

Within the broader field of African American psychology, Dr. Bentley-Edwards is particularly interested in Black racial cohesion, Black women’s psychology, disciplinary practices, culturally relevant assessment, the effects of at-risk neighborhoods on youth, how youth react to racism and racial stress, and the preschool to prison pipeline disparate.