Emilie Smith , Ph.D.

College of Family and Consumer Sciences

Human Development and Family Science


123 Dawson Hall
305 Sanford Dr.
Athens, GA 30602


workOffice Phone: 706-542-4831

Fax: 706-542-4389

Curriculum Vitae


Degree Field of Study Institution Graduation
PhD Ecological/Community Psychology Michigan State University 1990
M.A. Psychology Michigan State University 1986
B. A. Psychology and African American Studies Smith College 1982


    My work builds upon a cultural-ecological framework to understand the ways in which family, school, and community factors influence child and youth development.  I am particularly interested in family and care-giving approaches that foster youth agency, collective efficacy, and positive identity.   I explore the complex interactions of race-ethnicity, social class, and geography.  Given increasing demands on families for work-life balance, my most current research uses mixed-methods (observation, surveys, focus groups) to examine the role of community-based afterschool settings in terms of supporting children and families through the prevention of problem behavior and the promotion of positive youth development.

I direct The Family and Community Resilience Lab.

Current Research

  Over the past 25 years I have worked on local and national large-scale projects designed to promote positive parenting, and youth development.  I have worked with programs across the country to deliver support and skills to families of children and adolescents.  Currently, I am involved in a randomized trial designed to foster quality, support, appropriate structure, engagement, and youth agency in 75 community-based afterschool settings in Pennsylvania and Georgia.  We are also testing technological approaches to supporting broad-based implementation of evidence-based practices. 


Introduction to Family Studies (graduate), Race, Ethnicity, and Families (undergraduate and graduate), Families and Communities


Afterschool Positive Youth Development Network, Bridge of Hope (support for homeless women and children), Salvation Army, Board Member

Prior Professional Positions

Organization / Department Title Years of Service
Human Development and Family Studies, The Pennsylvania State University Associate Professor/Professor 11
Prevention Development and Evaluation Bramch, Division of Violence Prevention, CDC Senior Service Fellow/Acting Branch Chief 4
Department of Psychology, The University of South Carolina Assistant/Associate Professor 10


Award Name Awarded By Year Awarded
Fellow, Division 27, American Psychological Association

Journal Articles

Selected Publications:

  • *Smalls-Glover, C. Smith, E. P. Yu, D. and Lewis, C.  (in press, 2018). Families and Community-Based Programs: Characteristics, Engagement, and Dissemination.  In Barbara Fiese (Editor) APA Handbook of Contemporary Family Psychology.
  • Smith, E. P., Osgood, D. W., Oh, Y., and Caldwell, L., (2018).  Promoting Afterschool Quality and Positive Youth Development: Cluster Randomized Trial of the Pax Good Behavior Game.  Prevention Science,19 (2), pp 159–173, doi: 10.1007/s11121-017-0820-2
  • Smith, E. P., Witherspoon, D. P., and Osgood, D. W. (2017).  Positive Youth Development among Diverse Racial-Ethnic Children:  Quality Afterschool Contexts as Developmental Assets. Special Section on Positive Youth Development in Diverse and Global Contexts.  Child Development, 88: 1063–1078. doi:10.1111/cdev.12870
  • Smith, E. P., Peterson, Anne, and Leman, Patrick, Guest Editors (2017). Special Section on Positive Youth Development in Diverse and Global Contexts.  Child Development, 88: 1039–1044. doi:10.1111/cdev.12860
  • Leman, P. J., Smith, E. P., Petersen, A. C. and SRCD Ethnic–Racial Issues and International Committees (2017), Introduction to the Special Section of Child Development on Positive Youth Development in Diverse and Global Contexts. Child Development, 88: 1039–1044. doi:10.1111/cdev.12860
  • Smith, E. P. and Bradshaw, Catherine (2017).  Nurturing Environments in Afterschool Settings.  Clinical Child and Family Psychology, 20: 117-126. doi:10.1007/s10567-017-0239-0
  • Smith, E. P., Witherspoon, D. P., Hart, M., and Davidson, W. S. (2016).  The Dynamic and Interactive Role of Theory in Community Research, Practice, and Policy.  In Meg A. Bond, Christopher B. Keys, and Irma Serrano-García, Beth Shinn (Eds) APA Handbook of Community Psychology: Volume II. Washington, D. C.:  American Psychological Association.
  • Smith, Emilie Phillips, Faulk, Monique and Sizer, Monteic (2016).  Exploring the Meso-System: The Roles of Community, Family, and Peers in Adolescent Delinquency and Positive Youth Development. Youth and Society, 48(3), 318-343.
  • Witherspoon, Dawn P., Daniels, Lisa D., Mason, Amber, and Smith, Emilie Phillips (In Press, December 2015). Racial-ethnic Identity in Context: Examining Mediation of Neighborhood Factors on Children’s Academic Adjustment.  American Journal of Community Psychology. 

  •  Smith, Emilie P., Witherspoon, D. P., and Osgood, D. W. (Accepted December 2015).  Positive Youth Development among Diverse Racial-Ethnic Children:  Quality Afterschool Contexts as Developmental Assets. Submission to the Special Section of Child Development focused on:  Positive Youth Development in Diverse and Global Contexts. 

  • Smith, E. P., Peterson, Anne, and Leman, Patrick, Guest Editors (Accepted 2015). Child Development, Special Section on Positive Youth Development in Diverse and Global Contexts. 

  • Oh, Yoonkyung, Osgood, D. Wayne, and Smith, Emilie Phillips (2015). Measuring Afterschool Quality using Settings-Level Observational Approaches.  Journal of Early Adolescence, 35, 681-713 doi:10.1177/0272431614561261
  • Smith, Emilie Phillips, Childs, Sharon, S.; McManus, Margaret, Rosen, Alison, and Rosen,Howard, R. (2014).  Top-down, Bottom-up, and Around the Jungle Gym.  A Social Processes and Networks Approaches to Building Learning Communities in Afterschool.  American Journal of Community Psychology, 53, 491–502, DOI 10.1007/s10464-014-9656-
  • Cabrera, N. J. and the SRCD Ethnic and Racial Issues Committe(2013).  Positive Development of Minority Children.  Social Policy Report, 27(2), 1-22.
  • Smith, Emilie Phillips; Osgood, D. Wayne; Caldwell, Linda C.; Hynes, Kathryn and Perkins, Daniel F.  (2013) Measuring Collective Efficacy Among Children in Community-based Afterschool:  Pathways toward Prevention and Positive Youth Development. American Journal of Community Psychology, 52, 27-40, DOI 10.1007/s10464-013-9574-6
  • Kuperminc, Gabriel K., Smith, Emilie P., and Henrich, Christopher, C. (2013).  Introduction to the Special Issue on “Social and Motivational Processes in After-School Settings:  Bridging Gaps Between Theory, Research, and Practice.”  The Journal of Early Adolescence, 33(1), 5-16.
  • Henry, D. B. and Multi-Site Violence Prevention Project (2012). Mediators of effects of a selective family-focused violence prevention approach for middle school students. Prevention Science, 13(1), 1-14. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11121-011-0245-2.
  • Halgunseth, Linda C., Carmack, C., Childs, S. S., Caldwell, L., Craig, A., Smith, Emilie Phillips (2012). Using the Interactive Systems Framework in Understanding the Relation Between General Program Capacity and Implementation in Afterschool Settings. American Journal of Community Psychology, 50, 311-320
  • Flaspohler, Paul; Lesesne, Catherine A.; Puddy, Richard W.; Smith, Emilie and Wandersman, Abraham (2012).  Advances in Bridging Research and Practice: Introduction to the Second Special Issue on the Interactive System Framework for Dissemination and Implementation.  American Journal of Community Psychology, 50, 271-281
  • Halgunseth, L., Smith, E. P., Craig, A. (2011).  Effective Parenting and Its Impact on Conduct Problems among African-American Children.  In Tammy L. Mann, Nancy E. Hill, Hiram E. Fitzgerald (Eds.)African American Children’s Mental Health: Prevention, Intervention, and Social Policy Part of a 10 volume set entitled Child Psychology and Mental Health: Cultural and Ethno-Racial Perspectives, Hiram E. Fitzgerald, General Editor. 
  • Smith, E. P., Belue, Rhonda, Richardson, Joseph. (2010). Homicide and Violence among African American Youth:  From Epidemic to Endemic? In Ronald L. Braithwaite, Sandra E. Taylor, and Henrie Treadwell (Eds.) Health Issues in the Black Community:  3rd Edition, pp. 133-155.
  • Quinn, W. H., Hall, Dan B., Smith, Emilie P., Rabiner, D. (2010).  Predictors of family participation in a multiple family group intervention for aggressive middle school students.  Journal of Community Psychology, 38(2), 227-244. 
  • The Multisite Violence Prevention Project[2]. (2010). The ecological effects of universal and selective violence prevention programs for middle school students: A randomized trial. Journal of  Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 77(3), 526-542.
  • Smith, C. O., Levine, D., Smith, E.P., Prinz, R. J., Dumas, E. (2009). The Emergence of Racial-Ethnic Identity in Children and its Role in Adjustment: A Developmental Perspective.  Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 15(2), 145–157.
  • Hynes, Kathryn, Smith, Emilie Phillips, Perkins, Daniel (2009).  Piloting a classroom-based intervention in after-school programmes: a case study in science migration.  Journal of Children’s Services, 4(3), 4-20.

[1]  The SRCD Ethnic and Racial Issues Committee (2009-2011) was comprised of (in alphabetical order) from 2009 to 2012: Natasha Cabrera (Chair), Marjorie Jane Beeghly, Christia Brown, Juan Casas, Natalia Palacios, Jean Phinney, Monica Rodriguez, Stephanie Rowley, Carlos Santos, Emilie Smith, Mia Bynum Smith, and Dawn Witherspoon. James Rodriguez participated in the Committee as the Latino Caucus representative. Emilie Smith is the current Chair.

[2] The Multisite Violence Prevention Project is a collaborative of over a dozen investigators from 4 universities (Duke University, University of Georgia, University of Illinois-Chicago, Virginia Commonwealth University) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention involved in a large-scale randomized family and school based prevention project for adolescents. 

Editorial Appointments

Position Name of Journal Year(s)
Associate Editor American Journal of Community Psychology
Guest Editor Child Development, Special Section on Positive Youth Development in Diverse and Global Contexts




Guerra, Nancy and Smith, Emilie Phillips (2006).  Preventing Youth Violence in a Multicultural Society.  Washington, D.C.:  American Psychological Association.

Smith, E. P., Boutte, G. S., Zigler, E., and Finn-Stevenson, Matia. (2004). Opportunities for Schools to Promote Resilience in Children and Youth.  In K. I. Maton, C. J. Schellenbach, B. J. Leadbetter and A. L. Solarz  (Eds.) Investing in children, youth,  families, and communities:  Strengths-based research and policy.  Washington, D. C.:  American Psychological Association.

Smith, E. P., Dumas, J.E., Prinz, R. J. (2006).  Prevention Approaches to Improve Child and Adolescent Behavior and Reduce Deviant Peer Influence. In K. Dodge, T. Dishion, and Jennfier Lansford (Eds), Deviant Peer Influences in Programs for Youth:  Problems and Solutions.  New York:  Guilldford Press, pp. 296-311.