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Krista Mehari

Assistant Professor

Dr. Krista Mehari is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and Human Development at Vanderbilt University and a licensed clinical psychologist. Dr. Mehari’s work focuses on improving the safety and well-being of youth from minoritized groups in overburdened, underresourced communities, with a specific focus on youth violence and firearm injury prevention. She leverages participatory action research to partner with communities with the goal of improving the impact and relevance of school- and community-based violence prevention and positive youth development strategies. Dr. Mehari has a strong interest in social-cultural factors that predict or prevent youth violence. Another interest is the effective and culturally responsive measurement of violence and associated predictors. Her work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The John Templeton Foundation, the Government of India, the Walmart Foundation, and others.

Representative Publications

Mehari, K. R., Jeffrey, A., Chastang, C. M., & Schnitker, S. A. (2023). Transdisciplinary participatory action research: How philosophers, psychologists, and practitioners can work (well) together to promote adolescent character development within context. The Journal of Positive Psychology. Online first. DOI: 10.1080/17439760.2023.2179933

Mehari, K. R., Jeffrey, A., Chastang, M., Blanton, M. A., & Currier, J. M. (2023). Impact of a participatory action approach to virtue promotion among early adolescents. Journal of Positive Psychology. Online first.

Mehari, K. R., Beulah, B.,* Paskewich, B., Leff, S., & Waasdorp, T. E. (2022). Cyberbullying and empathy among late-elementary school children. International Journal of Bullying Prevention. Online first.

Mehari, K. R., Rodgers, C. R. R., Blanton, M. A.,* & Turner, L. A. (2021). Evaluation of a police training on de-escalation with trauma-exposed youth. International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice, 66, 1-12.

Mehari, K. R., & Doty, J. L. (2021). Bullying conceptualization in context: Research and practical implications. Human Development. Online first publication. doi: 10.1159/000516839

Mehari, K. R., Iyengar, S., Schneider, M.,* Berg, K. L., & Bennett, A. (2021). Adverse childhood experiences among children with neurodevelopmental delays: Relations to diagnoses, behavioral health, and clinical severity. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings. Online first publication.

Sharma, D., Mehari, K.R., Doty, J. L., Sharma, N., Wisniewski, P. & Sharma, N. (Eds.). (2022). Cyberbullying and digital safety: Applying global research to youth in India. University of Florida Library Press. Open access available at


Society for Prevention Research, 2023 ECPN John B. Reid Early Career Award
Society for Prevention Research, Early Career Mentoring Program Fellow
University of South Alabama College of Arts and Sciences, Junior Faculty Award for Scholarship and Academic Achievement
Virginia Commonwealth University, Outstanding Clinical Child Track Graduate Student Award
Virginia Commonwealth University, Black History in the Making Award
Psi Chi, National Undergraduate Research Award
Hope College, Jennifer Young Award in Creative Writing and Literature
Psi Chi, Regional Research Award
Hope College, C. James Stringer Memorial Award