Emilie Phillips Smith 

photo of Emilie Smith

Professor of Human Development and Family Studies

Contact Information

Amy Gardner House
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park PA 16802


(fax) 814-863-7109



Research Interests

Emilie Smith, Ph.D is a Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at the Pennsylvania State University. She is Director of the LEGACY Together afterschool project that has reached over 75 programs and 1200 children and staff across Pennsylvania. She is the co-author of a book volume entitled, Preventing Youth Violence in a Multicultural Society.

Dr. Smith has authored numerous papers on youth and family development, with particular attention to children and families of diverse racial-ethnic and social backgrounds. She has received millions of dollars in grants to research and support youth and families with parenting, school, and community-based programs to prevent violence and substance abuse, and promote positive youth development.

She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association’s Division 27, the Society for Community Research and Action and she is an Associate Editor of their flagship journal, the American Journal of Community Psychology. She serves as a reviewer for numerous other journals and national grant review committees. She is also on the guiding committee for the State of Pennsylvania in examining quality standards for child-care settings.



B.A., 1982, with High Honors, Psychology and Afro-American Studies, Smith College, Northampton, MA
M.A., 1986, Ecological/Community Psychology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Ph.D., 1990, Ecological/Community Psychology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI


■ Associate Editor/Senior Editoral Board, American Journal of Community Psychology

■ Editorial Board, Journal of Research on Adolescence

■ Chair, Cultural and Racial Affairs, Society for Community Research and Action, (Division 27, APA).

■ Reviewer, American Journal of Community Psychology, Child Development, Journal of Adolescence, Journal of Black Psychology, Personal Relationships, Prevention Science Review

■ College of Health and Human Development, Diversity Award, 2007

■ Executive Session on Deviant Peer Contagion, Duke University Center for Child and Family Policy

■ Biennial Conference Planning Committee, Society for Community Research and Action, (Division 27, APA)

■ Guest on “What Matters” hosted by Dr. Barbara Farmer of WPSU, show on “Colorism”

■ Society for Community Research and Action’s "Women Trail-Blazers” Award (2003)

■ National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (2002) – Group Operational Research Award for developing and articulating Injury Center Research Agenda

■ National Education Association Satellite Broadcast, Secretary of Education, Dick Riley (December 1999). Expert Panelist, recognized for work with family-school programs, satellite featured video of EARLY ALLIANCE prevention program.

■ Research Fellow, Center for Policy Research in Education - A consortium between Rutgers University, Stanford University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Michigan State University

■ Pre-doctoral Research Fellowship, Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ 

Professional Experience

2008 - Present: Professor, Human Development and Family Studies, The Pennsylvania State University

2008 - 2011: Director, Center for Diverse Families and Communities, College of Health and Human Development, The Pennsylvania State University

2003 - 2008: Associate Professor, Human Development and Family Studies, The Pennsylvania State University

1999 - 2003: Senior Service Fellow, CDC/Division of Violence Prevention/Prevention Development and Evaluation Branch,

2000 - 2001: Acting Branch Chief, Prevention Development and Evaluation Branch, Division of Violence Prevention, CDC.

1998 - 2001: Associate Professor with tenure, Department of Psychology, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC.

1992 - 1998 Assistant Professor, tenure-track, Department of Psychology, University of South Carolina , Columbia, SC.

1991 - 1992 Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Michigan-Flint, Flint Michigan.

Selected Publications

The Multisite Violence Prevention Project. (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.

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.

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.

Hynes, Kathryn, Smith, Emilie Phillips, Perkins, Daniel (2009). Piloting a classroom-basedintervention in after-school programmes: a case study in science migration. Journal of Children's Services, 4(3), 4-20.

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.

Smith, E. P. (2007). The Role of Afterschool Settings in Positive Youth Development. Journal of Adolescent Health, 41(3), 219-220.

Guerra, Nancy and Smith, Emilie Phillips (2006). Preventing Youth Violence in a Multicultural Society. 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.

Smith, E. P., Wolf, A. M., Cantillon, D. M., Thomas, O., and Davidson, W. S. (2004). The Adolescent Diversion Project: 25 years of research on an ecological model of intervention. Journal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community, 27(2), 29-47.

Smith, E. P., Gorman-Smith, D. Quinn, W., Rabiner, D., Winn, D., and the Multi-site Violence Prevention Project. (2004). Community-based multiple family groups to prevent and reduce violent and aggressive behavior: The G.R.E.A.T. Families Program. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 26(1S), 39-47.

Curriculum Vitae

.pdf icon Emilie Smith vitae

Strategic Themes

  • Contexts and Social Institutions
  • Populations of Special Interest