Robert Motley, PhD, research examines the intersection of racism, violence, and trauma for Black emerging adults ages 18-29 and associated mental and behavioral outcomes. Robert looks to identify risk and protective factors that can be targeted by behavioral health prevention and intervention programs for this population.

For his dissertation project, he employed both qualitative and quantitative methods to examine the relationship between exposure to perceived racism-based police use of force, racism-based trauma symptoms, and substance use in a sample of Black emerging adults. Robert applied for and was awarded grants from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (F31MD013386), and Fahs-Beck Fund for Research and Experimentation to complete his dissertation.

As a National Institute of Mental Health (T-32) Pre-doctoral Fellow, Robert received extensive training in grant review and development. He currently serves as the lab manager for the Race and Opportunity lab at the Brown School and external reviewer for Perspectives on Social Work, a Ph.D. student-run social work journal of the Graduate College of Social Work at the University of Houston. In addition, Robert coordinates the speaker series for the Journal Club on Race in Science at the Brown School, an interdisciplinary group of doctoral students, postdocs and faculty who critically examine racial statistics, ethnicity, and culture in social and behavioral research.

Robert received a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago Jane Addams College of Social Work, with training and support from the Diversifying Faculty in Illinois Fellowship (DFI), and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work from Northeastern Illinois University. Robert has presented research findings at national scientific conferences and submitted manuscripts that were accepted for publication in peer-reviewed journals.


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Media: Research in the News