Sarah Schwartz, PhD

Assistant Professor, Psychology

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  • PhD, University of Massachusetts Boston
  • MEd, Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • BA, Brown University

Internship: Riverbend Community Mental Health
Postdoctoral Fellowship: Cambridge Health Alliance/Harvard Medical School

Specialty Areas

Adolescent risk and resilience; school- and community-based intervention and prevention programs; youth mentoring; positive youth development; transition to adulthood

The goal of my research is to identify, develop, and evaluate effective strategies to foster healthy developmental outcomes during adolescence and the transition to adulthood, particularly among marginalized populations. I am broadly interested in positive youth development approaches, with an emphasis on interventions that leverage the power of mentoring relationships and networks of support. I recently was awarded funding from the William T Grant Foundation to evaluate an intervention designed to teach first-generation college students to cultivate mentoring relationships and social capital during the transition to college. More generally, I am interested in school and community-based programming and social emotional learning. For example, in collaboration with the Center for Restorative Justice at Suffolk, I am investigating restorative justice practices among system-involved youth and families as well as in school settings. Additional research topics include youth activism, school-based mental health services, and out-of-school learning.


  • Schwartz, S. E. O. & Rhodes, J. (2016). From treatment to empowerment: New approaches to youth mentoring. American Journal of Community Psychology. Manuscript in press. DOI: 10.1002/ajcp.12070
  • Schwartz, S. E. O., Kanchewa, S. S., Rhodes, J. E., Cutler, E., Cunningham, J. (2016). “I didn’t know you could just ask:” Empowering underrepresented college-bound students to recruit academic and career mentors. Children and Youth Services Review, 64, 51-59. DOI: 10.1016/j/childyouth/2016.03.001
  • Schwartz, S. E. O., Rhodes, J. E., Spencer, R., & Grossman, J. B. (2013). Youth initiated mentoring: Investigating a new approach to working with vulnerable adolescents. American Journal of Community Psychology, 52, 155-169. DOI: 10.1007/s10464-013-9585-3
  • Schwartz, S. E. O., & Suyemoto, K. L. (2013). Participant impacts and processes of change within a youth community organizing program. Journal of Community Psychology, 41, 341-358. DOI: 10.1002/jcop.21541
  • Schwartz, S. E. O., Rhodes, J. E., Chan, C. S., & Herrera, C. (2011). The impact of school-based mentoring on youths with different relational profiles. Developmental Psychology, 47, 450-462. DOI: 10.1037/a0021379
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Courses Taught

  • PSYCH 249 - Introduction to Lifespan Development
  • PSYCH 321 - Introduction to Counseling Skills
  • PSYCH 336 - Developmental Psychopathology
  • PSYCH 749 - Lifespan Development