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; youth community organizing

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, we are interested in studying school and community-based programs that empower young people and promote social-emotional learning. Some additional lab research topics include school-based mental health services, mental health stigma, positive affect, youth community organizing, and youth engagement in climate activism.


  • Schwartz, S. E. O., Kanchewa, S., Rhodes, J., Gowdy, G., Stark, A., Horn, J. P., Parnes, M., Spencer, R. (2018). "I'm having a little struggle with this, can you help me out?": Examining impacts and processes of a social capital intervention for first-generation college students. American Journal of Community Psychology, 61(1-2), 166-178. DOI: 10.1002/ajcp.12206

  • Austin, L. J., Schwartz, S. (2018). Addressing mental health stigma in early adolescence: Middle school anti stigma interventions. Adolescent Research Review. DOI: 10.1007/s40894-018-0101-8

  • Schwartz, S., Rhodes, J. (2016). From treatment to empowerment: New approaches to youth mentoring. American Journal of Community Psychology, 58, 150-157. DOI: 10.1002/ajcp.12070Schwartz, 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