(Currently on faculty leave | Not accepting graduate students)
Mia Smith-Bynum, PhD is Professor of Family Science in the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland, College Park. A clinical psychologist by training, Dr. Smith-Bynum directs the Black Families Research Group and is an expert in African American mental health, family interaction and communication in ethnic minority families, parenting and racial identity. She also has expertise in adolescent mental health, adolescent sexual behavior and parent-adolescent communication about difficult topics.
SPH | Room 1142
Areas of Interest
Parenting; Racial Socialization; Adolescent Development; Mental Health; Black Families
Lab Webpage: Black Families Research Group
Mia A. Smith-Bynum, PhD, is Professor of Family Science in the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland, College Park. A clinical psychologist by training, Dr. Smith-Bynum is an expert in African American mental health, family interaction and communication in ethnic minority families, parenting and racial identity. She also has expertise in adolescent mental health, adolescent sexual behavior and parent-adolescent communication about difficult topics.
Dr. Smith-Bynum earned a bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the Department of Psychology at the University of Virginia. She completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in child and family development at the University of Georgia before joining the faculty in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Purdue University in 2001.
In 2008, Dr. Smith-Bynum was promoted to Associate Professor of Psychological Sciences. She joined the Department of Family Science at the University of Maryland in 2010 where she is currently Director of the Black Families Research Group. She was promoted to Professor in 2021. Her research has been supported by external grants from several entities, including the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Her work is published in several professional research journals in psychology and family studies.
She is the Past Chair (2027-2019, 2019-2021) of the Black Caucus of the Society for Research in Child Development. While on faculty leave, she is currently the Senior Director for Science Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion at the American Psychological Association.
PhD, Clinical Psychology University of Virginia (1999)
M.A. Clinical Psychology University of Virginia (1996)
B.A. Psychology with Honors University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (1993)
Postdoctoral Fellow University of Georgia, Center for Family Research (1999-2001)
FMSC 330 Family Theories and Patterns
FMSC 420 African American Families
FMSC 606 Ethnic Families & Health Disparities
HNUH 248A Identity, Places, & Spaces (University Honors | 2020-2022 Lead Faculty Fellow)
2011 Outstanding Mentor, Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program,
University of Maryland-College Park
2015 Fellow, American Psychological Association, Division 43: Society of Family Psychology
2015 Rosa Parks Labor of Love Award, Nyumburu Cultural Center, University of Maryland-College Park
2016 Recipient, Faculty Minority Achievement Award, President’s Commission on Ethnic Minority Issues,
University of Maryland-College Park
2016 Recipient, Jerry P. Wrenn Outstanding Service Award, School of Public Health, University of Maryland
2017 Recipient, Doris W. Sands Excellence in Teaching Award, School of Public Health, University of Maryland
2020 Selected Participant, Women’s Leadership Institute, American Psychological Association
#Ahn, L. H., #Dunbar, A. S., #Coates, E. E., & Smith-Bynum, M. A. (2021). Cultural and Universal Parenting, Ethnic Identity, and Internalizing Symptoms Among African American Adolescents. Journal of Black Psychology, 47(8), 695–717. https://doi.org/10.1177/00957984211034290
#Dunbar, A. S., #HaRim Ahn, L., #Coates, E. E., & Smith-Bynum, M. A. (2021). Observed dyadic racial socialization disrupts the association between frequent discriminatory experiences and emotional reactivity among Black adolescents. Child Development, 00, 1– 19. https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.13680
Kelly, S., Jeremie‐Brink, G., Chambers, A.L., Smith‐Bynum, M.A. (2020), The Black Lives Matter Movement: A call to action for couple and family therapists. Family Process.
#Davis Tribble, B. L., #Allen, S. H., #Hart, J. R., #Francois, T. S., & Smith-Bynum, M. A. (2019). “No [right] way to be a Black woman”: Exploring gendered racial socialization among Black women. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 43, 381-397.
#Hart, J. R., Coates, E. & Smith-Bynum, M. A. (2019). Parenting style and mother-adolescent relationship quality in African American mother-adolescent dyads. Parenting: Science and Practice, 19, 318-340.
Chae, D. H., Powell, W. A., Nuru-Jeter, A., Smith-Bynum, M. A., Forman, T., & Sellers, R. M. (2017). The role of racial identity and implicit racial bias in self-reported racial discrimination: Implications for depression among African American men. Journal of Black Psychology, 43, 789-812.
#Davis, B. L., Smith-Bynum, M. A., #Saleem, F. T., #Francois, T, & Lambert, S. F. (2017). Racial socialization, private regard, and behavior problems in African American youth: Global self-esteem as a mediator. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 13, 64-71.
Smith-Bynum, M. A., #Anderson, R. E., #Davis, B. L., #Franco, M. G., & #English, D. (2016). Observed racial socialization and maternal positive emotions in African American mother–adolescent discussions about racial discrimination. Child Development, 87, 1926-1939.
#Henry, J. S., Lambert, S. F., & Smith Bynum, M. (2015). The protective role of maternal racial socialization for African American adolescents exposed to community violence. Journal of Family Psychology, 29, 548-557.
Smith-Bynum, M. A., Lambert, S. F., #English, D., & Ialongo, N. S. (2014). Associations between trajectories of perceived racial discrimination and psychological symptoms among African American adolescents. Development and Psychopathology, 26, 1049-1065.
Bynum, M. S., #Best, C., Barnes, S. L., & #Burton, E. T. (2008). Private regard, identity protection and perceived racism among African American Males. Journal of African American Studies, 12, 142-155.
Bynum, M. S., Burton, E. T., & Best, C. (2007). Racism experiences and psychological functioning in African American college freshmen: Is racial socialization a moderator? Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 13, 64-71.
#Denotes student or protegé coauthor
Selected Speaking Engagements:
UMD Anti-Racism Teach-In #1 June 11, 2020 (YouTube Video)
Incorporating Racial Socialization into Clinical Practice (YouTube Video)
- Companion to: Kelly, S., Jeremie‐Brink, G., Chambers, A.L., Smith‐Bynum, M.A. (2020), The Black Lives Matter Movement: A call to action for couple and family therapists. Family Process.
African American Boys: Moving Beyond Stereotypes, Harnessing Their Potential (Joint Conference of the Educational Testing Service & the Children's Defense Fund, 2012)
Remarks on killing of Trayvon Martin and the Importance of Racial Socialization
Selected Press Clippings:
Smith, N. (2018, March 22). Why are Black children are committing suicide? Atlanta Black Star. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2020/05/22/we-need-more-white-parents-talk-their-kids-about-race-especially-now/
White-Cummings, C. (2020, May 22). We need more white parents to talk to their kids about race. Especially now. Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2020/05/22/we-need-more-white-parents-talk-their-kids-about-race-especially-now/
D’Arcy, J. (2012, November 7). Parenting through the non-post-racial post-election. Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-parenting/post/parenting-through-the-non-post-racial-post-election/2012/11/07/90ba15c0-28fa-11e2-bab2-eda299503684_blog.html