Dr. Saleem is an Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University. She earned her PhD in Clinical-Community Psychology from the George Washington University and completed an APA accredited internship, with a specialization in trauma, at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Dr. Saleem’s research examines the influence of racial stressors and culturally relevant practices on the psychological health, academic success, and well-being of Black adolescents and other youth of color. Dr. Saleem uses a strengths-focused and community-based lens in her research to study contextual nuance in the process and benefits of ethnic-racial socialization. She also explores factors in the family, school, and community contexts that can help youth manage the consequences of racial stress and trauma. Her current studies examine the utilization and benefits of ethnic-racial socialization across the school ecology. Dr. Saleem uses her research in each of these areas to inform the development and adaptation of programs and school-based interventions focused on managing racial stressors, eradicating mental health and academic racial disparities, and promoting resilience among historically marginalized and racially diverse children and adolescents. Dr. Saleem is a visiting scholar to the American Psychological Association RESilience Initiative and serves in other positions focused on inclusion, equity and social justice. Prior to coming to Stanford, Dr. Saleem was a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow and a University of California Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California Los Angeles in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies and the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, with affiliation in the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies.

Academic Appointments

Professional Education

  • PhD, George Washington University, Clinical-Community Psychology
  • B.A., Georgia State University, Psychology

Research Interests

  • Adolescence
  • Child Development
  • Diversity and Identity
  • Equity in Education
  • Parents and Family Issues
  • Psychology
  • Race and Ethnicity

2023-24 Courses

Stanford Advisees

All Publications

  • A qualitative analysis of black mother preparation for bias messages following incidents of racism-related violence. Journal of family psychology : JFP : journal of the Division of Family Psychology of the American Psychological Association (Division 43) Bernard, D. L., Saleem, F. T., Moreland, A. D., Shacklewood, C., Danielson, C. K. 2023


    Preparation for bias messages (PFB), represent a specific form of racial socialization, used to inform youth about racism and how to cope with racism-related adversity. Although research commonly examines how frequently PFB are delivered to children, few studies have qualitatively explored the heterogeneity in the content of such messages, making it difficult to ascertain how caregivers prepare and coach their children to negotiate incidents of racism-related violence. To address this gap in the literature, the present study qualitatively examined the content of PFB given to Black children from their mothers following high-profile incidents of anti-Black violence. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 12 mothers (Mage = 41.91) of Black children to explore how parental concerns regarding their children's safety inform the content of their PFB. Using thematic analysis, two primary themes emerged. The first theme related to psychosocial factors among caregivers that precipitated PFB (i.e., awareness of anti-Black violence, worry about the child being a victim). The second theme pertained to the different types of PFB that caregivers provided to their children (i.e., awareness of racial biases, strategies to navigate discriminatory encounters). Overall findings support and extend extant racial socialization research and have important implications for how Black youth come to understand the significance of race and racism in the aftermath of racism-related violence. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved).

    View details for DOI 10.1037/fam0001162

    View details for PubMedID 37917492

  • Ethnic-Racial Socialization, Teacher Discrimination, and Black Youth's School Engagement and Achievement. Prevention science : the official journal of the Society for Prevention Research Lambert, S. F., Saleem, F. T., Liu, C., Rose, T. 2023


    Ethnic-racial socialization is one strategy Black parents use to support their children's school engagement and academic achievement given the occurrence and toxic effects of discrimination. Egalitarianism and preparation for bias socialization messages have yielded mixed evidence of promotive and protective effects for Black youth's school outcomes, and effects may vary according to ethnicity. Thus, this research examined associations between ethnic-racial socialization messages and school engagement and achievement, and whether these messages protected against teacher discrimination effects on academic achievement transmitted through school engagement, among a nationally representative sample of Black adolescents who participated in the National Survey of American Life Adolescent supplement study. Ethnic-racial socialization message content and the frequency of communication about race demonstrated different associations with engagement (i.e., school bonding, aspiration-expectation discrepancy, and disciplinary actions) and achievement (i.e., grades) for African American and Caribbean Black youth. However, the benefits were not sufficient to combat the adverse effects of teacher discrimination on school engagement and, in turn, achievement. These findings highlight the utility of integrating ethnic-racial socialization into prevention programs to support Black youth's school experiences; demonstrate the importance of attention to heterogeneity within Black youth; and underscore the critical need for prevention programs to address teacher discrimination.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11121-023-01551-z

    View details for PubMedID 37284932

    View details for PubMedCentralID 6210327

  • Ethnic-Racial Socialization, Family Climate, and Anxiety Among African American and Latinx Emerging Adults JOURNAL OF FAMILY PSYCHOLOGY Saleem, F. T., Tyrell, F., Liu, L., He, S. 2023


    Ethnic-racial socialization (ERS) is an essential strategy that families of color utilize to discuss race, racism, and promote ethnic-racial pride. These strategies are necessary to help youth navigate a racialized world, particularly in emerging adulthood as youth transition away from home. There are mixed findings about the psychological benefits of messages focused on racial barriers, which raise questions about whether certain ERS messages may elicit anxiety symptoms and if there are conditions (e.g., family climate) under which ERS messages are most beneficial. Further, the interplay between ERS and family climate may vary across ethnic-racial groups. Thus, the present study examined the associations between ERS (i.e., cultural socialization, preparation for bias, promotion of mistrust) and anxiety symptoms, and whether the moderating effects of family climate (i.e., cohesion, conflict) varied for 142 African American (AA; 83% women) and 275 Latinx (LX; 70.5% women) college students (M = 18.89, SD = 1.06). Cultural socialization and family cohesion were negatively associated with anxiety symptoms, while promotion of mistrust and family conflict were positively associated with anxiety symptoms. Preparation for bias was not associated with anxiety symptoms. For both AA and LX youth who reported high family cohesion, cultural socialization was associated with lower anxiety symptoms. Additionally, among AA youth who reported high levels of family conflict, cultural socialization was associated with lower levels of anxiety symptoms. The findings have important implications for understanding the unique and interactive effects of ERS and family climate on anxiety symptoms for AA and LX emerging adults. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved).

    View details for DOI 10.1037/fam0001080

    View details for Web of Science ID 000957347500001

    View details for PubMedID 36951714

  • Examining school ethnic-racial socialization in the link between race-related stress and academic well-being among African American and Latinx adolescents. Journal of school psychology Saleem, F., Legette, K. B., Byrd, C. M. 2022; 91: 97-111


    Experiences with race-related stressors at school are linked to negative academic consequences, such as lowered belonging and engagement. One factor known to buffer racial stressors is ethnic-racial socialization (ERS). Although students receive ERS messages in school, less is known about how school ERS may reduce the negative consequences of school race-related stress (SRS) on youth's academic outcomes. To date no studies have examined the moderating effects of school ERS on SRS and whether the associations vary for African American and Latinx youth. Thus, the current study examined the direct effects of SRS and school ERS on youth's academic well-being, the moderating role of school ERS against SRS, and whether these associations varied for African American and Latinx youth. Multiple group regression analysis with 221 African American and 219 Latinx adolescents demonstrated that SRS was negatively associated with the academic outcomes. Cultural socialization was associated with more positive outcomes. Furthermore, there were significant interactions between SRS and color-evasive socialization, such that SRS was associated with lower belonging at higher compared to lower levels of color-evasive messages. Additionally, SRS was associated with less school engagement for those who reported high color-evasive socialization messages, but there was no association for those who reported low color-evasive messages. The results indicate that color-evasive school ERS messages can exacerbate the negative associations between SRS and academic well-being for both African American and Latinx youth and highlight how school racialized experiences may have unique or similar effects across groups. Implications for culturally relevant school practices and interventions are discussed.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jsp.2022.01.001

    View details for PubMedID 35190082

  • Resilience and Family Socialization Processes in Ethnic Minority Youth: Illuminating the Achievement-Health Paradox. Clinical child and family psychology review Doan, S. N., Yu, S. H., Wright, B., Fung, J., Saleem, F., Lau, A. S. 2022


    Youth in marginalized communities who "strive" to rise above adversity, including systemic racism and poverty, are considered "resilient." African-American, Latinx, and Asian-American youth often achieve admirable academic success despite limited social capital and high early life stress by adopting a "striving persistent behavioral style" (SPBS). SPBS may be supported by family socialization processes that facilitate reliance on self-regulation processes. Unfortunately, a young person's resilience in one domain (i.e., academic) can come at a cost in other domains, including physical and mental health morbidities that are under-identified and under-treated. Indeed, research suggests a link between SPBS in the face of adversity and later health morbidities among ethnic minority youth. Herein, we describe SPBS as an adaptation to minority stress that not only promotes social mobility but may also stoke physical and mental health disparities. We review how family processes related to academic, emotional, and ethnic-racial socialization can facilitate the striving persistent behavioral style. We emphasize the double bind that ethnic minority families are caught in and discuss directions for future research and clinical implications for individual and family-level interventions. While needed, we argue that individual and family-level interventions represent a near-term work around. Solutions and factors that shape the need for SPBS and its cost must be addressed structurally.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s10567-022-00389-1

    View details for PubMedID 35201542

  • Ethnic-Racial Socialization as a Moderator of Associations Between Discrimination and Psychosocial Well-Being Among African American and Caribbean Black Adolescents CULTURAL DIVERSITY & ETHNIC MINORITY PSYCHOLOGY Saleem, F., Lambert, S., Rose, T. 2022


    Discrimination can have debilitating effects on Black adolescents' psychosocial well-being. Ethnic-racial socialization (ERS) is crucial in helping youth manage racial discrimination and its adverse effects. However, little is known about how ERS can be beneficial against discrimination for subgroups of Black youth, despite evidence that culture and nationality may influence how adults prepare youth for discrimination. The present study examined if associations between discrimination and psychosocial well-being outcomes, and the moderating effects of ERS, varied by ethnicity for African American (AA) and Caribbean Black (CB) adolescents.Participants were 1,170 Black adolescents, 810 (AA); 360 (CB), who participated in the National Survey of American Life Adolescent supplement study. Multigroup analysis was applied to examine the moderating effects of ERS for AA and CB adolescents.For CB adolescents who reported high preparation for bias, discrimination was associated with fewer mastery beliefs, and the positive association between discrimination and perceived stress was stronger at higher levels of preparation for bias. Additionally, the negative association between discrimination and John Henryism active coping was stronger for youth who reported high egalitarian messages.Findings indicate that preparation for bias messages differentially influences the effects of discrimination on stress and mastery for AA and CB adolescents. The results highlight the importance of exploring ethnic heterogeneity of ERS. Implications for psychosocial well-being are discussed. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).

    View details for DOI 10.1037/cdp0000521

    View details for Web of Science ID 000747997800001

    View details for PubMedID 35099209

  • Unpacking school ethnic-racial socialization: A new conceptual model JOURNAL OF SOCIAL ISSUES Saleem, F. T., Byrd, C. M. 2021; 77 (4): 1106-1125

    View details for DOI 10.1111/josi.12498

    View details for Web of Science ID 000734164100009

  • Understanding and addressing racial stress and trauma in schools: A pathway toward resistance and healing PSYCHOLOGY IN THE SCHOOLS Saleem, F. T., Howard, T. C., Langley, A. K. 2021

    View details for DOI 10.1002/pits.22615

    View details for Web of Science ID 000714909800001