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

2021-22 Courses

Stanford Advisees

  • Doctoral (Program)
    Javier Omar

All Publications

  • Interrupting the Pathway From Discrimination to Black Adolescents' Psychosocial Outcomes: The Contribution of Parental Racial Worries and Racial Socialization Competency. Child development Anderson, R. E., Jones, S. C., Saleem, F. T., Metzger, I., Anyiwo, N., Nisbeth, K. S., Bess, K. D., Resnicow, K., Stevenson, H. C. 2021


    Racial discrimination can lead to psychosocial problems for Black adolescents, including internalization (e.g., depression) and externalization (e.g., conduct problems). Black parents (N=186; Mage =42.9) of adolescents (ages 10-18) were assessed to investigate how parental worries and racial socialization competency (i.e., confidence, skills, and stress) contribute to the association between parental discrimination experiences and their adolescents' psychosocial problems. Mediation analyses indicated that the total direct models with discrimination, worries, and problems had good fit, and that the addition of worry mediated the discrimination-problems association. Furthermore, racial socialization competency moderated the association between worry and problems, wherein greater competency was associated with less impact of worry on problems. Findings illuminate potential intervention targets for buffering discrimination's influence on adolescents' psychosocial functioning.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/cdev.13607

    View details for PubMedID 34131912

  • Ethnic-racial Socialization, Perceived Neighborhood Quality, and Psychosocial Adjustment among African American and Caribbean Black Adolescents JOURNAL OF RESEARCH ON ADOLESCENCE Lambert, S. F., Rose, T., Saleem, F. T., Caldwell, C. H. 2020


    Ethnic-racial socialization is employed by ethnic minority parents to support their children's psychosocial adjustment. These socialization messages may be associated differently with psychosocial adjustment for Black youth according to ethnicity and qualities of the neighborhood context. This research examined whether associations between ethnic-racial socialization messages and psychosocial adjustment vary by ethnicity and perceived neighborhood quality in a nationally representative sample of Black adolescents who participated in the National Survey of American Life Adolescent supplement study. The effects of promotion of mistrust messages varied by ethnicity, and the effects of egalitarianism messages varied depending on perceived neighborhood quality. These findings help clarify prior research which has yielded equivocal results for the effects of these messages for Black youth's psychosocial adjustment.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/jora.12586

    View details for Web of Science ID 000578898200001

    View details for PubMedID 33070434

  • Examining Changes in African American Mothers' Racial Socialization Patterns During Adolescence: Racial Discrimination as a Predictor DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY Saleem, F. T., Lambert, S. F., Stock, M. L., Gibbons, F. X. 2020; 56 (8): 1610–22


    Racial socialization is a culturally relevant parenting strategy known to combat the detrimental consequences of racial discrimination for African American youth. Three limitations hinder our developmental understanding of the racial socialization process. Few studies have accounted for the combination of messages that primary caregivers convey, examined how these messages change over time, or investigated how caregivers and adolescents experiences with racial discrimination predict change in the combination of messages conveyed. Given that African American mothers are often the primary socializers in families, the current study used data from a community sample of 497 African American adolescents (52% Female; Time 1 Mage = 15.69; Time 2 Mage = 18.74) and their mothers (Time 1 Mage = 40.43; Time 2 Mage = 43.39) to identify patterns in mothers' racial socialization messages, identify how mothers' racial socialization patterns change from middle to late adolescence, and investigate whether mother- and adolescent-reported racial discrimination contribute to changes in mothers' racial socialization patterns. Latent profile analysis and latent transition analysis were used to examine these questions. Findings revealed three racial socialization patterns: balanced socializers who mistrust, cultural socialization and preparation for bias emphasizers, and low racial socializers. Most mothers were in the low racial socializers group, and most provided similar messages in middle and late adolescence. Mothers' reports of their own racial discrimination influenced the racial socialization messages mothers delivered; however, adolescent-reported racial discrimination did not. These results have implications for community-based interventions designed to help families manage racial discrimination. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).

    View details for DOI 10.1037/dev0000993

    View details for Web of Science ID 000562139400016

    View details for PubMedID 32614209

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7717590

  • Addressing the "Myth" of Racial Trauma: Developmental and Ecological Considerations for Youth of Color CLINICAL CHILD AND FAMILY PSYCHOLOGY REVIEW Saleem, F. T., Anderson, R. E., Williams, M. 2020; 23 (1): 1–14


    Trauma is prevalent among children and adolescents, with youth of color generally reporting greater exposure compared to White youth. One factor that may account for this difference is racial stress, which can manifest into trauma symptoms. Although racial stress and trauma (RST) significantly impacts youth of color, most of the research to date has focused on adult populations. In addition, little attention has been given to the impact of the ecological context in how youth encounter and cope with RST. As such, we propose the Developmental and Ecological Model of Youth Racial Trauma (DEMYth-RT), a conceptual model of how racial stressors manifest to influence the trauma symptomatology of children and adolescents of color. Within developmental periods, we explore how individual, family, and community processes influence youth's symptoms and coping. We also discuss challenges to identifying racial trauma in young populations according to clinician limitations and the post-traumatic stress disorder framework within the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders-fifth edition (DSM-5). The article concludes with implications on applying DEMYth-RT in clinical and research settings to address RST for youth of color.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s10567-019-00304-1

    View details for Web of Science ID 000494150200001

    View details for PubMedID 31641920

  • Neighborhood social processes as moderators between racial discrimination and depressive symptoms for African American adolescents JOURNAL OF COMMUNITY PSYCHOLOGY Saleem, F. T., Busby, D. R., Lambert, S. F. 2018; 46 (6): 747–61

    View details for DOI 10.1002/jcop.21970

    View details for Web of Science ID 000438345600005