Shauna M. Cooper
Shauna M. Cooper
Equity Scholar
Principal Research Associate
Office of Race and Equity Research

Shauna M. Cooper is an equity scholar and principal research associate in the Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center and the Office of Race and Equity Research at the Urban Institute. She engages in research that informs child and family policy as well as strategies for leveraging community partnerships to promote well-being and advance racial equity.

She is also an associate professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience and director of the Strengths, Assets, and Resilience Lab at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cooper brings over 15 years of expertise examining the racial, cultural, and community contexts of development, health, and well-being. Her body of work includes significant contributions to the literature on parenting and well-being, father involvement, community involvement, and youth development. She also brings significant experience in family-centered research design and community-based methodological approaches. Cooper’s work has been funded by several federal agencies, and she has served an expert panelist or consultant for several agencies and foundations, such as the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, the National Science Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, and the Ford Foundations.

Cooper's service leadership reflects a long-standing commitment to advancing equity and promoting positive development among racialized and minoritized children. She is an associate editor for Child Development and on editorial boards for several other journals (Journal of Family Psychology, Psychology of Men and Masculinities, Child Clinical and Family Psychology Review, and Social Development). She cochairs the Society for Research in Adolescence’s Consensus Committee and is a member of the Society for Research in Adolescence’s Social Policy Engagement Working Group. From 2013 to 2017, she was chair of the Society for Research in Child Development’s Black Caucus.

Cooper is currently a board member for the Council on Contemporary Families and the AAKOMA Project.

Cooper received her PhD in developmental psychology from the University of Michigan.