Laura Kohn Wood

Dean, School of Education and Human Development

(305) 284-6474
Locator Code:


About the Dean of the School of Education and Human Development

Dr. Kohn-Wood is currently a Professor and Dean of the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Miami (UM). Dr. Kohn-Wood previously served as chair of the Department of Educational and Psychological Studies, the founding program director of the Master’s in Community & Social Change program and, with colleagues, developed the Ph.D. Program in Community Well-Being at the University of Miami. She also previously held the title of Associate Vice Provost for the Office of Institutional Culture, served as the Senior Resident Faculty of Pearson Residential College and was the Inaugural co-Chair of the University’s Standing Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Dr. Kohn-Wood received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, with a specialization in Community Psychology, from the University of Virginia in 1996 and completed an internship at the University of California, San Francisco Medical School, followed by a post-doctoral fellowship at Georgetown University School of Medicine. Dr. Kohn-Wood’s research program Race, Ethnicity, Culture and Promotion of Strengths (RECAPS) focuses on race, ethnicity, and culture in relation to the experience of psychological phenomena among diverse populations, with an emphasis on race-based protective factors and the promotion of positive coping and mental health among African Americans.


book cover

Culture has become one of the most important constructs in contemporary psychology, yet when behavioral and social scientists attempt to research ethnocultural communities, they typically rely on wholly quantitative methods, excluding the richness and vitality that numbers alone cannot convey.
This volume presents the state-of-the-art discourse on qualitative methods in psychology and community studies. Geared toward multiple audiences, Qualitative Strategies for Ethnocultural Research provides crucial background on the methodological concepts of qualitative approaches to appeal to undergraduate and graduate students being trained in qualitative methods. Yet it includes a wide range of detailed case examples on innovative qualitative approaches to attract researchers in the behavioral and social sciences.
Anyone involved in community-level ethnographic research or psychological intervention programs will benefit from this significant and timely work.
The chapters in Part I of this edited volume span an array of methodological issues in qualitative research, with particular attention to studies and interventions in ethnocultural communities that have been marginalized. Part II includes chapters that address specific qualitative research applications.
Authors from the United States and abroad provide examples of research dilemmas and recommendations for this and the next generation of qualitative researchers.


Kohn-Wood, L. & Thomas, A. (2016). Positive psychology assessment in African Americans. In E. Chang (Ed.), Positive psychology in racial and ethnic minority groups: Theory, research, assessment and practice. Washington DC: APA.

Kohn-Wood L., Pollard S., Becker Herbst R., & Birichi D.K. (2016). Ethnic Minority Mental Health Strengths in the United States. In H.S. Friedman (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Mental Health, 2nd edition, Vol 2, pp. 149-160. Waltham, MA: Academic Press.

Aguilera, A., Miranda, J., Aguilar-Gaxiola, S., Organista, K., González, G., McQuaid, J., Kohn-Wood, L., Le, H., Ghosh-Ippen, C., Urizar, G., Soto, J., Mendelsen, T., Barrera, A., Torres, L., Leykin, Y., Schueller, S., Liu, N., Muñoz, R. (2016). Depression prevention and treatment interventions: The evolution of the Latino Mental Health Research Program. In G. Bernal, et al (Eds.), Depression prevention and treatment interventions: How clinical research training programs can contribute to evidence-based practice. Wash., DC: APA.

Kohn-Wood, L., Nagata, D., Kim, J. & Billingsley, A. (2016). Innovative methodologies and procedures. In, J.G. Ponterro, M. Casas, L. Suzuki & C.M. Alexander (Eds.), Handbook of Multicultural Counseling Psychology, 4th Ed.Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Smith, L., Kohn-Wood, L., & Nicolas, G. (2016). The “One Drop Rule:” Shifting Expressions of Racial Identity and Well-Being in Black-Multiracial Individuals. In, J.M. Sullivan & W. Cross (Eds.), Meaning-Making, Internalized Racism, and African American Identity. NY: SUNY.

Thomas, A., P., Hammond, W. P. & Kohn-Wood, L. P. (2015). Chill, be cool man: African American men, identity, coping and aggressive ideation. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology.

Kohn-Wood, L. P., Samson, F., & Braddock, J. (2014). Race, Social Identity, and Generative Spaces: Miami as a Microcosm of Categorical Complexity in a 21st- Century Global City. American Behavioral Scientist, 0002764214550307.

Pérez Benítez, C.I., Sibrava, N., Kohn-Wood, L., Bjornsson, A.S., Zlotnick, C., Weisberg, R., & Keller M.B. (2014). Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in African Americans: A Two Years Follow-Up Study. Psychiatry Research, 22, 376-383.

Kohn-Wood, L. & Hooper, L. (2014). Health Disparities, Cultural Competency, and Culturally Tailored Care in Primary Care Settings. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 36, 173-188.

Kohn-Wood, L.P., Powell, W. H., Haynes, T., Ferguson, K. K., Jackson, B. A. (2012). Coping styles, depressive symptoms and race during the transition to adulthood. Mental Health Religion and Culture, 15, 363-372.

Nagata, D., Kohn-Wood, L.P. & Suzuki, L. (2012). Qualitative Strategies for Ethnocultural Research. Washington, DC: APA.

Nagata, D., Suzuki, L. & Kohn-Wood, L. (2012). Understanding the lived experience of ethnocultural populations from a qualitative perspective. In, D. Nagata, L. Kohn-Wood, & L. Suzuki (Eds.), Qualitative Strategies for Ethnocultural Research. Washington, DC: APA.

Spencer, M., Kohn-Wood, L., Jankowski, R., Keeles, O. & Birichi, D. (2012). The use of photovoice methodology with African American mothers in Head Start:Environmental justice and the well-being of poor children of color. In, D. Nagata, L. Kohn-Wood, & L. Suzuki (Eds.), Qualitative Strategies for Ethnocultural Research. Washington, DC: APA.

Kohn-Wood, L. & Diem, J. (2012). Novel approaches to qualitative methods with ethnocultural populations. In, D. Nagata, L. Kohn-Wood, & L. Suzuki (Eds.), Qualitative Strategies for Ethnocultural Research. Washington, DC: APA.

Suzuki, L., Nagata, D. & Kohn-Wood, L. (2012). Reflections on the Current Status and Future Directions of Qualitative Research with Ethnocultural Populations. In, D. Nagata, L. Kohn-Wood, & L. Suzuki (Eds.), Qualitative Strategies for Ethnocultural Research. Washington, DC: APA.