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Cheri Shapiro, PhD

Making Change Happen

From her first psychology class as an undergraduate student, Dr. Cheri Shapiro knew that she wanted to learn more about the subject that would become the cornerstone of her career. After more than 20 years as a licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Shapiro shifted her focus to prevention and research with the hopes of making change on a larger scale. Now she works to strengthen children and families through her position as a research associate professor at the Institute for Families in Society at USC. Created in the early 1990s, the Institute conducts interdisciplinary research to reduce child abuse, strengthen families and communities, and improve the health of vulnerable child and adult populations.

Dr. Shapiro is inspired by her parents, both of whom are physicians. “The goal is to make the world a better place, and you work to make that happen,” she said of the work ethic that they transmitted to her. Dr. Shapiro works to make the world better by moving evidence-based interventions into real-world settings. “If my research isn’t bringing something we know from science into practical use, it’s really not worth doing,” she said. Through the work she does at the Institute, she hopes to collaborate across disciplines to make systemic change for children and families.

Research Background

Dr. Shapiro was trained as a clinical psychologist and has spent her career in direct service, state government, and university-based clinical practice and research settings. An accomplished researcher, the focus of her work has been the dissemination of evidence-based practices at the policy, system, community, and family level. Her interests in evidence-based parenting interventions are expanding to include both psycho-social and physical health outcomes for youth.

In addition to her research in parenting, Dr. Shapiro has also worked to examine additional contextual influences on youth behavior including peer relationships and rates of recidivism in juvenile justice settings. Her motivation is to close the science-practice gap so as to improve the lives of children and families.

Cheri Shapiro
Contact Information
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  • 803.777.8760
  • pdf icon tinyCurriculum Vita
Major Classes Taught
  • PSCY 528 - Psychology of Children with Disabilities
Community Partners

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