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Valerie Shapiro

Associate Professor

VALERIE B. SHAPIROPhD, is an associate professor and the Co-Director of the Center for Prevention Research in Social Welfare at the University of California, Berkeley. She also serves as an analyst for the Social Development Research Group as well as the Devereux Center for Resilient Children.

Dr. Shapiro’s research is in the prevention of mental, emotional, and behavioral problems in children and youth through the adoption, implementation, and sustainability of effective prevention practices. In order to promote the use of effective prevention practice, her scholarship focuses on how to (1) set the stage for communities to adopt and sustain a science-based approach to prevention, (2) implement programs successfully, and (3) assess youth outcomes in routine practice. She serves on the steering committee of the Coalition for the Promotion of Behavioral Health that produced the National Academy of Medicine Discussion Paper entitled “Unleashing the Power of Prevention.” She is currently studying the implementation of Social Emotional Learning practices in school and out-of-school time (OST) settings.

Dr. Shapiro has been a Society of Social Work Research Dissertation Fellow (2012), Child Intervention, Prevention, & Services (CHIPS) Fellow (2013), and a Hellman Foundation Fellow (2014). She was also the sole recipient of the 2014 Prytanean Faculty Prize, recognized for demonstrated scholarly achievement, distinguished teaching, and success as a role model for students at UC Berkeley. Dr. Shapiro has published in prominent interdisciplinary journals such as the Journal of Adolescent HealthPrevention ScienceSchool Psychology Quarterly, and the American Journal of Community Psychology, as well as well-regarded Social Work journals including Social Work Research, the Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, and Social Work Research & Practice. Her research has been supported by the Berkeley Faculty Research Fund, Kaiser Permanente Northern California Community Benefit Program, and the Stuart Foundation, as well as through institutional grants from the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Health Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Program. 

Dr. Shapiro has also been recognized by GADE (2012) for Leadership and Service to Doctoral Education in Social Work, holds an LSW, and is a Department of Education Certified School Social Worker.

For an indication of scholarly impact, see Google Scholar Profile

List of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) posed by current and prospective students.


  • Adoption, Implementation, and Sustainability of Effective Prevention Practices
  • Strength-Based Screening and Assessment in Schools and Youth Serving Organizations
  • Coalition-Based Models for Community Decision-Making to Prevent Mental, Emotional and Behavior Problems in Young People



Courses taught: 2015-2016


Postdoctoral Scholars: Sarah Accomazzo (PhD in Social Welfare, Berkeley 2014), B.K. Elizabeth Kim (PhD in Social Welfare, University of Washington 2014)

Dissertation Supervisory Committee: Sarah Accomazzo (Social Welfare); Kelly Whitaker (Social Welfare); Pamela Vandekamp (Education); Brenda Carrillo (Education); 

Qualifying Exam Supervisory Committee: Kelly Whitaker (Social Welfare); Kyla Johnson-Trammell (Education); Wendy Wiegmann (Social Welfare); Leah Faw (Education); Kate Cordell (Social Welfare); Ellen Cook (Education); Heliana Ramirez (Social Welfare); Pamela Vandekamp (Education); Brenda Carrillo (Education); Julia Hernandez (Social Welfare); 

Graduate Student Fellowship Supervisor: Joe Roscoe (Social Welfare); Leah Jacobs (Social Welfare); Heliana Ramirez (Social Welfare)

Graduate Student Thesis/Capstone Supervisory Committee: Christina Jeffery (MSW/MPH)

Undergraduate Student Honors Thesis Supervisor: Mariya Mykhaylova (Social Welfare)

Undergraduate Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP) Supervisor: Ferdose Idris (University of Washington Sociology Major); Jordan Johnson (New York University Psychology Major)

Current Projects

In the News

Expanded Publications

Shapiro, V.B., Kim, B.K.E., Robitaille, J.L., & LeBuffe, P.A. (In Press). Protective factor screening for prevention practice: Sensitivity and specificity of the DESSA-Mini. School Psychology Quarterly. Advance online publication. doi:10.1037/spq0000181.

Chain, J., Shapiro, V.B., LeBuffe, M.A., & Bryson, A.M. (2017). Academic achievement of American Indian and Alaska Native students: Does social emotional competence reduce the impact of poverty? American Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Research, 24(1), 1-29.

Shapiro, V.B., Hudson, K.D., & Downey, M.M. (2017). Institutional expectations, opportunities, and interest in the professoriate: A mixed methods examination of satisfaction among doctoral students in social work. Journal of Social Work Education, 53(3), 520-534.

Accomazzo, S., Shapiro, V.B., Israel, N. & Kim, B.K.E. (2017). Strengths of youth in a public behavioral health system: Measurement choices, prevalence rates, and group differences. Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research, 44(2), 274-288.

Shapiro, V.B., Accomazzo, S., & Robitaille, J.L. (2017). In the same ballpark or a whole new ball game? Staff as raters of youth behavior. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 26(4), 1051-1055.

Hudson, K.D., Shapiro, V.B., Ebiner, I.A., Berenberg, A., & Bacher, N. (2017). Preparing Tomorrow’s Professoriate: An Examination of Social Justice Language in Social Work PhD Program Manuals. Social Work Education, 36(4), 443-455.

Shapiro, V.B., Kim, B.K.E., Accomazzo, S. & Roscoe, J.N. (2016). Predictors of rater bias in the assessment of Social Emotional Competence. International Journal of Emotional Education, 8(2), 25-44. 

Hawkins, J.D., Jenson, J.M., DeVylder, J., Catalano, R.F., Botvin, G. J., Fraser, M.W., Bender, K.A., Shapiro, V.B., & Bumbarger, B. (2016). Policy Recommendations for Meeting the Grand Challenge to Ensure Healthy Development for All Youth (Policy Belief). American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare.

Shapiro, V.B., Kim, B.K.E., Fleming, J.L., & LeBuffe, P.A. (2016). Efficient methodologies for monitoring fidelity in routine implementation: Lessons from the Allentown Social Emotional Learning Initiative. Implementation Science, 11(Suppl 1): A83.

Whitaker, K. Shapiro, V.B., & Shields, J.P. (2016). School-based Protective Factors Related to Suicide for Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health, 58(1): 63-68.

Cackler, C.J.J., Shapiro, V.B., Lahiff, M. (2016). Female sterilization and poor mental health: Rates and relatedness among American Indian and Alaska Native women. Women’s Health Issues, 26(2), 168-175.

Simmons, C.A., Shapiro, V.B., Accomazzo, S., & Manthey, T.J. (2016). Strengths-Based Social Work: A Meta-Theory to Guide Social Work Research and Practice. In N. Coady & P. Lehmann (Eds.), Theoretical perspectives for direct social work practice (3rd edition, pp. 131-154). New York: Springer Publishing Company.

Shapiro, V.B., Accomazzo, S., Claassen, J., & Fleming, J.L. (2015). The choices, challenges, and lessons learned from a multi-method social-emotional / character assessment in an out of school time setting. Journal of Youth Development: Bridging Research and Practice,  10(3): 32-45.

Shapiro, V.B., Hawkins, J.D. & Oesterle, S. (2015). Building local infrastructure for community adoption of science-based prevention: The role of coalition functioning. Prevention Science, 16(8), 1136-1146.

Hawkins, J. D., Jenson, J. M., Catalano, R., Fraser, M. W., Botvin, G. J., Shapiro, V.B., Brown, C. H., Beardslee, W., Brent, D., Leslie, L. K., Rotheram-Borus, M. J., Shea, P., Shih, A., Anthony, E., Haggerty, K. P., Bender, K., Gorman-Smith, D., Casey, E., & Stone, S. (2015).Unleashing the power of prevention (Discussion Paper). Washington, DC: Institute of Medicine and National Research Council.

Kim, B.K.E., Oesterle, S. Hawkins, J.D., & Shapiro, V.B. (2015). Assessing Sustained Effects of Communities That Care On Youth Protective Factors. Journal of the Society for Social Work & Research, 6(4), 565-589.

Shapiro, V.B. (2015). Resilience: Have we not gone far enough? A response to Larry E. Davis. Social Work Research, 39(1): 7-10.

Fagan, A.A., Hawkins, J.D., & Shapiro, V.B. (2015). Taking SEL to Scale in Schools: The Role of Community Coalitions. In J.A. Durlak, C.E. Domitrovich, R.P. Weissberg, & T.P. Gullotta (Eds.). Handbook of Social and Emotional Learning: Research and Practice. New York: Guilford.

Shapiro, V.B., Oesterle, S., & Hawkins, J.D. (2015). Relating coalition capacity to the adoption of science-based prevention in communities:  Evidence from a randomized trial of Communities That Care. American Journal of Community Psychology, 55(1-2): 1-12.

Brown, L.D., Feinberg, M.E., Shapiro, V.B., Greenberg, M.T. (2015). Reciprocal relations between coalition functioning and program implementation support. Prevention Science, 16(1), 101-109. [PMC4051854]

Shapiro, V.B., Hudson, K.D., Moylan, C.A., & Derr, A.S. (2015). Changing organizational routines in doctoral education: An intervention to infuse social justice into a social welfare curriculum. Arbor, 191 (771), a202 1-15.

Hawkins, J.D., Jenson, J.M., Catalano, R.F., Fraser, M.W., Botvin, G.J., Shapiro, V.B., Bender, K.A., Brown, H., Beardslee, W., Brent, D., Leslie, L.K., Rotheram-Borus, M.J., Shea, P., Shih, A., Anthony, E.K., Haggerty, K.P., Gorman-Smith, D., Casey, E., Stone, S., & the Coalition for Behavioral Health. (2015). Unleashing the Power of Prevention. American Academy of Social Work & Social Welfare Grand Challenge Initiative. Paper No. 10.

Brown, E.C., Hawkins, J.D., Rhew, I.C., Shapiro, V.B., Abbott, R.D., Oesterle, S., Arthur, M.W., Briney, J.S., & Catalano, R.F. (2014). Prevention System Mediators of Communities That Care Effects on Youth Outcomes. Prevention Science, 15(5): 623-632. [PMC3884024]

Hudson, K.D., Shapiro, V.B., Moylan, C.A., Garcia, A., & Derr, A.S. (2014). Infusing social justice into doctoral programs of Social Welfare: An incremental approach. Journal of Social Work Education, 50(3): 559-567.

Smith, G.T., Shapiro, V.B., Sperry, R.W., & LeBuffe, P.A. (2014). A strengths-based approach to supervised visitation in child welfare. Child Care in Practice, 20(1), 98–119.

Shapiro, V.B., Oesterle, S., Abbott, R.D., Arthur, M.W., & Hawkins, J.D. (2013). Measuring dimensions of coalition functioning for effective and participatory community practice. Social Work Research, 37(4), 349-359. [PMC3999977]

Shapiro, V.B., Hawkins, J.D., Oesterle, S., Monahan, K.C., Brown, E.C., & Arthur, M.W. (2013). Variation in the effect of Communities That Care on community adoption of a scientific approach to prevention. Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, 4(3), 154-164. [PMC3848955]

Haggerty, K.P. & Shapiro, V.B. (2013). Science-based prevention through Communities That Care: A model of social work practice for public health. Journal of Social Work in Public Health, 28:3-4, 349-365. [PMC3711473]

Naglieri, J.A., LeBuffe, P.A., & Shapiro, V.B. (2013). Assessment of social-emotional competencies related to resilience. In S. Goldstein & R. Brooks (Eds.), Handbook of Resilience in Children. NY, NY: Kluwer/Academic Press.

Gloppen, K.M., Arthur, M.W., & Hawkins, J.D., & Shapiro, V.B. (2012). Sustainability of the Communities That Care prevention system by coalitions participating in the Community Youth Development Study.Journal of Adolescent Health (51), 259–264. [PMC3428591]

LeBuffe, P.A., Naglieri, J.A., & Shapiro, V.B. (2012). The Devereux Student Strengths Assessment – Second Step Edition (DESSA-SSE) Assessment, Technical Manual, and User’s Guide. Lewisville, NC: Kaplan.

Ohmer, M.L, Sobeck, J., Wallace, J.M. & Shapiro, V.B., Teixeri, S.N. (2012). Community based research. In M.O. Weil (Ed.), The Handbook of Community Practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Naglieri, J.A., LeBuffe, P.A., & Shapiro, V.B. (2011). Universal screening for social emotional competencies: A study of the reliability and validity of the DESSA-mini. Psychology in the Schools, 48(7): 660-671.

Naglieri, J.A., LeBuffe, P.A., & Shapiro, V.B. (2011/2014). The Devereux Student Strengths Assessment - Mini (DESSA-Mini) Assessment, Technical Manual, and User’s Guide. Charlotte, NC: Apperson, Inc

Hawkins, J.D., Shapiro, V.B., & Fagan, A.A. (2010). Disseminating effective community prevention practices: Opportunities for social work education. Research on Social Work Practice, 20(5), 518-527. [PMC20299164]

Hill, K.G., Hawkins, J.D., Bailey, J.A., Catalano, R.F., Abbott, R.D., & Shapiro, V.B. (2010). Person-environment interaction in the prediction of alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence in adulthood. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 110, 62-69. [PMC2885447]

LeBuffe, P.A., Shapiro, V.B., & Naglieri, J.A. (2009/2014). The Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA) Assessment, Technical Manual, and User’s Guide. Charlotte, NC: Apperson, Inc.  

LeBuffe, P.A. & Shapiro, V.B. (2008). Supporting parent-professional collaboration through strength-based assessment. In C. Newman, C. Liberton, K. Kutash, & R. Friedman (Eds.). A System of Care for Children’s Mental Health: Expanding the Research Base, 20, 263-266.

Shapiro, V.B. & LeBuffe, P.A. (2007). Strengths that matter: An empirical investigation of elementary school student success. In C. Newman, C. Liberton, K. Kutash, & R. Friedman (Eds.). A System of Care for Children’s Mental Health: Expanding the Research Base, 19, 107-110.

Shapiro, V.B. & LeBuffe, P.A. (2006). Using protective factors in practice: Lessons learned about resilience from a study of children aged five to thirteen. In B.M. Lester, A.S. Masten, & B. McEwen (Eds.). Resilience in Children. Annals of the New York Academy of the Sciences, 1094, 350-353.

Nickerson, A.B., Brosof, A.M., & Shapiro, V.B. (2004). Predicting positive outcomes for students with Emotional Disturbance. California School Psychologist, 9, 39-49.

LeBuffe, P.A. & Shapiro, V.B. (2004). Lending ‘strength’ to the assessment of preschool social-emotional health. California School Psychologist, 9, 51-61.