Valerie B. Shapiro, PhD, is an associate professor, the PhD Program Director, 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), an NIMH Child Intervention, Prevention, & Services (CHIPS) Fellow (2013), and a Hellman Foundation Fellow (2014), and visiting scholar at Northwestern University (2017). 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. She became a Fellow of the Society of Social Work & Research in 2017. Dr. Shapiro has published over 30 peer-reviewed papers in prominent interdisciplinary journals such as the Journal of Adolescent Health, Prevention Science, School 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. She was named a 2019 finalist for the national W.T. Grant Foundation Scholars Program competition.
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. She was selected to participate in the award-winning UC Women's Initiative for Leadership Pipeline Development (2018) and has now been certified as a UC WI program facilitator (2019). She serves as a coach for the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity, an Affiliate Board Member of the National Prevention Science Coalition, a member of the National Scientific Advisory Committee for the Fahs-Beck Fund at the New York Community Trust, and a workgroup co-chair for the California Department of Education CASEL Collaborating States Initiative.
For an indication of scholarly impact, see Google Scholar Profile.
List of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) posed by current and prospective students seeking research mentorship.
Research / Expertise
- Behavioral Health and Prevention/Intervention
- Community, Organizational and Policy Development
- Systems of Care for Children/Families/Elderly
- 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
Implementation Research to Take Social Emotional Learning to Scale in Schools
In The News
- How Does School Connectedness Relate to Suicidal Ideation for LGB Adolescents?( National Clearinghouse on Families & Youth 09.08.16)
- Could Teaching Empathy Prevent the Next Mass Shooting? (Wall Street Journal 06.22.16)
- Making Social and Emotional Learning a Priority(05.18.16)
- BUSD Adopts New Curriculum to Boost Kids Emotional Intelligence (Berkeleyside 10.22.15)
- Group launches plan to reduce youth problems by 20 percent in a decade (07.30.1)
- Could Teaching Kids Empathy and Mindfulness Really Help? (California Magazine 10.06.15)
- Improving outcomes with a science-based approach to prevention (Prevention Action 05.27.15)
- YMCA Pilot Program Found to Boost Skills Students Need to Learn (Education Week 12.09.15)
- Measuring Social-Emotional Skills in Children (Audio: WVXU Cincinnati )01.14.14
Roscoe, J.N., Shapiro, V.B., Whitaker, K., & Kim, B.K.E. (2019). Classifying changes to preventive interventions: Applying adaptation taxonomies. Journal of Primary Prevention, 40(1), 89-109.
Shapiro, V.B., Ziemer, K.L., Accomazzo, S., & Kim, B.K.E. (2019). Teachers' Assessment of "Implementation Leadership" during a new Social Emotional Learning Initiative. Contemporary School Psychology.
Lee, J., Shapiro, V. B., Kim, B. E., & Yoo, J. P. (2018). Multilevel structural equation modeling for social work researchers: An introduction and application to healthy youth development. Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, 9(4), 689-719.
Shapiro, V.B. & Bender, K. (2018). Seven Action Steps to Unleash the Power of Prevention. Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, 9(4), 499-509.
Shapiro, V.B., Kim, B.K.E., Robitaille, J.L., LeBuffe, P.A., & Ziemer, K.L. (2018). Efficient Implementation Monitoring in Routine Prevention Practice: A Grand Challenge for Schools. Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, 9(3), 377-394.
LeBuffe, P.A., Shapiro, V.B., (co-first authors), & Robitaille, J.L. (2018). The Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA) Comprehensive System: Screening, assessing, planning, and monitoring. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 55(2), 62-70.
Shapiro, V.B., Kim, B.K.E., Robitaille, J.L., & LeBuffe, P.A. (2017). Protective factor screening for prevention practice: Sensitivity and specificity of the DESSA-Mini . School Psychology Quarterly, 32(4), 449-464. 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. DavisResilience: 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.