Sara Goodkind Associate Professor, School of Social Work, Department of Sociology, and Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies Program



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Associate Professor Sara Goodkind earned a PhD in social work and sociology, a graduate certificate in women’s studies, and an MSW, all from the University of Michigan.

Goodkind’s research focuses on programs and services for young people, particularly those in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. She is interested in how understandings of gender, race/ethnicity, class, sexuality, and age shape service design and delivery and how these, in turn, affect the mental health and well-being of young people, parents, and staff members. All of her research uses an intersectional lens to understand the experiences of young people in multiple locations and systems. Much of her work has focused on programs for girls in the juvenile justice system, and she has been involved with efforts to improve the system and prevent and develop alternatives to girls’ involvement with it. Goodkind recently conducted a community-based participatory research project that explores the experiences of low-income youth of color with single-sex public education and included affected youth as research team members.

Selected Funded Grants

  • Developing Interdisciplinary Collaborations in Gender and Violence Research (2015-2016). Funded by the Integrative Social Science Research Initiative, University of Pittsburgh. Principal Investigator
  • Pittsburgh Students’ Perceptions and Experiences of Single-sex Public Education (2011-2014). Funded by University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work and Women’s Studies Program. Principal Investigator
  • Understanding Transitions to Adulthood among Child Welfare Involved Youth (2008-2011). Funded by the Eden Hall and Pittsburgh Foundations. Co-Principal Investigator (with Dr. Jeffrey J. Shook, Co-PI)
  • The Transition to Adulthood among Child Welfare Involved Youth: A Qualitative Examination of Race, Gender, and Service Use (2008-2011). Funded by the University of Pittsburgh Center on Race and Social Problems. Principal Investigator
  • Multidimensional Characteristics of Incarcerated Youth and the Role of Race (2006-2011). Funded by the University of Pittsburgh Center on Race and Social Problems. Co-Investigator (Dr. Jeffrey J. Shook, Principal Investigator)

Selected Publications

Goodkind, S. (2013). Single-sex public education for low-income youth of color: A critical theoretical review. Sex Roles, 69(7/8), 393-402.

Goodkind, S., Schelbe, L., Joseph, A., Beers, D., & Pinsky, S. (2013). Providing new opportunities or reinforcing old stereotypes? Perceptions and experiences of single-sex public education. Children and Youth Services Review, 35(8), 1174-1181.

Goodkind, S., Shook, J. J., Kim, K. H., Pohlig, R., & Herring D. (2013). From child welfare to juvenile justice: Race, gender, and service experiences. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, 11(3), 249-272.

Goodkind, S., Schelbe, L., & Shook, J. J. (2011). Why youth leave care: Understandings of adulthood and transition successes and challenges among youth aging out of child welfare. Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1039-1048.

Goodkind, S. (2009). “You can be anything you want, but you have to believe it”: Commercialized feminism in gender-specific programs for girls. Signs, 34(2), 397-422.

Goodkind, S., Ruffolo, M., Bybee, D., & Sarri, R. C. (2009). Coping as a mediator of the effects of stressors and supports on depression among girls in juvenile justice. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, 7(2), 100-118.

Goodkind, S., Ng, I., & Sarri, R. C. (2006). The impact of sexual abuse in the lives of young women involved or at risk of involvement with the juvenile justice system. Violence Against Women, 12(5), 456-477.

Goodkind, S., & Miller, D. L. (2006). A widening of the net of social control? “Gender-specific” treatment for young women in the U.S. juvenile justice system. Journal of Progressive Human Services, 17(1), 45-70.

Goodkind, S. (2005). Gender-specific services in the juvenile justice system: A critical examination. Affilia, 20(1), 52-70.