Cortney R. VanHook

Cortney R. VanHook is a clinical interventionist who is passionate about the mental health of young black males in the adolescent and young adult cohorts. The concept of ‘risk’ has its limitations and that is why VanHook uses the framing of young black males as vulnerable in hopes of encouraging more humanistic scholarship on the population. His professional interests center on developing and evaluating interventions tailored to young black males. VanHook has received extensive training in community-oriented research and his work relies on qualitative methodology and critical theories.

VanHook is a native of the South Side of Chicago. Moreover, the experiences of residents in that community led him to his current clinical and research interests. VanHook believes that his positionality is his strongest asset.

VanHook is a proud alumnus of Georgia State University where he completed undergraduate coursework in Psychology. He is a two-time graduate of Mercer University where he obtained his Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and MPH degrees. VanHook earned his MSW from the University of Pittsburgh.

Please contact VanHook at for professional inquiries such as speaking engagements, consultant/advisory roles, and research collaborations.


  • Fellow, Minority Fellowship Program - PhD Students, Council of Social Work Education
  • Fellow, Summer Social Work Graduate Student Mentoring Workshop on African American and Latinx Research, University of Michigan School of Social Work


  • Alang, S., Haile, R., Mitsdarffer, M.L., & VanHook, C. (2022). Inequities in Anticipatory Stress of Police Brutality and Depressed Mood Among Women. J. Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities.  
  • Alang, S., VanHook, C., Judson, J., Ikiroma, A., & Adkins-Jackson, P. (2022). Police brutality, heightened vigilance, and the mental health of black populations. Psychology of Violence, 12(4), 211-220. 
  • Hong, J. S., Wang, M., Kim, D. H., VanHook, C. R., Clark Goings, T. T., & Voisin, D. R. (2022). Subtypes of bullying and types of substance use among urban african american adolescents: Who is likely to use what? Social Work in Public Health, 37(5), 484-498. 
  • Powe, P., VanHook, C., Collier, A., & Nakhla, M. (2021). Black fathers' knowledge and attitudes about toxic stress. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 60(10), s254-S255. 
  • Quam, S., VanHook, C., Szoko, N., Passarello, A., Miller, E., & Culyba, A. J. (2020). Racial identity, masculinities, and violence exposure: Perspectives from male adolescents in marginalized neighborhoods. The Journal of Adolescent Health, 67(5), 638-644. 

CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS (designated presenter)

  • VanHook, C. (2022, November). Premature death among young black men as an ecological disaster: Theoretical frameworks, interventions, and policies. American Public Health Association, Boston, MA.
  • VanHook, C., Rollins, L., Giddings, T., & Adolph, J. L. (2022, November). Piloting a culturally sensitive scorecard for interventions with racial-ethnic minorities: An evaluation of CONNECT for black fathers. American Public Health Association, Boston, MA.
  • VanHook, C., Nestor, D., & Pollard, J. (2022, November). Untold suffering and vulnerability: Premature Death among young black men. Council of Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting, Anaheim, CA.
  • VanHook, C., Nakhla, M., Collier, A., & Powe, P. M. (2021, October). The role of black fathers in the prevention of toxic stress. American Public Health Association, Denver, CO.