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


  • 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.

Under Review

  • Alang, S., VanHook, C., Judson, J., Ikiroma, A., & Adkins-Jackson, P. Police brutality, heightened vigilance, and the mental health of black populations.
  • Hong, J. S., Wang, M., Kim, D. H., VanHook, C. R., Clark Goings, T. T., & Voisin, D. R. Subtypes of bullying and types of substance use among urban African American adolescents: Who is likely to use what?

In Preparation

  • Powe, P. M., VanHook, C., Collier, A., Nakhla, M., Crum, I., & Miller, E. Black fathers, early childhood involvement, and the prevention of toxic stress: Results from a focus group.

CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS (designated presenter)

  • 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.
  • VanHook, C. (2019, November). Suicide prevention and healthy people 2030: Review and recommendations at the macro-level. American Public Health Association, Philadelphia, PA.