Kevin O  Cokley, Ph.D.

Kevin O Cokley, Ph.D.

University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin)

Professor of African & African Diaspora Studies and Director of the Institute for Urban Policy & Research Analysis

Expertise: African American psychologyethnic identity developmentRacial identity developmentPsychologyBlack Lives Matter

Kevin Cokley's research can be broadly categorized in the area of African American psychology, with a focus on racial and ethnic identity development, academic motivation, and academic achievement. A theme of much of his research is understanding the psychological and environmental factors that impact African American student achievement. Cokley's research and scholarship have led him to challenge the notion that African American students are anti-intellectual, and to critically re-examine the impact of racial and ethnic identity and gender on academic achievement. Recently Cokley has started exploring the impostor phenomenon and its relationship to mental health and academic outcomes among ethnic minority students.

Cokley's publications have appeared in professional journals such as the Journal of Counseling Psychology, Journal of Black Psychology, Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, Individual Differences and Personality, Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, the Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, Educational and Psychological Measurement, and the Harvard Educational Review.

Cokley has a joint appointment in the College of Education's Department of Educational Psychology and the College of Liberal Arts' Department of African and African Diaspora Studies. He is the Past Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Black Psychology and the Director of the Institute for Urban Policy Research & Analysis.

He has written several Op-Eds in major media outlets including the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Dallas Morning News, San Antonio Express, The American Prospect, The Huffington Post, The Conversation and The Hill on topics such as Blacks' rational mistrust of police, police shootings of Blacks, the aftermath of Ferguson, the use of school vouchers, racial disparities in school discipline, and Black students' graduation rates.

When is enough, enough?

The sobering reality is that on any given day, for any given reason, black people in this country will be killed, often with impunity, for no other apparent reason than the fact that we are black.

State Board Approves African American Studies High School Course Despite Controversy

"The curriculum that they will be taught will be important, it will be information that they've been exposed to that they need," said Dr. Cokley. "But, some of the elements that some of us believe are also very important, you know, will not be included."


Cited By


Critical issues in the measurement of ethnic and racial identity: A referendum on the state of the field.



An investigation of academic self-concept and its relationship to academic achievement in African American college students



Cross's nigrescence model: From theory to scale to theory



A psychometric investigation of the academic motivation scale using a United States sample



What do we know about the motivation of African American students? Challenging the" anti-intellectual" myth



Racial (ized) identity, ethnic identity, and Afrocentric values: Conceptual and methodological challenges in understanding African American identity.



Testing Cross's revised racial identity model: An examination of the relationship between racial identity and internalized racialism.



Ethnicity, gender, and academic self-concept: A preliminary examination of academic disidentification and implications for psychologists.



An examination of the impact of minority status stress and impostor feelings on the mental health of diverse ethnic minority college students



The roles of ethnic identity, anti-white attitudes, and academic self-concept in African American student achievement



A preliminary investigation of academic disidentification, racial identity, and academic achievement among African American adolescents



Gender differences among African American students in the impact of racial identity on academic psychosocial development.



Attitudes toward affirmative action: A comparison of color‐blind versus modern racist attitudes



Examining the validity of the Academic Motivation Scale by comparing scale construction to self-determination theory



Reconceptualizing the impact of college racial composition on African American students' racial identity



Horizontal and vertical dimensions of individualism-collectivism: A comparison of African Americans and European Americans.



Sociocultural attitudes and symptoms of bulimia: Evaluating the SATAQ with diverse college groups.



African American women and the academy: Using career mentoring to increase research productivity.



Testing the construct validity of scores on the Multidimensional Inventory of Black Identity



In defense of quantitative methods: Using the “master’s tools” to promote social justice



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"As we celebrate Black History Month, we should not fall prey to forces that seek to divide us. Remember that Black Lives Matter embraced the differences and diversity that have always characterized the black experience while intervening in violence inflicted on all-black communities."

- Descendants-of-Slavery Movement Undermines the Spirit of Black History Month

“This is not the time or place for people to simply be a supporter in private. We need your voices; we need you to be just as outraged as those of us who are victimized by these acts of racism.”

- Police Brutality and BLM Protests

“I think that that’s just a microcosm of the different experiences that we have in this country and so what I would want white people to understand is that before you start judging the behaviors of a group of people for whom you have not walked in their shoes or lived their experience, think about for a moment, what it might be like to actually have that experience and how your perspectives might impact change if you were to live the lives of the people that you're too quick to criticize.”

- Police Brutality and BLM Protests

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