Kendell Coker

Kendell Coker

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Joined Connecticut College: 2023

B.A., Macalester College
Ph.D., Nova Southeastern University
J.D., Loyola University Chicago School of Law


Community/Gun Violence


Criminal/Juvenile Justice

Systemic Racism

Mental Health Law

Social Justice

Kendell L. Coker is a clinical psychologist with a specialization in forensic psychology and an attorney. His primary research interests include the study of trauma, substance use, juvenile delinquency, and aggression/violence (e.g., community violence, interpersonal violence, group conflict). His research also explores racial and health-related disparities in the criminal justice system and the contributing impact of systemic bias/discrimination. These research areas tend to naturally intersect. It is not uncommon for trauma and substance use to co-occur among individuals and serve as risk factors for violence and criminal justice involvement. He emphasizes that we also cannot ignore the role of deeply rooted societal bias and discrimination as causal factors in multiple negative outcomes among minoritized populations.

He strongly believes in research-informed policy. He has experience working with researchers and policy makers to advocate for social justice initiatives. He served as a council member on the Juvenile Defense Resource Institute at Northwestern University School of Law, which was a project designed to strategize ways to reduce recidivism and improve legal representation of juveniles involved in the criminal justice system. He works with state officials, non-profit organizations, and local stakeholders to mitigate the harms of gun violence and fight for common sense gun legislation. He is currently the co-editor of the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry which is an American Psychological Association (APA) journal and the principal publication of the Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice.

Recent Publications:

Yasuhara, K., Morreale, K., Talley, D., Cooper, D., Hoy-Watkins, Coker, K.L. (2023). Psychiatric Disorders Among Employment Requiring Firearms. Behavioral Sciences & the Law, 41(1), 19-29.

Talley, D. Warner, S. W., Perry, D., Brissette, E., Consiglio, F. L., Capri, R., Violano, P., & Coker, K. L. (2021). Understanding Situational Factors and Conditions Contributing to Suicide among Black Youth and Young Adults. Aggression & Violence Behavior, 58 (May-June), 101614.

Torres-Pagan, B., Wyant, K., Chien, J., & Coker, K. L. (2019). Prevalence Rates of Acute Stress Disorder Symptomatology and Association to Juvenile Crime Involvement. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 47(1), 53-60.

Hefner, K., Sollazzo, A., Mullaney, S., Coker, K. L., & Sofuoglu, M. (2019). E-cigarettes, Alcohol Use, and Mental Health: Use and perceptions of e-cigarettes among college students by alcohol use and mental health status. Addictive Behaviors, 91, 12-20.

Contact Kendell Coker

Mailing Address

Kendell Coker
Connecticut College
270 Mohegan Ave.
New London, CT 06320