Katrina Debnam

Katrina Debnam

  • Associate Professor
Currently Accepting Ph.D. Students

Office Location

Ridley Hall 222
PO Box 400281
405 Emmet Street S
Charlottesville, VA 22903


Katrina J. Debnam is an associate professor of education in the research, statistics, and evaluation and educational psychology - applied developmental science programs in the School of Education and Human Development. She also holds a joint appointment in the School of Nursing at UVA and an adjunct appointment in the Department of Mental Health at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. In addition, Debnam serves as associate director for research equity in Youth-Nex: The UVA Center to Promote Effective Youth Development.  

Debnam's scholarship stems from her interest in health outcomes for marginalized adolescents through community-based violence prevention strategies. Debnam serves as a research expert in three interrelated strands of adolescent health: teen dating violence prevention, creating equitable school environments for Black youth, and the protective role of religion and spirituality in youth development. 

Debnam was a recipient of the UVA Research Achievement Award for Research Excellence in 2022, given to faculty members who have generated a sufficient volume of high-quality scholarship and are emerging leaders in their field. In 2018 she received the UVA School of Nursing Office of Nursing Research Outstanding Faculty Publication Award.  

Debnam’s work has been funded by the National Institute of Health, the Institute of Education Sciences, and the William T. Grant Foundation. Her research has been featured in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Prevention Science, Remedial and Special Education, Trauma, Violence & Abuse, Journal of Educational Psychology, and the Journal of Teacher Education. She currently serves on the editorial board of Prevention Science and the Journal of Youth and Adolescence. 


Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park, 2012
MPH, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2003
B.S., Morgan State University, 2001

Curriculum Vitae


  • Structural and contextual influences on romantic relationship development and dating abuse among young Black women
  • Culturally sustaining and equitable school environments for marginalized youth
  • The role of religion and spirituality in youth development

Featured Research

Teacher-Student Incongruence in Perceptions of School Equity: Associations with Student Connectedness in Middle and High Schools

This study sought to explore congruence between teacher and student perceptions of school equity and how congruence or incongruence related to students' sense of connectedness to school.

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