Goodwill Headshot

Janelle R. Goodwill, PhD

Neubauer Family Assistant Professor
On Research Leave for the 2023-2024 Academic Year ---------------------- Please Expect Delays in Email Response

969 E. 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

Office Location: Edith Abbott Hall

Areas of Expertise
African Americans
Mental Health
Race, Ethnicity, and Culture
Social Work
Crown Family School Affiliations
UChicago Affiliations
Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture

Janelle Goodwill's research centers the mental health experiences of Black Americans, with a particular focus on suicide prevention and mental health promotion. In this work Janelle explores how strengths such as experiences of hope, social support, and meaning in life protect against adverse outcomes and ultimately promote well-being. Additionally, she considers how measurement and psychological scale construction influences the detection of depression and other psychological outcomes within race groups. The overarching goal of her research is to identify the intra- and interpersonal factors that both prevent suicide and foster flourishing across the lifespan. 

Janelle founded and directs of the Positive Urban Research and Prevention of Suicide Experiences (PURPOSE) Lab. The lab aims to develop accessible materials and resources that mitigate racial disparities while also working to support the mental health needs of residents on Chicago’s South Side. You can learn more about the lab's active projects by visiting

Janelle also currently serves as the Principal Investigator for a new suicide prevention intervention designed to support the specific mental health needs of Black students in Chicago. This school-based intervention is currently in the pilot phase and will run from 2022-2025. This grant is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), while her previous work has been supported by Active Minds and the Ford Foundation.

Actor and author Courtney B. Vance shares his experiences, urges Black men to seek mental health care.
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Suicide Rates Rise Among Young Black Americans
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Research by Janelle Goodwill focuses on Black adult's mental health during COVID-19
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Janelle Goodwill comments on access to mental health treatment for people experiencing suicide risk
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Article authored by Asst. Prof. Janelle R. Goodwill discusses her research on the primary reasons Black young adults consider suicide
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Janelle R. Goodwill discusses her research finding that hopelessness is a common reason that young, Black adults considered suicide
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Goodwill, J.R. & Baccile, R. (in press). Suicide Methods and Trends Across Race/Ethnicity, Age, and Sex Groups in Chicago, Illinois, 2015–2021. American Journal of Public Health. Advance Online Publication.

Goodwill, J.R. (in press) Measuring hope and joy among Black Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Journal of Positive Psychology. Advance online publication.

Goodwill, J.R. & Hope, M.O. (in press). Religion and suicide in Black emerging adults: Examining pathways through hope and meaning in life. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. Advance online publication.

Goodwill, J.R. & Fike, K.J. (2023). Black in the pandemic: Comparing experiences of mistrust, anxiety, and the COVID-19 vaccine among Black adults in the U.S. Social Science & Medicine. Advance online publication.

Goodwill, J.R. (2023). Purpose in the pandemic: Hopelessness, fear of COVID-19, meaning in life, and suicidal thoughts among two samples of Black Americans. American Psychologist. Advance online publication.

Goodwill, J.R. (2023). Reasons for suicide in Black young adults: A latent class analysis. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. Advance online publication.

Goodwill, J.R., & Yasui, M. (2022). Mental health service utilization, school experiences, and religious involvement among a national sample of Black adolescents who attempted suicide: Examining within and cross-race group differences. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal. Advance online publication.

Goodwill, J.R. (2022).Which coping strategies moderate the depression – suicide ideation link in Black college students? A psychometric investigation. Children and Youth Services Review. Advance online publication.

Goodwill, J.R., Mattis, J.S., & Watkins, D.C. (2022). “I didn’t know who to talk to:” Black college men’s sources and descriptions of social support. Psychology of Men and Masculinities. Advance online publication.

Palmer G.J.M., Cole-Lewis Y.C., Goodwill J.R., Mattis J.S. (2021). No Crystal Stair: Predictors of Pessimism Among Black Men. The Journal of Men’s Studies. 2021;29(2):235-254. doi:10.1177/1060826520947479

Goodwill, J.R. (2021). Black youth's experiences with feelings of worthlessness, parent relationships, and suicide: Findings from a national probability survey. Journal of Adolescent Health. Advance online publication.

Goodwill, J.R. (2021). Testing for measurement invariance across gender in the 12-item CES-D: An investigation among a nationally representative sample of African Americans. Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology. Advance online publication.

Goodwill, J.R., Johnson, N.C., & Watkins, D.C. (2021). Adherence to masculine norms and depressive symptoms in young Black men. Social Work. Advance online publication.

Goodwill, J.R., & Zhou, S. (2020). Association between perceived public stigma and suicidal behaviors among college students of color in the U.S. Journal of Affective Disorders. 262, 1-7.

Goodwill, J.R., Taylor, R.J., & Watkins, D.C. (2019). Everyday discrimination, depressive symptoms, and suicide ideation among African American men. Archives of Suicide Research. 0, 1-20.

Goodwill, J.R., Anyiwo, N., Williams, E.D.G., Johnson, N.C., Mattis, J.S., & Watkins, D.C. (2019). Media representations of popular culture figures and the construction of Black masculinities. Psychology of Men & Masculinities, 20(3), 288-298.

Goodwill, J.R., Watkins, D.C., Johnson, N.C., & Allen, J.O. (2018). An exploratory study of stress and coping among Black college men. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 88(5), 538-549.

Janelle R. Goodwill is a Neubauer Family Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice.

Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Chicago, Janelle earned her MSW, MS in psychology, and PhD in social work and psychology from the University of Michigan. She completed her undergraduate studies at Michigan State University.