Dr. Dionne Smith Coker-Appiah

(Health Fellows & Scholars)
Assistant Professor, School of Medicine; Dept. of Psychiatry
Washington, District of Columbia
United States

Focus Areas

Mental Health / Psychology


Dionne Smith Coker-Appiah is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and a member of the Center for Trauma and the Community. Dr. Coker-Appiah is a licensed psychologist and has expertise in adolescent health and using community-based participatory research (CBPR) approaches. Her research program focuses on adolescent dating violence prevention, adolescent mental health, and adolescent sexual health. She has conducted both quantitative and qualitative research among African American adolescents in both rural and urban settings. Dr. Coker-Appiah’s most recent project, Project LOVE: Letting Our Voices Empower, is a CBPR project that explores adolescent knowledge, perceptions and beliefs about dating violence and its impact on mental and sexual health. Recently, Dr. Coker-Appiah received funding through the Georgetown Reflective Engagement Grant Program that will enable her to move forward with the second phase of Project LOVE, which involves partnership expansion and data collection with a younger cohort of adolescents (11-17 years) and community stakeholders. These projects use the Socio-Ecological Model (SEM) as a framework to guide the exploration of the role of multilevel factors (i.e., individual, peer, family, community, societal, political) that influence adolescent dating violence prevention. Dr. Coker-Appiah is also in the initial stages of partnership development in both Maryland (Eastern Shore) and Ghana, West Africa. These partnerships will play integral roles in addressing adolescent dating violence in their respective communities. Dr. Coker-Appiah continues to publish in peer-reviewed journals; serve on grant, manuscript, and fellowship review panels; consult; and present her research at local, national, and international conferences. She has also won numerous awards for her scholarship, maintains memberships in professional development organizations, and volunteers with various community-based organizations.