Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

Robert Sellers

Robert Sellers

Robert Sellers is a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan and a research associate at the Institute for Social Research. A native of Cincinnati, Dr. Sellers attended Howard University where he received All-American honors in football. After graduating cum laude with a bachelor's of science degree in psychology in 1985, he went on to earn a Ph.D. in personality psychology from the University of Michigan in 1990. Following his graduate work, Dr. Sellers served as an Assistant and an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Virginia. In 1997, he returned to the University of Michigan to continue his research and teaching.

Dr. Sellers' research focuses on the development of a conceptual model of the processes associated with the way that African Americans attribute significance and meaning to race in the way in which they define themselves (i.e., racial identity). In addition to his research on African-American racial identity, Dr. Sellers has published several research articles and book chapters examining the life experiences of student-athletes. He is particularly interested in factors associated with the psychosocial development of the African American student-athlete.

Dr. Sellers has served as a consultant to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Presidents Commission's Study of the Life Experiences of Student-Athletes, NCAA Research Committee, as well as the Principal Investigator of the Student-Athlete Life Stress Project. At present, he is the Principle Investigator of a national study evaluating academic support programs for student-athletes at NCAA Division I institutions.

Primary Interests:

  • Applied Social Psychology
  • Causal Attribution
  • Culture and Ethnicity
  • Prejudice and Stereotyping
  • Self and Identity

Research Group or Laboratory:

Journal Articles:

  • Brown, K. T., Brown, T. N., Jackson, J. S., Sellers, R. M., & Manuel, W. J. (2003). Teammates on and off the field?: Contact with Black teammates and the racial attitudes of White student-athletes. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 33(7), 1379-1403.
  • Brown, T. N., Jackson, J. S., Brown, K. T., Sellers, R. M., Keiper, S., & Manuel, W. J. (2003). There is no race on the playing field: Perceptions of racial discrimination among White and Black athletes. Journal of Sport & Social Issues, 27(2), 162-183.
  • Caldwell, C. H., Zimmerman, M. A., Hilkene, D., Sellers, R. M., & Notaro, P. (2002). Racial identity, maternal support and psychological distress among African American adolescents. Child Development, 73(4), 1322-1336.
  • Jackson, B., Sellers, R. M., & Peterson, C. (2002). Pessimistic explanatory style moderates the effect of stress on physical illness. Personality and Individual Differences, 32(3), 567-573.
  • LaVeist, T. A., Sellers, R. M., & Neighbors, H. W. (2001). Perceived racism and self and system blame attribution: Consequences for longevity. Ethnicity and Disease, 11(4), 711-721.
  • Rowley, S. A. J., Sellers, R. M., Chavous, T. M., & Smith, M. (1998). The relationship between racial identity and self-esteem in African American college and high school students. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74(3), 715-724.
  • Schmermund, A., Sellers, R. M., Mueller, B., & Crosby, F. J. (2001). Attitudes toward affirmative action as a function of racial identity among Black college students. Political Psychology, 22, 759-774.
  • Sellers, R. M., Caldwell, C. H., Schmeelk-Cone, K., & Zimmerman, M. A. (2003). The role of racial identity and racial discrimination in the mental health of African American young adults. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 44(3), 302-317.
  • Sellers, R. M., & Shelton, J. N. (2003). Racial identity, discrimination, and mental health among African Americans. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(5), 1079-1092.
  • Settles, I. H., Sellers, R. M., & Damas, A. (2002). One role or two? The function of psychological separation in role conflict. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 87(3), 574-582.
  • Shelton, J. N., & Sellers, R. M. (2000). Situational stability and variability in African American racial identity. Journal of Black Psychology, 26(1), 27-50.

Other Publications:

Courses Taught:

Robert Sellers
Department of Psychology
University of Michigan
530 Church Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1043
United States

  • Phone: (734) 647-3949
  • Fax: (734) 936-1700

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