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Trenette Clark Goings, Ph.D. - UNC-Chapel Hill. Chapel Hill, NC, US

Trenette Clark Goings, Ph.D. Trenette Clark Goings, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Social Work & Associate Member, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center | UNC-Chapel Hill


Dr. Trenette T. Clark is an Associate Professor in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Social Work.





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Dr. Trenette T. Clark Goings is an Associate Professor in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Social Work. She is a Faculty Affiliate at the Duke University Center for Biobehavioral and Social Aspects of Health Disparities, an Associate Member at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, and a Faculty Affiliate at the University of Georgia Center for Contextual Genetics & Prevention Science. Dr. Goings is also a NIH/National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities Scholar.

Her research focuses broadly on identifying and preventing racial and ethnic health disparities. To achieve this goal, her primary research focuses on the epidemiology, etiology, prevention, and consequences of substance use and risky sexual behaviors among adolescents and young adults. She also has some interest in rural issues stemming from her rural roots in northeastern North Carolina.

Dr. Goings received her Ph.D. in social work from Virginia Common- wealth University, a Master’s of Social Work degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and undergraduate degrees from Elizabeth City State University. She holds a nonprofit leadership certificate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is licensed to practice clinical social work in North Carolina and Washington, DC. Prior to enrolling into her PhD program, Dr. Goings worked as a social worker on interdisciplinary teams in the Department of Neurology at Duke University Medical Center.

Dr. Goings is currently the principal investigator of two funded research projects including “Substance Use Trajectories and Health Outcomes of Monoracial and Biracial Blacks,” a 5-year research grant funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse. She has managed several federally funded etiology and intervention research projects. Her research has been published in several peer-reviewed journals, including Health Psychology, Drug & Alcohol Dependence, and Addictive Behaviors. She has presented her research at local, state, and national conferences, including the Society for Prevention Research, the American Public Health Association, and The College on Problems of Drug Dependence.

Industry Expertise (2)



Areas of Expertise (7)

Program Evaluation

Higher Education

Grant Writing



Drug Abuse

Health Disparities

Accomplishments (1)

Deborah K. Padgett Early Career Achievement Award (professional)

Society for Social Work and Research

Education (2)

Virginia Commonwealth University: Ph.D., Social Work 2008

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: MSW, Social Work 2003

Affiliations (4)

  • Emerging Scholars Interdisciplinary Network
  • National Association of Social Workers
  • Society for Social Work Research
  • Public Members Association of the Foreign Service-USA

Media Appearances (2)

UNC professor studies race, drug abuse

The Daily Tarheel  online

Growing up in rural North Carolina, Trenette Clark watched as some loved ones went to jail at young ages and others lost their children to the Child Welfare System. She came to wonder why some drug users’ behavior spirals into a vortex of addiction and why those exposed to the same drug can have very different experiences from one another. She also wondered why so much research was restricted to one race. After receiving a $829,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health, Clark, a UNC professor of social work, hopes to answer these questions and many more, specifically questions surrounding the practically untouched topic of biracial adolescents. “I think we’ve kind of been masking differences within groups by saying all these people are black or all these people are white,” Clark said...

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Discrimination Affects Mental Health of African-Americans and Caribbean Blacks, Study

University Herald  online

"Perceived discrimination is an often overlooked but major source of health-related stress, with effects comparable to other major stressors such as the death of a loved one or the loss of a job," co-author Trenette Clark from the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, said. "Our study shows that the risk for mental health and behavioral disorders varies according to the types and frequency of discriminatory experiences."...

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Articles (5)

Smoking Trajectories Among Monoracial and Biracial Black Adolescents and Young Adults

Journal of Drug Issues

2015 ABSTRACT: Cigarette-smoking trajectories were assessed among monorace Blacks, Black–American Indians, Black–Asians, Black–Hispanics, and Black–Whites. We used a subsample of nationally representative data obtained from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health)...

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Perceived discrimination, depressive symptoms, and substance use among African-American and Afro-Caribbean young adults

Drug and Alcohol Dependence

2015 ABSTRACT: Perceived discrimination is an important health-related stressor. As suggested by the stress-coping model, people may turn to substance use as a means to reduce the negative effects of discrimination. This study examined how perceived discrimination and depressive symptoms are structurally related to lifetime and recent substance use among African American and Afro-Caribbean young adults...

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The Mediating and Moderating Effects of Parent and Peer Influences Upon Drug Use Among African American Adolescents

The Journal of Black Psychology

2011 ABSTRACT: This study recruited 567 African American youth (mean age = 15.27 years; 65.1% girls) to examine the role of parent and peer contexts on drug use among African American adolescents. Data were collected on demographics, drug refusal efficacy, drug use, and various psychosocial factors including family and peer factors...

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Beyond traditional gender roles and identity: does reconceptualisation better predict condom-related outcomes for African-American women?

Culture, Health & Sexuality: An International Journal for Research, Intervention and Care

2010 ABSTRACT: African-American women continue to be at high risk for HIV and better prevention efforts are needed. The current paper sought to investigate the relationship between gender roles and condom-related outcomes among African American women. The sample consisted of 398 African-American women, who were administered a survey that contained measures of condom-related outcomes and gender role beliefs...

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Understanding the Dimensions of Parental Influence on Alcohol Use and Alcohol Refusal Efficacy among African American Adolescents

Social Work Research

2010 ABSTRACT: Empirical evidence indicates that parental factors may be important protective factors for adolescents. Less is known about the dimensions of parental influence on alcohol use among African American adolescents. The purpose of this investigation was to examine parental influence and its relationship to alcohol refusal efficacy and use among African American adolescents and how it differs according to community type, gender, and age...

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