Benedict McWhirter is a professor in the Counseling Psychology and Prevention Science programs. His research focuses on factors that contribute to adolescent risky behavior and that enhance adolescent resilience; interventions to enhance the sociopolitical development and academic outcomes among Latino and low income youth; and retention and support of college student emerging adults with particular emphasis on students of diverse ethnocultural backgrounds and first-generation college students. He is especially interested on the role of connectedness to others (e.g., peers, parents, teachers), environments (e.g., schools, neighborhoods) and to the self as factors that contribute to outcomes among adolescents and emerging adults.
His scholarship interests have led to the implementation of community- and school-based research with adolescents, families, and college students in the United States and internationally. He was named a Fulbright Scholar in 2004 to teach and conduct research in Santiago, Chile, and along with Ellen Hawley McWhirter he conducted community consultation and collaborative research projects (with the University of Development and the University of Chile in Santiago) for fifteen years. His current focus is on supporting interventions that enhance the academic and social outcomes of immigrant and Latino/a youth. Along with other McWhirters, he is author of At Risk Youth: A Comprehensive Response, now in its 6th edition.
Ph.D., 1992, Arizona State University
Major: Counseling Psychology
M.C., 1988, Arizona State University
B.A., 1986, University of Notre Dame
Major: Theology/Arts and Letters
Honors and Awards
2017 Special Recognition for Long-Standing Leadership Excellence and Service to the College of Education, University of Oregon, for seven years of leadership as Department Head.
2014 Fellow, Society of Counseling Psychology, Division 17 of the American Psychological Association.
2009 Research Fellow, Oregon Community Credit Union, Eugene, OR.
2009 Nominated for the American Psychological Association (APA), Society of Counseling Psychology, 2009 Social Justice Award for community-based service conducted in Santiago, Chile since 1997.
2008 Psychologist of the Year Award, Lane County Psychologists’ Association, Co-recipient with E.H. McWhirter for outstanding contributions to doctoral program development and to doctoral research, clinical, and multicultural competency training, Lane County, Oregon.
2007 Spencer Foundation Award, (Small Grant Program, 2007-2009), Chicago, Illinois.
2007 Co-recipient (with University of Oregon Counseling Psychology program faculty) of the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS) Department of the Year Award.
2004 Fulbright Scholar to Chile, Council for the International Exchange of Scholars, United States Department of State.
2001 APA Suinn Minority Achievement Award (co-recipient as Training Director, awarded to UO Counseling Psychology Program), for contributions to training psychologists of color.
2001 Outstanding Faculty Award, University of Oregon (UO) Office of Multicultural Affairs.
2001 Weaving New Beginnings Program Award (co-recipient) for Counseling Psychology Program, Associated Students of UO and UO Office of Multicultural Affairs.
1993 Joan Dallam Graduate Student Research Award, American College Personnel Association, ACPA Counseling and Psychological Services Commission.
1991 APA Student Dissertation Research Award, APA Science Directorate.
1991 Commendation for Teaching Excellence, Division of Psychology in Education, Arizona State University.
McWhirter, E. H., & McWhirter, B. T. (2016). Development of a measure of critical consciousness for Latina/o high school youth. Journal of Career Assessment, 24(3), 543-558 (doi: 10.1177/1069072715599535).
Luginbuhl, P., McWhirter, E.H., & McWhirter, B.T. (2016). Sociopolitical development, autonomous motivation, and education outcomes: Implications for low-income Latina/o adolescents. Journal of Latino/a Psychology, 4(1), pp. 43-59.†
Dutre-Thomé, L., Koller, S. H., McWhirter, E. H., & McWhirter, B. T. (2015). Aplicação da Escala de Expectativas Futuras para Adolescentes (FESA) no Brasil (Application of the Future Expectation Scale for Adolescents [FESA] in Brazil). Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica, 28(2), pp. 331-339.
Sheftel, A., Lindstrom, L., & McWhirter, B. T. (2014). Motivational enhancement career intervention for youth with disabilities. Advances in School Mental Health Promotion, 7(4), pp. 208-224.
Cerezo, A., McWhirter, B. T., Valdez, M., Bustos, C. E., & Peña, D. (2013). “Giving Voice”: Utilizing critical race theory to facilitate consciousness of racial identity for Latina/o college students. Journal for Social Action in Counseling and Psychology (JSACP), 5(3), †
McWhirter, E. H. & McWhirter, B. T. (2012). Critical Perspectives on Adolescent Vocational Guidance in Chile. Journal of Career Development, 39(4), 386-404.
Cerezo, A. & McWhirter, B. T. (2012). A pilot evaluation of the LEEP Project: A program to improve Latina/o student success and persistence in college. College Student Journal, 46, 867-879.