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Photo of Griffith, Aisha

Aisha Griffith

Assistant Professor

Educational Psychology


Building & Room:

3541 ETMSW


1040 W. Harrison St. (M/C 147), Chicago, IL 60607


Aisha Griffith is an Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology at University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research focuses on the development and function of supportive relationships between adolescents and non-parental adults within informal and formal learning contexts. She is particularly interested in the critical role of trust within youth-adult relationships and how these relationships support positive adolescent development. How do youth conceptualize trust? How does trust develop? Why does trust matter? What contextual factors foster or hinder trust? Her specializations include qualitative methodology, out-of-school time programs, and youth-adult relationships.  Griffith is committed to connecting research and practice around positive youth development and out-of-school time programming.  She has given invited presentations at the Statewide Illinois 4-H Annual Staff Meeting and the BOOST (Best in Out-of-School Time) Conference.

Selected Publications

Griffith, A.N., Larson, R.W., & Johnson, H.E. (2017). How trust grows: Teenagers’ accounts of forming trust in youth program staff. Qualitative Psychology. Advance online publication.

Griffith, A. N., Hurd, N. M., & Hussain, S.B. (2017). “I didn’t come to school for this”: A qualitative examination of experiences with race-related stressors and coping responses among Black students attending a predominantly White institution. November 21, 2017, Journal of Adolescent Research. (Authors equally contributed to the manuscript).

Griffith, A. N. (2016). Trajectories of trust within the youth program context. Qualitative Psychology. 3(1), 98-119.

Griffith, A. N. & Larson, R. W. (2016). Why trust matters: How confidence in leaders transforms what adolescents gain from youth programs. Journal of Research on Adolescence. 26(4), 790-804.

Service to Community

Griffith is a member of the Editorial Review Board of Current Issues in Out-of-School Time Book Series  and served as a member of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Summer Learning Technical Working Group.



Ph.D., Human and Community Development (renamed Human Development and Family Studies), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

M.A., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Human and Community Development

B.A., History, Northwestern University

Professional Memberships

Society for Research on Adolescence

American Educational Research Association (Out-of-School Time SIG)

Society for Research on Child Development (Black Caucus)

Selected Presentations

Griffith, A., Melton, T., & Deutsch, N. (April 2017). Leveraging group experiences to bolster relational development: Mechanisms of support in a combined group and one-on-one program. Poster presented at the biennial meeting for the Society for Research in Child Development.

Griffith, A. & Johnson, H. E. (April 2016). Building trust: Reflections of adults working with youth in project-based programs. Presentation given at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association. Washington D.C.

Griffith, A. (May 2015). Employing theoretical sampling to inform a grounded theory model of trust formation in youth programs. Presentation given at the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry. Champaign, IL.