Desmond U. Patton

Assistant Professor of Social Work, School of Social Work, Assistant Professor of Information, School of Information

Desmond U. Patton

Desmond Patton's research is broadly focused on urban African American male development and identity. He is specifically interested in the mechanisms and processes underlying how African American adolescent males respond to community violence exposure and its impact on developmental and life course outcomes. Patton’s work takes into account how relationships between social networks, neighborhood conditions and social support impact how African-American males navigate physical and virtual spaces. As a qualitative researcher, Patton has interest in narrative and case-study based approaches to unpacking the lived experiences of urban African American males.

Research Interests/Focus

Internet banging, social networking, community violence, gangs, human-computer interactions, computer mediated communications, African American male development, community-based interventions


Year Degree   School
2012 PhD Social Service Administration University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
2006 MSW Social Work University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
2004 BA Anthropology and Political Science University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC


Patton, D. U. (2014). Internet banging reaches Detroit's police. The Detroit News.

Patton, D. (2013). Navigating the streets: African American adolescent males describing experiences with community violence. In M. Harris (Ed.), African American Perspectives: Family Dynamics, Health Care Issues and the Role of Ethnicity. Nova Science Publishers.

Patton, D., & Gabarino, J. (2013). The hurting child inside the black man. In K. Vaughn & W. Spielberg (Eds.), The Psychology of Black Boys and Adolescents. Practical and Applied Psychology.

Patton, D., Eschmann, R., & Butler, D. (2013). Internet banging: New trends in social media, gang violence, masculinity and hip-hop. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(5), A54-A59.

Patton, D., Hong, J., Williams, A., & Allen-Meares, P. (2013). A review of research on school bullying among African American youth: An ecological systems analysis. Educational Psychology Review, 25(2), 245-260.

Patton, D. (2013). The other Wes Moore: One name two fates, Wes Moore. Qualitative Social Work, 12(1), 93-97.

Patton, D., Woolley, M., & Hong, J. (2012). Community violence, student fear and low academic achievement: African American males in the critical transition to high school. Children and Youth Services Review, 34(2), 388-395.

Patton, D., & Johnson, D. (2010). Community violence and social capital: African-American students in the critical transition to high school. Harvard Journal of African American Public Policy.

Woolley, M. & Patton, D. (2009). School violence. In D. Carr, Crosnoe, M. E. Hughes and A. Pienta (Eds.). Encyclopedia of the Life Course and Human Development: Childhood, 1. Macmillan.

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