Harmony A. Reppond, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Psychology and affiliate faculty of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Michigan, Dearborn. She earned her M.A. in Experimental Psychology from San Jose State University and her Ph.D. in Psychology and Feminist Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research focuses on the social psychology of social class and the consequences of economic inequality, specifically poverty and homelessness. Her scholarship is informed by a full-cycle model of integrating theory, research, and practice, as well as social psychological approaches to intersecting forms of power and discrimination in interpersonal and institutional contexts. As an applied social psychologist, the overarching goal of her research is to inform public policy and social and economic justice initiatives.
Using an ecological model to study social class inequity as nested within social systems, Dr. Reppond’s research examines the role of political and media framing in reflecting and reinforcing dominant causal explanations for economic inequality; how beliefs about poverty and homelessness influence support for social policies; and the impact of programs and social policies on low-income and homeless women’s lives and well-being. In partnership with a network of community organizations that work with low-income families, Dr. Reppond’s most recent work focuses on mothers’ experiences with their children in family homeless shelters with the aim of strengthening family support policies that address unstable housing and economic conditions. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with formerly homeless mothers to better understand women’s experiences of being unhoused and the economic and housing policies they believed would most help their own and other similarly situated families. Recommendations such as more shelters and increased funding, increasing low-income housing availability and business models for developing mixed-income housing units, and living wages indicate the need for macro-level policy shifts in addressing the economic vulnerabilities faced by low-income mothers and children. In addition to understanding low-income and unhoused women’s experiences in social service contexts, Dr. Reppond is also interested in assessing the goals and outcomes of poverty alleviation programs and policies. Grounded in a collaborative community partnership, she is part of an evaluation team that is designing and conducting an assessment of a multi-agency campaign to provide housing and supportive services to medically vulnerable individuals and families experiencing chronic homelessness. This evaluation draws on qualitative and quantitative data to examine the impact of a housing first program at multiple levels: administrative processes and service delivery, potential cost savings, stakeholder assessments of efficacy, and resident well-being.
Bullock, H. E., & Reppond, H. A. (forthcoming 2016). Economic inequality and the gendered politics of redistribution. To appear in M. Schneider & A. Bos (Eds.), Routledge Studies in Political Psychology. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis Group. Bullock, H. E., & Reppond, H. A. (forthcoming 2016). Of “takers” and “makers:” A social psychological analysis of class and classism. In P. L. Hammack (Ed.), Oxford Handbook of Social Psychology and Social Justice. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.