William Turner, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor of Public Service and Community Studies
Lipscomb University

Fellowship Profile

Fellowship Year: 2007-2008
Fellowship Placement: Sen Obama (D-IL)
Sponsoring Institution: University of Minnesota
Disciplines / Professions: Behavioral Health/Mental Health/Psychiatry, Public Health


William Lofton Turner, Ph.D., is Professor of Family Therapy in the Department of Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota. Previously he was Professor of Family Therapy at the University of Kentucky. He received a B.A. in journalism and religion from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an M.S. in family therapy from Abilene Christian University, and a Ph.D. in family therapy from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He completed an internship in family therapy at the Lewis-Gale Hospital Substance Abuse Treatment Program in Salem, Virginia. He has received fellowships from the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Michigan State University Institute for Children, Youth, and Families, the University of North Carolina Center for Family and Human Development, and the Societa’ Italiana Di Adolescentologia.

His program of research is conceptually grounded in systems theory and other ecological perspectives, and his research and writings have centered on themes related to African American family strengths and their relationship to health and mental health prevention and intervention, specifically in the areas of substance abuse, clinical family therapy, adolescent development, rehabilitation, and family-based end-of-life care. The methodological approaches he uses to explore these issues are comparative, longitudinal, and multimethod.

He has served on scientific study sections at the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the National Institute of Mental Health. He received the award for economic and cultural diversity from the American Family Therapy Academy and the Sussman Award from the National Council on Family Relations. He was associate editor of the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy as well as guest editor for two special issues addressing the translation of basic research on ethnically diverse families to clinical practice.