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Sarah C. Narendorf

Sarah Narendorf

Assistant Professor of Social Work

Room: 313 Social Work Building
Phone: (713) 743-8672

Personal Statement

My research focuses on improving the quality and accessibility of mental health services for vulnerable populations. I am particularly interested in the transition to young adulthood for youth with mental disorders who are involved in public systems of care. This interest has led to me investigate where, when, and what type of mental health services can most effectively support these young people as they navigate both developmental and institutional transitions.

My interest in mental health services stems from a decade of practice experience working with children, youth, and adults across the continuum of care from school outreach to the maximum security unit of a state mental hospital.  My interest in adolescent mental health began in Houston through my work doing street outreach with Youth Advocates, Inc. and Communities in Schools. My practice experience informs both my teaching and research and has fueled my desire to ensure that my research is relevant to social work practitioners.


PhD, Philosophy in Social Work, Washington University, St. Louis, MO, 2012
MSW, Graduate College of Social Work, University of Houston, Houston, TX, 1998
BA, Rice University, Houston, TX, 1994

Licenses and Certifications

Licensed Clinical Social Worker – State of Missouri

Courses Taught

  • Research and Knowledge Building in Social Work Practice
  • Clinical Applications of the DSM

Research Interests

Adolescent and young adult mental health, Youth aging out of public systems of care, Mental health treatment for youth in public systems of care, Experience of psychotropic medication treatment, Racial differences in mental health service use.


  • Shattuck, P. T., Narendorf, S. C., Cooper, B., Sterzing, P. R., Wagner, M. & Taylor, J. L. (2012). Postsecondary education and employment outcomes among youth with an autism spectrum disorder. Pediatrics. doi:10.1542/peds.2011-2864
  • Narendorf, S. C., Bertram, J.B. & McMillen, J. C. (2012). Diagnosis and medication overload? A nurse review of the psychiatric histories of older youth in treatment foster care. Child Welfare.  PMID: 22403899
  • Frazier, T. W., Shattuck, P. T., Narendorf, S. C., Cooper, B. & Wagner, M. (2012). Prevalence and correlates of psychotropic medication use in adolescents with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, with and without ADHD. Journal of Child and Adolescent PsychopharmacologyPMID: 22166171
  • Narendorf, S. C., Fedoravicius, N., McMillen, J. C., McNelly, D., & Robinson, D. R. (2011). Stepping down and stepping in: Youth’s perspectives on making the transition from residential treatment to treatment foster care. Children and Youth Services Review. 34(1):43-49. PMID: 22247580
  • Narendorf, S. C., Shattuck, P. T. & Sterzing, P. R. (2011). Mental health service use among adolescents with an autism spectrum disorder. Psychiatric Services. 62, 975-978.  PMID: 21807842
  • Munson, M., Narendorf, S. & McMillen, J. C. (2011). Knowledge of and attitudes toward behavioral health services among older youth in the foster care system. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 28(2), 97-112.
  • Shattuck, P. T., Wagner, M., Narendorf, S., Sterzing, P., & Hensley, M. (2011). Post high school service use for youth with autism spectrum disorders. Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, 165(2):141-146.  NIHMS290812