In the U.S., it is estimated that 2.9 million reports of abuse or neglect, representing approximately 5.5 million children, were reported to authorities in 2003;more than 65% were further investigated, resulting in 906,000 substantiated cases. Globally, child abuse &neglect were estimated by the World Health Organization to affect 40 million children under age 15, with 57,000 deaths in 2000 attributed to homicide of children. To date, prevention scientists have made inroads towards family-focused prevention of child abuse and neglect and their associated consequences for child development. Studies have also shown effects that community conditions can have on the health and well being of children and families, dating back several decades. Although many prevention scientists have called for community-level prevention as a strategy to lower rates of child abuse &neglect, few exist;moreover, conceptual frameworks are in their infancy. This Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (K01) will enable the candidate, a social and psychiatric epidemiologist, to become an independent investigator in prevention science and community- based participatory research. The training components will result in new skills to translate community-level research findings into efficacious preventive interventions, and to conduct effectiveness trials to demonstrate sustained effects on rates of child abuse and neglect as well as on abused or neglected children's emotional and behavioral development. Training will also enable the candidate to effectively work with communities, conducting community-based participatory research to transform neighborhood collective behaviors for the protection of children. Research studies include: (1) Scientific review of community-level child abuse and neglect prevention research and programs;(2) Multi-level study of neighborhood-level collective behaviors associated with reduced abuse/neglect, and determinants of those collective behaviors;(3) Specification of unique neighborhood-level factors associated with lower rates of child sexual abuse and fewer mental disorders among abused youth;and (4) Development and pilot testing of a conceptual framework for community-academic partnerships conducting social transformation interventions that strengthen communities for protection of their children. This work will result in more effective community-level prevention of child abuse and neglect and better emotional/behavioral development of children and adolescents.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Research Scientist Development Award - Research & Training (K01)
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Study Section
Pediatrics Subcommittee (CHHD)
Program Officer
Maholmes, Valerie
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Harvard University
Social Sciences
Schools of Public Health
United States
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Molnar, Beth E; Beatriz, Elizabeth D; Beardslee, William R (2016) Community-Level Approaches to Child Maltreatment Prevention. Trauma Violence Abuse 17:387-97
Molnar, Beth E; Goerge, Robert M; Gilsanz, Paola et al. (2016) Neighborhood-level social processes and substantiated cases of child maltreatment. Child Abuse Negl 51:41-53