Child maltreatment is a significant and complex public health problem that is multi-determined and may lead to a variety of negative developmental consequences and costs to society. Despite significant progress in the past few decades and gains in understanding the extent of the problem, there remain major gaps in knowledge. The magnitude of the problem, the devastating short and long term consequences, and the importance of co- occurring contextual factors make this a challenging area of study requiring research from multiple disciplines. A recent Institute of Medicine Committee report (2013) entitled New Directions in Child Abuse and Neglect Research concluded that to develop a field of research focused on child abuse and neglect, it is necessary to create the infrastructure required to sustain a national, multidisciplinary research enterprise. This application responds to this need by implementing a five-year intensive summer research training institute designed to prepare a new cadre of skilled investigators dedicated to engaging in child abuse and neglect research. The proposed institute, Building a Multidisciplinary Pipeline of Researchers in Child Abuse and Neglect will train and mentor both early career investigators and more senior researchers who wish to transition to child maltreatment research but lack the needed methodological training in this area to help them overcome the unique challenges in measurement of maltreatment and contextual issues, choosing appropriate data sources and collection methods, implementing original designs or leveraging existing studies, and ethics. The focus on child maltreatment is also responsive to the present FOA (PA-12-207) foci on maternal and child health. Institute presenters (trainers) represent diverse fields (e.g., anthropology, criminology, genetics, law, medicine, psychology, public health, and social work), methodological expertise, and cultural backgrounds. Each year trainees will be competitively selected through a national recruitment effort targeting diversity of discipline, child abuse and neglect interests, ethnicity, and experience. Training activities of the institute begin prior to te summer and extend beyond the on-site week-long training to include individual follow-up mentoring provided by trainers matched to participant interests. There are three major aims: (1) To implement an annual multidisciplinary summer research training institute to provide post-doctoral trainees with critical knowledge in approaches to child maltreatment research to enable them to lead or participate in multi- or transdisciplinary teams that will continue to advance the science in this area; (2) To reinforce and enhance ongoing participation in child maltreatment research through post-institute follow-up mentoring and dissemination opportunities; and (3) To provide ongoing nationwide access to training materials by archiving institute presentations. The institute will be led by two Principal Investigators from different disciplinary backgrounds with a significant history of collaboration in training as well as substantial funded experience as child maltreatment researchers (MPIs: Drs Jonson-Reid and Widom).
Child maltreatment is a significant public health concern that results in tremendous personal, social and economic costs. The multi-determined nature of child abuse and neglect and its impact on multiple domains of functioning requires we move beyond work in single disciplines. This unique multi-disciplinary collaborative training project, 'Buildin a Multidisciplinary Pipeline of Researchers in Child Abuse and Neglect' will implement a summer research training institute using interactive and applied teaching methods to provide foundational knowledge to early career researchers and senior scientists wishing to begin work in this area to help build the research infrastructure needed to address gaps in knowledge about the etiology and epidemiology of child maltreatment.