Research in the Center for Safe and Healthy Children focuses on two aims: mitigating the impact of early-life stress and adversity on subsequent development and preventing of childhood sexual abuse. With these goals in mind, investigators examine a wide range of physical, mental, behavioral, emotional, environmental, and social attributes in order to understand the harms of abuse, the factors related to resilience for people who have experienced trauma, and how to prevent abuse before it happens.
Center investigators engage in a broad range of studies, but the following projects comprise the core of our research infrascructure.
- The Center for Safe and Healthy Children is a designated Capstone Center for Excellence by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. This award helps shape and fund our research mission
- The Child Health Study is a prospective, longitudinal study of the impact of early-life stress in the lives of child maltreatment survivors.
- Smarter Parents, Safer Kids is a single-session educational intervention that works as an addendum to existing parental education programs. The program teaches future parents the skills needed to reduce the risk of abuse or sexual exploitation of their children.
- The Safe and Healthy Communities initiative is a comprehensive prevention strategy for child sexual abuse that has been developed in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.