Dr. Bridget Freisthler
Professor and Associate Dean of Research
Dr. Freisthler runs a research program focusing on innovative approaches to study child abuse and neglect. Research includes the study of the relation between drinking contexts and drug use to physical abuse and neglect, the use of geographic information systems and spatial analysis to understand the spatial dimension of abuse and neglect, and the use of technology to improve the resource and referral process in the child welfare system. She is currently focusing on reducing child maltreatment among families misusing opioids.
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Dr. Alicia Bunger
Dr. Bunger investigates strategies for promoting care coordination and quality among human service organizations with a focus on those that serve children and families. In particular, she studies the role of collaboration and competition among organizations, social networks among human service professionals, and implementation of evidence-based practices (EBPs) within child-serving systems. She has expertise in partnering with community organizations to develop practical approaches to examining organizational and system change.
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Dr. Susan Yoon
Dr. Yoon examines the effects of child maltreatment on children’s behavioral outcomes and the buffering effects of protective factors, such as behavioral health services. Her work focuses on identifying factors and mechanisms that promote positive, resilient functioning among children in the child welfare system.
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Dr. Joyce Lee
Dr. Lee identifies as a child welfare and family strengthening scholar. Her research seeks to promote child welfare and family strengthening through preventing child maltreatment, promoting the health and wellbeing of foster children, and supporting positive parenting practices.
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Dr. Elinam Dellor
Dr. Dellor conducts research on the short and long-term consequences of child abuse and neglect. A key area of interest is the effect of early life trauma on adult behavior and health. Her expertise is in trauma-related physiologic processes as mediating pathways to adult chronic health conditions. Her research focuses on the feasibility of collecting chronic stress biomarkers among child welfare-involved families and caregivers with a focus on the HPA-axis (hair for cortisol) and immune system (dried blood spots for C-reactive protein) activity. She also studies the use of internet technology in linking vulnerable families to social, behavioral, and health services.