Beth E. Molnar, ScD

Associate Professor and Director, PhD Program in Population Health

Department of Health Sciences, Faculty, Global Resilience Institute, Institute for Health Equity and Social Justice Research

Office: 323 INV


Phone: 617.373.8936

View Résumé/CV

Professor Molnar is a social and psychiatric epidemiologist and an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Sciences, Bouvé College of Health Sciences. She is the Director of the Population Health PhD Program. Dr. Molnar’s research is grounded in three public health domains: social epidemiology, prevention science, and psychiatric epidemiology. Studies focus on two major areas: (1) violent, traumatic experiences (such as child maltreatment, sexual violence, community violence) and the ways that they affect children, families, communities and those who respond to those who experience violence (vicarious trauma); and (2) the social context of high-risk behaviors among adolescents (the latter often being sequelae of the first.) Dr. Molnar’s expertise includes multilevel analytic methods, where she utilizes neighborhood-level analyses for insight into both etiology and prevention strategies; community-based participatory research methodology; survey/measures development and evaluation research. Using both quantitative and qualitative methods, Dr. Molnar’s work, strongly influenced by Bronfenbrenner’s Bioecological Theory of Human Development, has focused on identifying neighborhood-level resources that can be mobilized to decrease levels of violence both in families and in communities. Current/recent projects on which she is the Principal Investigator include the Vicarious Trauma Toolkit project funded by the Office for Victims of Crime; evaluation of three different federally funded interventions to prevent social emotional and behavioral disorders among young children; an NIH-funded evaluation study of Start Strong Boston, a middle school age dating violence preventive intervention delivered in after school programs; and a pilot study of the role of justice in healing from sexual assault. Prior to joining Northeastern, Dr. Molnar was an Associate Professor of Society, Human Development and Health at the Harvard School of Public Health where she co-founded the Boston Data Project at the Harvard Youth Violence Prevention Center and conducted ongoing surveillance of youth violence and its risk and protective factors from 2004-2012.



  • Harvard University: Sc. D., Public Health, 1999
  • Harvard University: S.M., Public Health, 1996
  • University of California: B.S., Psychobiology, 1988


Research Interests:

  • Social epidemiology, violence prevention, child maltreatment, sexual violence, early childhood mental health, psychiatric epidemiology, vicarious trauma


Selected Honors & Awards:

  • Paper of the Year 2016, Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect, International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse & Neglect (ISPCAN)
  • Community MVP 2018, Myra Kraft Foundation, New England Patriots


Selected Recent Publications:

  • Molnar BE, Lees K, Roper K, Byars N, Mendez-Penate L, Moulin C, McMullen W, Wolfe J, Allen D. Enhancing early childhood mental health primary care services: Evaluation of MA Project LAUNCH. Journal of Maternal & Child Health 2018; 22(10): 1502-1510. Free to download:
  • Beatriz ED, Lincoln A, Alder J, Daley N, Simmons F, Ibeh K, Figueroa C, Molnar BE.* Evaluation of a teen dating violence prevention intervention among urban middle-school youth using Youth Participatory Action Research: Lessons learned from Start Strong Boston Journal of Family Violence, Published online ahead of print 7/20/18.
  • Molnar BE, Sprang G, Killian KD, Gottfried R, Emery V, Bride BE. Advancing science & practice for vicarious traumatization/secondary traumatic stress: A research agenda. Traumatology 2017; 23(2): 129-142.
  • Molnar BE, Beatriz ED, Beardslee WR. Community-level approaches to child maltreatment prevention. Trauma, Violence & Abuse 2016; Vol. 17(4): 387-97.
  • Molnar BE, Goerge RM, Gilsanz P, Subramanian SV, Holton JK, Hill A, Duncan DT, Beatriz ED, Beardslee WR. Neighborhood-level social processes and substantiated cases of child maltreatment. Child Abuse & Neglect 2016; Vol. 51: 41-53. (Winner of journal’s award for “Paper of the Year – 2016”)


Selected Public Service:

  • Board of Directors (Currently President, since 2014), Boston Area Rape Crisis Center