Beth Molnar


Director, PhD Program in Population Health; Professor

Public Health and Health Sciences

Research Interests

Trauma, child maltreatment, social epidemiology, psychiatric epidemiology, violence prevention, evaluation


Beth E. Molnar is a social and psychiatric epidemiologist. Dr. Molnar’s research is grounded in three public health domains: social epidemiology, prevention science, and psychiatric epidemiology.  Studies focus on three major areas: (1) violent, traumatic experiences (e.g. child maltreatment, sexual violence, community violence) and the ways that they affect children, youth and those who serve populations who have experienced trauma; (2) the social context of high-risk behaviors such as youth violence among adolescents (the latter often being sequelae of the first); and (3) development and evaluation of violence prevention and early childhood mental health interventions. Dr. Molnar was the PI of the Vicarious Trauma Toolkit (VTT) project, funded by the Office for Victims of Crime, an evidence-informed web-based resource available for organizations that work with people who have experienced trauma, helping organizations take better care of employees who do this empathic work. Current studies include evaluating the development and roll-out of a model intervention to improve organizations of first responders and victim services professionals exposed to vicarious trauma, and efforts to better serve very young children in the child welfare system and communities with lower resources who need services for social and emotional disorders, and a cluster randomized trial of a school-based preventive intervention for child sexual abuse. In addition to her university roles, she is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (President 2014-2019).

Selected Recent Publications

Molnar BE, Scoglio AJ, Beardslee WR. Community-level prevention of childhood maltreatment: Next steps in a world with COVID-19. International Journal of Child Maltreatment 2021; 3: 467-481.

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:

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”)


PHTH 2350 Community and Public Health
PHTH 6400 – Part I, PHTH 6410 – Part II Population Health Research
HSCI 1000 Intro to College
PHTH 5540 Health Education and Program Planning
Public Health and Healthcare Systems Dialogue of Civilizations – Summer II – includes PHTH 1261 and PHTH 2351 (taught in Spain in 2018, Argentina/Chile in 2019)

Selected Public Service

2007-Present Member, Board of Directors (President from 2014-2019), Boston Area Rape Crisis Center

2010-Present Member, Working Group on Child Maltreatment Data Collection (WGCMDC), International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN)

2013-Present Member, Editorial Board, Child Abuse & Neglect, the journal of the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN)

2019-Present Member, Technical Expert Panel, The First National Study of Child Maltreatment in Australia, 2019-23

2010-Present Reviewer of Grants, Special Panels (R24, P01, DP5, Special Topics) National Institutes of Health (NIH) – Eunice Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD); Psychosocial Development, Risk & Prevention study section, Risk Prevention/Health Behavior Integrated Review Group – Ad hoc member


How Strong Neighborhood Ties can Prevent Child Abuse

Design Kit for Those Who Help Trauma Victims

New England Patriots Honor Northeastern Professor for Providing Support to Victims of Sexual Violence

Patriots announce 2018 Myra Kraft Community MVP Award Winners