Violence Prevention and Trauma Studies

Area of Focus

Violence Prevention and Trauma Studies

The Institute for Health Equity and Social Justice Research conducts research on the etiology, consequences and prevention of multiple types of violence, including youth violence, child maltreatment, community violence, sexual assault, and intimate partner/teen dating violence.

Previously, studies of the etiology of youth violence and child maltreatment have identified potentially modifiable features of urban neighborhoods to use in the design of prevention programs, and identified teen behaviors and attitudes to use in prevention of dating and intimate partner violence.

Violence prevention studies evaluate interventions and initiatives designed to prevent violence within an urban context, including prevention of teen dating violence among urban youth.

The Institute’s researchers use an ecological perspective to investigate environmental, social and individual determinants of violence in an attempt to better understand its causes and consequences, and to inform prevention efforts.

Through this work, we strive to continually inform interventions that that ameliorate the consequences of the trauma of exposure to violence, as well as prevent interpersonal and community violence from occurring.

Beth Molnar - Institute for Health Equity and Social Justice Research, Northeastern University

Beth Molnar (Lead)
Associate Professor
Northeastern University

Alisa Lincoln - Northeastern University

Alisa Lincoln
Director of IHESJR
Northeastern University

Rachael Jones - Northeastern University

Rachel Jones
Associate Professor
Northeastern University


Project Overview Over the past few decades, understanding of the potential negative consequences of work-related trauma exposure, or vicarious trauma, has been growing. For those working with trauma victims and survivors, the focus has been on promoting individual self-care strategies. More recently, the attention has been on the duty and responsibility of organizations to support [...]

Vicarious Trauma Resource Initiative

  • Violence Prevention and Trauma Studies

Evaluation of the readiness and feasibility of conducting a large-scale evaluation of Start Strong Boston, a highly regarded community-based intervention that teaches middle school-aged youth about healthy relationships and avoiding dating violence.

Start Strong Boston: Evaluating Readiness and Feasibility of a Promising Afterschool Teen Dating Violence Intervention Using a Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) Framework

  • Public Mental Health and Substance Misuse Research
  • Violence Prevention and Trauma Studies

This study is designed to (a) identify subgroups of gun owners who share similar attributes and similar suicide risk profiles and then (b) conduct qualitative research with the subgroups to explore barriers and facilitators to the development of targeted firearm suicide prevention programs that can be adopted by each subgroup.

Developing Firearm Suicide Prevention Programs Tailored to Gun Owner Population Subgroups

  • Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Across the Life Course
  • Public Mental Health and Substance Misuse Research
  • Violence Prevention and Trauma Studies

This investigation will collect pilot data and test different methods of recruitment, retainment, and assessment to prepare for research proposals to fund a longitudinal cohort study of the role of justice in the healing of sexual assault survivors.

Pathways to Healing: A Mixed Methods Investigation of the Role of Justice in Healing of Mental, Physical, and Social Wounds of Sexual Assault Survivors

  • Violence Prevention and Trauma Studies



Beatriz E. D., Lincoln A., Alder J., Daley N., Simmons F., Ibeh K.,…Molnar BE. (2018). 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, 33(8): 563-578.

Beatriz, E. D., Salhi, C., Griffith, J. L., & Molnar, B. E. (2018). Urbanicity matters in self-reported child maltreatment prevalence: findings from a nationally representative study. Child abuse & neglect79, 371-383.

Johnson R. M., Duncan D. T., Gilreath T., Rothman E. F., Hemenway D., Molnar B. E., & Azrael D. (2015). Fighting with siblings and with peers among urban high school students. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 30(13), 2221-2237.

Johnson, S. E., Hoffman, J. A., Kruger, L., J., & Rizzo, C. J. (2015). Teaching school psychology students about teen dating violence: A snapshot of training practices across the U.S. School Mental Health, 7(4), 249-260.

Molnar B. E., Beatriz E. D., & Beardslee W. R. (2016). Community-level approaches to child maltreatment prevention. Trauma, Violence & Abuse, 17(4), 387-97.

Molnar B. E., Goerge R. M., Gilsanz P., Subramanian S. V., Holton J. K., Hill A.,… Beardslee W. R. (2016). Neighborhood-level social processes and substantiated cases of child maltreatment. Child Abuse & Neglect, 51, 41-53.

Molnar B. E., Sprang G., Killian K. D., Gottfried R., Emery V., & Bride B. E. (2017). Advancing science & practice for vicarious traumatization/secondary traumatic stress: A research agenda. Traumatology, 23(2), 129-142.

Pabayo R., Molnar B. E., & Kawachi I. (2014). The role of neighborhood income inequality in adolescent aggression and violence. Journal of Adolescent Health, 55(4), 571-579.

Pabayo R., Molnar B. E., & Kawachi I. (2014). Witnessing a violent death and smoking, alcohol consumption, and marijuana use among adolescents. Journal of Urban Health, 91(2), 335-354.

Street N. W., McCormick M. C., Austin S. B., Slopen N., Habre R., & Molnar B. E. (2016). Sleep duration and risk of physical aggression against peers in urban youth. Sleep Health, 2(2): 129-135.

Faculty Scholars

Azrael, D., Cohen, J., Salhi, C., & Miller, M. (2018). Firearm storage in gun owning households with children: Results of a 2015 national survey. Journal of Urban Health, 95(3), 295-304.

Beatriz, E. D., Salhi, C., Griffith, J. L., & Molnar, B. E. (2018). Urbanicity matters in self-reported child maltreatment prevalence: findings from a nationally representative study. Child abuse & neglect79, 371-383.

Lindauer, M. (2016). ‘Please stop telling her to leave’. Where is the money: Reclaiming economic power to address domestic violence. 39, 1263-1280, Seattle University Law Review.

McBain, R. K., Salhi, C., Hann, K.., Salomon, J. A., Kim, J. J., & Betancourt T. S. (2015). Costs and cost-effectiveness of a mental health intervention for war-affected young persons: decision analysis based on a randomized controlled trial. Health policy and planning, 31(4), 415-424.

Montgomery B. E., Rompalo A., Hughes J., Wang J., Adimora A., Haley D. F.,… Hodder S. L. (2018). HIV-risk characteristics associated with violence against women: A longitudinal study among women in the United States. Journal of Women’s Health, 27(11).

Montgomery B. E., Rompalo A., Hughes J., Wang J., Haley D., Soto-Torres L.,… Hodder S. (2015). Violence against women in selected areas of the United States. American Journal of Public Health, 105(10), 2156-2166.

Puffer, E. S., Annan, J., Sim, A. L., Salhi, C., & Betancourt T. S. (2017). The impact of a family skills training intervention among Burmese migrant families in Thailand: A randomized controlled trial. PLOS ONE12(3), e0172611.

Student Graduate Assistants

Ballou, M., Balogun, O., Gittens, G., Matsumoto, A., & Sanchez, W. (2015). Trauma and returning to work: Women’s lived experiences and its implications for vocational rehabilitation counseling. Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling, 46(1), 25-33.

Green, C. L., Nahhas, R. W., Scoglio, A. A. J., & Elman, I. (2017). Post-traumatic stress symptoms in pathological gambling: Potential Evidence of Anti-Reward Processes. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 6(1), 98-101.

Mackowiak, C. & Scoglio, A. A. J. (2018). The Safing Center: A specialty clinic for treatment and prevention of IPV with veterans. Psychological Services, 15(4), 371-376.

Scoglio A. A. J., Kraus S. W., Saczinski J., & Molnar B. E. (2019). Systematic review of risk and protective factors for revictimization after child sexual abuse. Trauma, Violence & Abuse, 1-13.

Scoglio, A. A. J., Rudat, D. A., Garvert, D., Jarmolowski, M., Jackson, C., & Herman, J. L. (2018). Self-compassion and responses to trauma: The role of emotion regulation. Journal of interpersonal violence, 33(13), 2016-2036.

Scoglio, A. A. J., Shirk, S. D., Hoff, R. A., Potenza, M. N., Mazure, C. M., Park, C. L.,… Kraus, S. W. (2017). Gender-specific risk factors for psychopathology and reduced functioning in a post-9/11 veteran sample. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 1-16.