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


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 Abuse Research
Violence Prevention and Trauma Studies

This is an evaluation of comprehensive trauma-informed, culturally-tailored substance abuse, behavioral health, and primary care services to low-income adult women in Boston who are at high risk of or living with HIV/AIDS, with a particular focus on recruiting and serving women of color.

Boston Consortium Model Enhancement: Integrated Wellness Model for Women of Color (BCME)

Public Mental Health and Substance Abuse Research
Violence Prevention and Trauma Studies

The Vicarious Trauma Toolkit is a first-of-its-kind online resource that helps guide first responder and victim service agencies in becoming vicarious trauma-informed.

Vicarious Trauma Toolkit

Public Mental Health and Substance Abuse 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



Ellis, H.B., Abdi, S.M., Miller, A.B., White, M.T., and Lincoln, A.K. (2015). Protective Factors For Violence Perpetration In Somali Youth: The Role Of Community Belonging And Neighborhood Cohesion. Psychology Of Violence. 5 (4), 384.

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 2018; 33(8): 563-578.

Beatriz ED, Salhi C, Griffith, JL, Molnar BE.* Urbanicity matters in self-reported child maltreatment prevalence: Findings from a nationally representative study. Child Abuse & Neglect 2018; 79: 371-383.

Johnson RM, Duncan DT, Gilreath T, Rothman EF, Hemenway D, Molnar BE, Azrael D. Fighting with siblings and with peers among urban high school students.  Journal of Interpersonal Violence 2015; Vol. 30(13): 2221-37.

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”)

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.

Pabayo R, Molnar BE,* Kawachi I. The role of neighborhood income inequality in adolescent aggression and violence. Journal of Adolescent Health 2014; Vol. 55(4): 571-579.

Pabayo R, Molnar BE,* Kawachi I. Witnessing a violent death and smoking, alcohol consumption, and marijuana use among adolescents. Journal of Urban Health 2014; Vol. 91(2): 335-354.

Scoglio AAJ, Kraus SW, Saczinski J, Molnar BE.* Systematic review of risk and protective factors for revictimization after child sexual abuse. Trauma, Violence & Abuse, Published online ahead of print 1/22/19.

Street NW, McCormick MC, Austin SB, Slopen N, Habre R, Molnar BE.* Sleep duration and risk of physical aggression against peers in urban youth Sleep Health 2016; Vol. 2(2): 129-135.

*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. doi:10.1007/s12310-015-9156-x

Faculty Scholars

Montgomery BE, Rompalo A, Hughes J, Wang J, Haley D, Soto-Torres L, Chege W, Justman J, Kuo I, Golin C, Frew P, Mannheimer S, Hodder S. Violence Against Women in Selected Areas of the United States. Am J Public Health. 2015 Oct;105(10):2156-66. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2014.302430. Epub 2015 Mar 19. PubMed PMID: 25790408.

Montgomery BEE, Rompalo A, Hughes J, Wang J, Adimora A, Haley DF, Justman J, Kuo I, Golin C, Jennings L, Frew P, El-Bassell N, Hodder SL. HIV-Risk Characteristics Associated with Violence Against Women: A Longitudinal Study Among Women in the United States. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2018, epub ahead of print. Doi: 10.1089/jwh.2017.6505.

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

Beatriz ED*, Salhi C, Griffith JL, Molnar BE. (2018). Urbanicity matters in self-reported child maltreatment prevalence: findings from a nationally representative study. Child abuse & neglect, 79, 371-383.

McBain RK, Salhi C, Hann K., Salomon JA, Kim JJ, Betancourt TS. (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.

Puffer ES, Annan J, Sim AL*, Salhi C, Betancourt TS. (2017). The impact of a family skills training intervention among Burmese migrant families in Thailand: A randomized controlled trial. PLOS ONE, 12(3), e0172611.

Moring, N.F.S., Parish, S.L., Mitra, M., & Alterio, N. (in press). After disclosure: A research protocol to respond to sexual assault and abuse disclosures in research with adults with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities. [DOI: 10.1111/jppi.12292]

Student Graduate Assistants

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.; Saczynski, J.; Jooma, S.; & Molnar, B.E. (2018). A Systematic Review of Risk and Protective Factors for Revictimization Following 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.; McKee, S.A.; Porter, E.; Kraus, S.W. (2017). Gender-Specific Risk Factors for Psychopathology and Reduced Functioning in a Post 9/11 Veteran Sample. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 0886260517746182.

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.