Current Research

Early Trauma Treatment Network

This study, conducted by the Early Trauma Treatment Network (ETTN), is designed to disseminate an evidence-based model of treatment, Child-Parent Psychotherapy, to intervene with traumatized infants and toddlers and their caregivers. Child-Parent Psychotherapy has been validated as effective for an ethnically and culturally diverse group of children aged birth to six who have experienced interpersonal violence and sudden loss, and their caregivers.  The ETTN  is developing a method to measure fidelity of implementation of this manualized treatment method. The ETTN collaborative includes the University of California at San Francisco’s Child Trauma Research Project, as well as three other sites that also conduct early trauma treatment, service delivery, and training: Infant Team at Tulane University School of Medicine, Child Witness to Violence Project at Boston Medical Center, and Child Violence Exposure Program at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center.

PI: Alicia Lieberman, Ph.D., UCSF
Tulane Site Director: Julie A. Larrieu, Ph.D.
Source of Support: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Period of Support: 2001-2016

Evaluation of the Capital Area United Way – Social Innovation Fund (SIF)

Evaluation of the Capital Area United Way’s 10 year commitment to early childhood education and development and its 5 targeted outcomes to ensure that children enter school ready to learn.  SIF is a $2 million federal grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service which requires a dollar for dollar cash match by the grantee (CAUW) and the sub-grantees that will receive funds.

PI: Geoffrey Nagle, PhD, LCSW, MPH
Source of Support: Capital Area United Way/Corporation for National and Community Service
Period of Support: 2012-2014

Prevention of Child Maltreatment: A Focus on Social Norms and Corporal Punishment

The aims of this project are to: 1) assess the effects of prior intervention efforts to change social norms relevant to child maltreatment risk and use of corporal punishment; 2) explore issues relevant to informing theory, instrument, and intervention development regarding corporal punishment use; and 3) explore associations and variations between perceived social norms and use of corporal punishment.

PI: Catherine A. Taylor, PhD, MSW, MPH
Source of Support: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Period of Support: 2009-2014

Infant Development Study

The Infant Development Study is an NIMH funded, five year study, focused on examining the biological impact of prenatal and life-course stress on infant development. Importantly we seek to understand how the development of the parent-child attachment relationship biologically buffers and protects children from on-going stressors in every day life. By demonstrating the importance of the early parent-child relationship on infant stress reactivity at a biological level we hope to strengthen intervention and prevention efforts designed to promote and support women during pregnancy and the mothers and families of very young children.  We are currently recruiting mothers and infants for this study. If you are interested please call 656-6559 or 988-1438. For more information about the study please click on this link to see our flier and frequently asked questions.

PI: Stacy Drury, MD, PhD
Source of Support: NIMH
Period of Support: 2013-2018

Maternal Transmission of Stress Study

The Maternal Transmission of Stress Study (MATSS) is a funded by the Cecile Usdin Professorship in Women’s Health. It is focused on examining the transgenerational transmission of biologic stress as measured by telomere structure. Importantly, we seek to understand the impact of maternal psychosocial (e.g., neighborhood disorder, early life events), physical (e.g., alcohol environment, parks/green space), and chemical (e.g., lead, mercury) environmental risk on maternal telomere structure. We are also examining the impact of maternal psychosocial, physical, and chemical environmental risk on the transmission of relatively shorter age-adjusted telomere structure to the child at birth. Our hypotheses are that mothers with higher levels of psychosocial and physical risk exposure (such as neighborhood stressors, stress buffers, and adverse life events) will exhibit shorter average telomere structure compared to mothers with lower levels of exposure. The difference in structure will vary based on the type of exposure, with a history of adverse life events having a greater impact on maternal average telomere structure than current psychosocial or physical environmental risks. Mothers with increased levels of chemical environmental risk exposure (such as lead and mercury, air pollution, and oil spill clean-up) will exhibit shorter average telomere structure compared to mothers with lower levels of exposure. Salient psychosocial, physical, and chemical environmental risk exposures, impacting maternal telomere structure, will explain a significant amount of variance in telomere structure in children at birth above and beyond direct maternal genetic transmission. We are currently recruiting pregnant women for this study. If you are interested please call 504-988-6269. For more information about the study please click here.

PI: Katherine Theall, PhD
Source of Support: Cecile Usdin Professorship in Women’s Health
Period of Support: 2013-2018