2015 Research Highlights

Easton-head-webThe National Institute on Aging has granted Assistant Professor Scott Easton $156,500 to study male survivors of child sexual abuse, a vulnerable, often isolated, and vastly underserved population that is in serious need of practical support and interventions.

Easton’s award is for a “Population Analysis of Male Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse at Mid and Later Life,” and represents one of the first ever studies of male survivors of child abuse using the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS), a massive source of data that followed its participants beginning with their 1957 high school graduation, until many reached their 70s.

Easton is fast becoming a sought after voice on a topic that is in need of advocates. He publishes frequently on this research topic, and because of his experience, Easton was appointed by Cardinal Sean O’Malley to serve on the Archdiocese Review Board for the Catholic Church of Boston. READ MORE ONLINE > >

lombe_facultywebFilling a void in AIDS research, Children and AIDS, an edited book from Associate Professor Margaret Lombe, defines vulnerability in African children orphaned due to HIV/AIDS and finds interventions that improve their welfare.

Historically, much of the research on orphans in Africa has been focused on treatment and prevention. But the circumstances and outcomes of those left parentless by the disease are glaring omissions in the research story.

“In Africa, children are assumed to be living in families,” explains Lombe. “. . . This book asks us to reflect upon what the future of Sub-Saharan Africa will look like, and to imagine a new society built on the backs of a generation of vulnerable children.”

Children and AIDS, which highlights collaborations of academics with service providers, human rights groups, and the children themselves, includes chapters from alumna Chiedza Mufunde, MSW ’14, and current PhD student Aakanksha Sinha. The book is due to be released in October by the Ashgate Publishing Company. READ MORE ONLINE > >

Professor Kevin Mahoney, founding director of the National Resource Center for Participant- Directed Services (NRCPDS), has received a $1 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to conduct a large-scale demonstration and evaluation of self-direction in behavioral health. The three-year project consists of a national program office to be housed at the NRCPDS, an independent evaluation, and three to six sites.

The study is an extension of the center’s previous research on participant direction of home and community-based services and supports for people with disabilities, and financing of long-term care. Self-direction holds promise to address many of the challenges that people with serious mental illness endure, including poverty, stigma, and physical illness. The publicly funded behavioral health system is faced with a myriad of challenges to deal effectively with these complex needs. Some evidence suggests that self-direction can improve recovery outcomes while keeping costs similar to those of traditional arrangements.