Network Researchers

  • Professor of Human Development and Family Studies
  • Director Child Maltreatment Solutions Network
  • Principal Investigator NICHD P50 Capstone Center for Healthy Children
Research Interests:

Internet and social media, sexual behaviors, intergenerational transmission, biological embedding, neurocognitive development, policy analysis, sex trafficking, prevention

Selected Pubs:
  • Noll J. G., Guastaferro K, Beal S. J., Schreier H. M. C., Barnes J., Reader J. M., & Font S. A. (2018). Is sexual abuse a unique predictor of sexual risk behaviors, pregnancy, and motherhood in adolescence? Journal of Research on Adolescence. doi: 10.1111/jora.12436 PMID:30019514.

  • Noll, J. G., Trickett, P. K., Long, J. D., Negriff, S., Susman, E. J., Shalev, I., Li, J. C., Putnam, F.W. (2017). Childhood sexual abuse and early timing of puberty. Journal of Adolescent Health, 60(1), 65-71. PMID: 27836531. doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2016.09.008

  • Noll, J. G., & Shenk, C. E. (2013). Teen birth rates in sexually abused and neglected females. Pediatrics, 131, e1181-e1187. PMID: 23530173 PMCID: PMC3608488. doi:10.1542/peds.2012-3072

  • Noll, J. G., Shenk, C. E., Barnes, J. E., & Haralson, K. J. (2013). Association of Maltreatment with High Risk Internet Behaviors and Offline Encounters. Pediatrics, 131(2) e510-e517. PMID: 23319522 PMCID: PMC3557406. doi:10.1542/peds.2012-1281

  • Trickett, P. K., Noll, J. G., & Putnam, F. W. (2011). The impact of sexual abuse on female development: lessons from a multigenerational, longitudinal research study. Development and Psychopathology, 23, 453-476. PMID: 23786689 PMCID: PMC3693773. doi: 10.1017/S095457941000174

  • Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry
  • Director of Mental Health Services, Center for the Protection of Children
Research Interests:

Mediators and moderators of treatment outcome; the role of attachment processes in development and treatment; problematic sexual behavior of preteen children; application of evidence-based treatments to understudied populations; historical context of child abuse.

Selected Pubs:
  • Allen, B., Berliner, L., Shenk, C. E., Bendixsen, B., Zellhoefer, A., Dickmann, C. R., Arnold, B., &Chen, M. J. (in press). Development and pilot testing of a phase-based treatment for preteen children with problematic sexual behavior. Evidence-based Practice in Child and Adolescent Mental Health.

  • Allen, B., Bendixsen, B., Babcock Fenerci, R., &Green, J. (2018). Assessing disorganized attachment representations: A systematic psychometric review and meta-analysis of the Manchester Child Attachment Story Task. Attachment & Human Development, 20, 553-577.

  • Allen, B., & Hoskowitz, N. A. (2017). Structured trauma-focused CBT and unstructured play/experiential techniques in the treatment of sexually abused children: A field study with practicing clinicians. Child Maltreatment, 22,112-120.

  • Allen, B.,Timmer, S. G., & Urquiza, A. J. (2016). Parent-Child Interaction Therapy for sexual concerns of children with maltreatment histories: A preliminary investigation. Child Abuse & Neglect, 56, 80-88.

  • Allen, B.,Timmer, S. G., & Urquiza, A. J. (2014). Parent-Child Interaction Therapy as an attachment-based intervention: Theoretical rationale and pilot data with adopted children. Children and Youth Services Review, 47, 334-341.

  • Associate Director of the Child Maltreatment Solutions Network
  • Associate Professor, Human Development and Family Studies
Research Interests:

Primary research foci: (1) individual, family, and contextual risk and protective processes that impact child behavioral health and wellbeing following incidents of maltreatment, child welfare system contact, or other traumatic experiences; (2) evaluation of community-level evidence-informed efforts to prevent or treat the negative effects of maltreatment and other traumatic experiences in children and adolescents; and (3) use of administrative data systems to inform child welfare system practice and policy initiatives.

Selected Pubs:
  • Connell, C.M., Bergeron, N., Katz, K.H., Saunders, L., & Tebes, J.K. Re-referral to Child Protective Services: The influence of child, family, and case characteristics on risk status. Child Abuse & Neglect, 31, 573-588, 2007.

  • Connell, C.M., Vanderploeg, J.J., Caron, C., Saunders, L., Katz, K.H., & Tebes, J.K. Maltreatment following reunification: Predictors of subsequent CPS contact after children return home. Child Abuse and Neglect, 33, 218-228, 2009.

  • Lang, J.M., Campbell, K., Shanley, P., Crusto, C.A., & Connell, C.M. Building capacity for trauma-informed care in the child welfare system: Initial results of a statewide implementation. Child Maltreatment, 2, 113-124, 2016.

  • Lang, J. & Connell, C.M. Development and validation of a brief trauma screening measure for children: The Child Trauma Screen. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 9, 390-398, 2017.

Sarah Font, Ph.D.

  • Network Faculty member
  • Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology
Research Interests:

My research seeks to understand the individual, familial, community, and system factors that promote or inhibit immediate and later life success among children and youth who experience maltreatment or foster care placement. I am specifically interested in how the policies and priorities of the child welfare system serve the interests of children and families, the role of social disadvantage in child maltreatment, and the measurement of child welfare outcomes.

Selected Pubs:
  • Font, Sarah A., and Jamie Cage. 2017. “Dimensions of Physical Punishment and Their Associations with Children's Cognitive Performance and School Adjustment.” 2017. Child Abuse & Neglect [in press]. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2017.06.008

  • Berger, Lawrence M., Sarah A. Font, Kristen S. Slack, and Jane Waldfogel. 2017. “Income and Child Maltreatment in Unmarried Families: Evidence from the Earned Income Tax Credit.” Review of Economics of the Household 15(4): 1345-1372. doi: 10.1007/s11150-016-9346-9

  • Font, Sarah A, and Kathryn Maguire-Jack. 2015. “Decision-Making in Child Protective Services: Influences at Multiple Levels of the Social Ecology.” Child Abuse & Neglect 47(September):70-82. doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2015.02.005

  • Font, Sarah A. 2015. “Is Higher Placement Stability in Kinship Care By Virtue or Design?” Child Abuse & Neglect 42(April):99-111. doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2015.01.003

  • Font, Sarah A. 2014. “Kinship and Nonrelative Foster Care: The Effect of Placement Type on Child Well-Being.” Child Development 85(5):2074-2090.

  • Network Faculty member
  • Professor of Biobehavioral Health
Research Interests:

Primary research focus is to employ a multi-level longitudinal approach to integrating developmental and clinical data with functional and structural neuroimaging, endocrine and immune measures, and molecular genetics to further elucidate the role of child maltreatment in the development of complex psychiatric and medical disorders.

Selected Pubs:
  • Heim C, Newport DJ, Heit S, Graham YP, Wilcox M, Bonsall R, Miller AH, Nemeroff CB. Pituitary- adrenal and autonomic responses to stress in adult women with sexual and physical abuse in childhood. JAMA 2000;284:592–7

    Heim C, Plotsky PM, Nemeroff CB. The importance of studying the contributions of early adverse experience to the neurobiology of depression. Neuropsychopharmacology 2004;29:641–8. 

    Heim C, Mayberg HS, Mletzko T, Nemeroff CB, Pruessner JC. Decreased cortical representation of genital somatosensory field after childhood sexual abuse. Am J Psychiatry 2013;170:616–23. 

    Klengel T, Mehta D, Anacker C, Rex-Haffner M, Pruessner JC, Pariante CM, Pace, TW, Mercer KB, Mayberg HS, Bradley B, Nemeroff CB, Holsboer F, Heim CM, Ressler KJ, Rein T, Binder EB. Allele- specific DNA demethylation in FKBP5: a molecular mediator of gene x childhood trauma interactions. Nat Neurosci 2013;16:33–41.

  • Child Abuse Pediatrician, Penn State Health Children’s Hospital
  • Professor of Pediatrics, Penn State College of Medicine
Research Interests:

Abusive head trauma, child abuse screening and predictive tools

Selected Pubs:
  • Hymel KP, Willson DF, Boos SC, Pullin DA, Homa K, Lorenz DJ, Herman BE, Graf JM, Isaac R, Narang SK and Armijo-Garcia V, for the Pediatric Brain Injury Research Network (PediBIRN) Investigators.; Derivation of a clinical prediction rule for pediatric abusive head trauma. Pediatr Crit Care Med 2013;14:210-220

  • Hymel KP, Armijo-Garcia V, Foster R, Frazier TN, Stoiko M, Christie LM, Harper MS, Weeks K, Carroll CL, Hyden P, Sirotnak A, Truemper E, Ornstein AE and Wang M, for the Pediatric Brain Injury Research Network (PediBIRN) Investigators.  Validation of a clinical prediction rule for pediatric abusive head trauma.  Pediatrics 2014; 134(6):e1537-e1544

  • Hymel KP, Herman BE, Narang SK, Graf JM, Frazier TN, Stoiko M, Christie LM, Harper NS, Carroll CL, Boos SC, Dias M, Pullin DA and Wang M, for the Pediatric Brain Injury Research Network (PediBIRN) investigators. Potential impact of a validated screening tool for pediatric abusive head trauma. J Pediatr 2015;167:1375-1381

  • Cohrs A, Agbese E, Leslie DL and Hymel KP. A cost analysis of a validated screening tool for pediatric abusive head trauma.   J Child Fam Studies 2018;27(3):750-755

  • Hymel KP, Laskey AL, Crowell KR, Wang M, Armijo-Garcia V, Frazier TN, Tieves KS, Foster R, and Weeks K, for the Pediatric Brain Injury Research Network (PediBIRN) Investigators.  Racial/Ethnic Disparities and Bias in the Evaluation and Reporting of Abusive Head Trauma.  J Pediatr 2018;137-143.e1 doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2018.01.048.

Yo Jackson, Ph.D., ABPP

  • Professor, Psychology Department
  • Associate Director Child Maltreatment Solutions Network
Research Interests:

Mechanisms of resilience for youth exposed to trauma, intergenerational transmission of trauma, foster care youth and families, assessment of trauma and child maltreatment

Selected Pubs:
  • Gusler, S., & Jackson, Y. (2017). The role of poly-victimization in predicting differences in foster youths’ appraisals. Child Abuse & Neglect, 69, 223-231.

  • Jackson, Y., Cushing, C. C., Gabrielli, J., Fleming, K., O'Connor, B. M., & Huffhines, L. (2016). Child maltreatment, trauma, and physical health outcomes: The role of abuse type and placement moves on health conditions and service use for youth in foster care. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 41(1), 28-36

  • Jackson, Y., Gabrielli, J., Fleming, K., Tunno, A., & Makanui, P. K. (2014). Untangling the relative contribution of maltreatment severity and frequency to type of behavioral outcome in foster youth. Child Abuse and Neglect, 38(7), 1147-1159.

  • Jackson, Y., & Huffhines, L. (2018). Physical health and foster youth. In E. Trejos & N. Trevino (Eds.), Handbook of Foster Youth (pp. 117-132). New York: Taylor & Francis.

  • Jackson, Y., Huffhines, L., Stone, K. J., Fleming, K., & Gabrielli, J. (2017). Coping styles in youth exposed to maltreatment: Longitudinal patterns reported by youth in foster care. Child Abuse & Neglect, 70, 65-74.

Erika Lunkenheimer, Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor of Psychology
  • Associate Director of Child Maltreatment Solutions Network
Research Interests:

Parent-child coregulation, parent and child self-regulation, parent mental health, stress physiology, autonomy support, harsh parenting, child maltreatment risk, maltreatment severity

Selected Pubs:
  • Lunkenheimer, E., Busuito, A., Brown, K. M., & Skowron, E. A. (2018). Mother-child coregulation of parasympathetic processes differs by child maltreatment severity and subtype. Child Maltreatment, 23(3), 211-220. doi: 10.1177/1077559517751672

  • Lunkenheimer, E., Ram, N., Skowron, E., & Yin, P. (2017). Harsh parenting, child behavior problems, and the dynamic coupling of parents’ and children’s positive behaviors. Journal of Family Psychology, 31(6), 689-698. doi: 10.1037/fam0000310

  • Lunkenheimer, E., Kemp, C. J., Lucas-Thompson, R. G., Cole, P. M., & Albrecht, E. C. (2017). Assessing biobehavioural self-regulation and coregulation in early childhood: The Parent-Child Challenge Task. Infant and Child Development, 26(1). doi: 10.1002/icd.1965

  • Lunkenheimer, E., Lichtwarck-Aschoff, A., Hollenstein, T., Kemp, C. J., & Granic, I. (2016). Breaking down the coercive cycle: How parent and child risk factors influence real-time variability in parental responses to child misbehavior. Parenting: Science and Practice, 16(4), 237-256. doi: 10.1080/15295192.2016.1184925

  • Lunkenheimer, E., Tiberio, S. S., Buss, K. A., Lucas-Thompson, R. G., Boker, S. M., & Timpe, Z. C. (2015). Coregulation of respiratory sinus arrhythmia between parents and preschoolers: Differences by children’s externalizing problems. Developmental Psychobiology, 57(8), 994-1003. doi: 10.1002/dev.21323

  • Assistant Professor, College of Nursing
  • Principal Investigator DOJ/OVC Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Telehealth (SAFE-T) Center
Research Interests:

Sexual assault, sexual abuse, telehealth, mhealth, commercial sexual exploitation of children

Selected Pubs:
  • Panlilio, C. C., Miyamoto, S., Font, S. A., & Schreier, H. M. (2018). Assessing risk of commercial sexual exploitation among children involved in the child welfare

  • Miyamoto, S., Dharmar, M., Fazio, S., Tang-Feldman, Y., & Young, H. M. (2018). mHealth Technology and Nurse Health Coaching to Improve Health in Diabetes: Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial. JMIR Research Protocols7(2), e45.

  • Miyamoto, S., Romano, P.S, Putnam-Hornstein, E., Thurston, H., Dharmar, M., & Joseph, J.G. (2017). Risk factors for fatal and non-fatal child maltreatment in families previously investigated by CPS: A case-control study. Child Abuse Neglect. 63, 222-232. doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2016.11.003 

  • Miyamoto, S., Dharmar, M., Boyle, C., Yang, N. H., MacLeod, K., Rogers, K., Nesbitt, T., & Marcin, J. P. (2014). Impact of telemedicine on the quality of forensic sexual abuse examinations in rural communities. Child abuse & neglect, 38(9), 1533-1539. doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2014.04.015

  • McCann, J., Miyamoto, S., Boyle, C., & Rogers, K. (2007).   Healing of hymenal injuries in prepubertal and adolescent girls: A descriptive study. Pediatrics, 119(5):e1094-1106

  • Assistant Professor in Educational Psychology
  • Faculty member with the Child Maltreatment Solutions Network
Research Interests:

Child maltreatment: practice and policy implications, self-regulation, school readiness & academic achievement, parenting and family processes in at-risk environments, student-teacher relationship, maltreatment and learning processes

Selected Pubs:
  • Panlilio, C., Miyamoto, S., Font, S. A., & Schreier, H. M. C. (2018). Assessing risk of commercial sexual exploitation among children involved in the child welfare system. Child Abuse & Neglect. Available online:

  • Panlilio, C., Hlavek, E., & Ferrara, A. (2018). Neurobiological impact of trauma. In A. D. Hunter (Ed.). Art for children experiencing psychological trauma: A guide for educators and school-based professionals. New York, NY: Routledge.

  • Panlilio, C., Jones Harden, B., & Harring (2017). School readiness of maltreated preschoolers and later school achievement: The role of emotion regulation, language, and context. Child Abuse & Neglect, 75, 82 - 91. Available online:

  • Jones Harden, B., Panlilio, C., Monahan, C., Duncan, A. D., Duchene, M., & Clyman, R. B. (2016). Emotion regulation of preschool children in foster care: The influence of maternal depression and parenting. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 1 – 11. doi:10.1007/s10826-016-0636-x.

  • Jones Harden, B., Duncan, A. D., Morrison, C. I., Panlilio, C., & Clyman, R. B. (2015). Compliance and internalization in preschool foster children. Children and Youth Services Review, 55, 103 – 110.

  • Assistant Professor of Biobehavioral Health
Research Interests:

Adolescent health and well-being, cardiovascular disease risk, inflammation, immune functioning, socioeconomic health disparities, sex trafficking, social interventions, family functioning

Selected Pubs:
  • Schreier, H. M. C., Roy, L. B., Frimer, L., & Chen, E. (2014). Family chaos and adolescent inflammatory profiles: the moderating role of socioeconomic status. Psychosomatic Medicine, 76(6), 460-467.

  • Schreier, H. M. C., Schonert-Reichl, K. A., & Chen, E. (2013). Effect of volunteering on cardiovascular risk in adolescents. JAMA - Pediatrics, 167(4), 327-332.

  • Schreier, H. M. C. & Chen, E. (2013). Socioeconomic status and the health of youth: A multi-level, multi-domain approach to conceptualizing pathways. Psychological Bulletin, 139(3), 606-654.

  • Panlilio, C., Miyamoto, S., Font, S., & Schreier, H.M.C. (in press). Assessing risk of commercial sexual exploitation among children involved in the child welfare system. Child Abuse & Neglect.

  • Noll J. G., Guastaferro K, Beal S. J., Schreier H. M. C., Barnes J., Reader J. M., & Font S. A. (in press). Is sexual abuse a unique predictor of sexual risk behaviors, pregnancy, and motherhood in adolescence? Journal of Research on Adolescence.

  • Assistant Professor of Biobehavioral Health
  • Mark T. Greenberg Early Career Professor for the Study of Children's Health and Development
Research Interests:

Stress biology, aging, telomeres, genomics.

Selected Pubs:
  • Shalev, I., Heim, C. M., & Noll, J. G. (2016). Child maltreatment as a root cause of mortality disparities: a call for rigorous science to mobilize public investment in prevention and treatment. JAMA Psychiatry, 73(9), 897-898.

  • Shalev, I., & Belsky, J. (2016). Early-life stress and reproductive cost: a two-hit developmental model of accelerated aging?. Medical Hypotheses90, 41-47.

  • Shalev, I., Moffitt, T. E., Braithwaite, A. W., Danese, A., Fleming, N. I., Goldman-Mellor, S., ... & Robertson, S. P. (2014). Internalizing disorders and leukocyte telomere erosion: a prospective study of depression, generalized anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Molecular Psychiatry19(11), 1163.

  • Shalev, I., Moffitt, T. E., Sugden, K., Williams, B., Houts, R. M., Danese, A., ... & Caspi, A. (2013). Exposure to violence during childhood is associated with telomere erosion from 5 to 10 years of age: a longitudinal study. Molecular Psychiatry18(5), 576.

  • Shalev, I. (2012). Early life stress and telomere length: investigating the connection and possible mechanisms: a critical survey of the evidence base, research methodology and basic biology. Bioessays34(11), 943-952.

  • Associate Professor
Research Interests:

Improving methods of risk estimation in child maltreatment research; Biological embedding of child maltreatment; Identification of transdiagnostic mechanisms across multiple levels of analysis; Optimization of preventive and clinical interventions for child trauma.

Selected Pubs:
  • Kugler, K., Guastaferro, K., Shenk, C.E., Beale, S., Zadzora, K., & Noll, J.G. (2018). The effect of substantiated and unsubstantiated investigations of child maltreatment and subsequent adolescent health. Child Abuse & Neglect.

  • Shenk, C.E., Ammerman, R.T., Teeters, A.R.*, Bensman, H.E., Allen, E.K., Putnam, F.W., & Van Ginkel, J.B. (2017). History of maltreatment in childhood and subsequent parenting stress in at-risk, first-time mothers:  Identifying points of intervention during home visiting.  Prevention Science, 18, 361-370. doi: 10.1007/s11121-017-0758-4.

  • Shenk, C.E., Noll, J.G., Peugh, J.L., Griffin, A.M., & Bensman, H.E. (2016). Contamination in the prospective study of child maltreatment and female adolescent health. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 41, 37-45. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsv017. PMCID: PMC4710181.

  • Shenk, C.E., Griffin, A.M., & O’Donnell, K.J. (2015). Symptoms of major depressive disorder subsequent to child maltreatment:  Examining change across multiple levels of analysis to identify transdiagnostic risk pathways. Development and Psychopathology, 27, 1503-1514. doi: 10.1017/S0954579415000905. PMCID: PMC4774890.

  • Shenk, C.E., Dorn, L.D., Kolko, D.J., Rausch, J.R., & Insana, S.P. (2014). Prior exposure to interpersonal violence and long-term treatment response for boys with a disruptive behavior disorder. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 27, 585-592. doi: 10.1002/jts.21962. PMCID: PMC4943457.

National Datasets

NDCAN Longitudinal Studies on Child Abuse and Neglect

Follow the growth of children into young adults in order to learn what factors lead to increased maltreatment risk, the consequences of maltreatment, factors that increase likelihood of positive outcomes in spite of abuse and the strengths and shortcomings of various social programs in aiding children.

National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW)

Read about child and family well-being outcomes in this longitudinal survey of families who have been subjects of CPS investigations. The study provides information on different patterns and risks presented in its subject families.

National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS)

Access data from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico on instances of child abuse and neglect.