Violence Prevention Research Lab


The Violence Prevention Research Lab is includes PhD, MSW, and BSW students, as well as students in Psychology and Statistics.

SPRING 2022 VPRL Team – Front from left: Simon Mwima, Wendy Hsieh, Riley Murphy, Rachel Garthe, Shongha Kim, David Mowry, Matt Saxsma, Amanda Yeazel, Michelle Morrison; Back from left: Grace Dietrich, Abby Gillogly, Christine Kwon, Maddie Welsh, Liz Guenther, Sarah Aronson, Chance Flemming, Alexis Krones, and Maya Novick

FALL 2021 VPRL Team – Pictured left to right: Amanda Yeazel, Maya Korol, Alexis Krones, Sarah Aronson, Maddie Welsh, Matt Saxsma, Wendy Hsieh, Liz Guenther, Miah Emano, Miranda Robles, Simon Mwima, Ashley Jung, Shongha Kim, David Mowry, Rachel Garthe

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Shongha Kim, PhD

Dr. Kim received her PhD and MSW from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign School of Social Work.

Shongha is interested in researching cyber-victimization and mental health outcomes among early adolescents in school. Shongha is also interested in the role of peer relationships, friendships, and friendship qualities during early adolescence.

Graduate Research & Teaching Assistants

Simon Mwima, MA, MPH

Simon’s research interests include HIV prevention, care and treatment, social and structural drivers for STI/HIV vulnerability such as violence. In his work, he aims to utilize community-based approaches to co-create, implement and evaluate interventions for the most vulnerable adolescents and youth.

Dora Watkins, MSW

Dora is a PhD student in Social Work.

Qihao Zhan, MSW, MPA

Qihao is a PhD student in Social Work.


Lead Research Assistant

Maddie Welsh, BSW

Maddie is the lead graduate research assistant for the 2022-2023 school year. Maddie is a MSW student.

MSW Research Assistants

Sarah Aronson, BSW
Grace Dietrich, BSW
Liz Guenther, BSW
Alexis Krones, BSW

Graduate Student Affiliates

Social Work

Jeanna Campbell, MSW

Allison Salisbury, MSW

Psychology

Allyson Blackburn, MS

Brea Griffin

Agnes (Aggie) Rieger, MS

Matt Saxsma


Publications & Presentations

  • Garthe, R. C., Smith, D. C., Salisbury, A., & Kim, S. (November 2021). Conducting a statewide needs assessment of violence to inform practice and policy. Interactive Workshop to be presented at Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), Orlando, Florida.
  • Garthe, R. C. (June 2021). Abstract of Distinction: Mental health and victimization among transgender and gender expansive adolescents: Recommendations for reducing disparities within school contexts. Symposium at Society for Prevention Research, Virtual.
    • Rieger, A., & Garthe, R. C. (June 2021). The unrelenting context of victimization for transgender and gender expansive youth from eighth to twelfth grade.
    • Blackburn, A., Garthe, R. C., Kaur, A., & Sarol, J. (June 2021). Suicidal ideation among transgender and gender expansive youth: Mechanisms of risk.
    • Goffnett, J., Garthe, R. C., & Kim, S. (June 2021). The role of caring adults and a supportive school climate for transgender and gender expansive youth.
  • Kim, S., & Garthe, R. C. (June 2021). The impact of cyber-victimization from friends on depression and social stress among early adolescents. Paper presented at Society for Prevention Research, Virtual.
  • Salisbury, A. A., Mowry, D. T., Saxsma, M. G., Garthe, R. C., & Smith, D. C. (May 2021). Violence prevention in Illinois: Perspectives of community leaders. Paper presented at Social Work Day: International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, Virtual Conference.
  • Hsieh, W., Garthe, R. C. (January 2021). Post-traumatic growth among adult women sexual assault survivors. Poster presented at Society for Social Work and Research, Virtual Conference
  • Garthe, R. C., & Kim, S. (presenting author). (October 2020). Cyber-victimization experiences among early adolescents: Associations with in-person peer and dating violence. Poster presented at American Public Health Association Conference, Virtual Conference.
  • Goffnett, J., & Garthe, R. C. (October 2020). Dating violence victimization among transgender youth: The intersectionality of gender and geographic region. Paper presented at American Public Health Association Conference, Virtual Conference.
  • Backode, E., Kim, S., Garthe, R. C. (October 2020). Preventing adolescent dating violence through parental connectedness in technologically connected communities. Poster presented at American Public Health Association Conference, Virtual Conference.
  • Rieger, A., Garthe, R. C., Blackburn, A. M., Kim, S., & Allen, N. E. (June, 2020). Health communication: A community and societal-level child maltreatment prevention tool? Poster to be presented at the 2020 Society for Research in Child Development Special Topic Workshop the State of Research on Prevention of Child Maltreatment: Current Knowledge and Future Directions to Inform Policy and Practice, St. Louis, MO. (Conference postponed).
  • Goffnett, J. & Garthe, R. C. (May 2020). Dating violence victimization among transgender youth: The intersectionality of gender and geographic region. Paper presented at LGBTQ Research Symposium, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL. (Conference canceled).
  • Garthe, R. C., Kim, S., Tan, K., & Wegmann, K. (March 2020). Examination of early adolescents’ experiences with victimization and cyber-victimization from peers and dating partners by gender. Paper to be presented at the Society for Research on Adolescence, San Diego, CA. (Conference canceled)
  • Kim, S., Garthe, R. C., & Hong, J. S. ( March 2020). Problematic social media use and cyber-victimization among early adolescents: The mediating role of social stress. Poster presented at Society for Research on Adolescence, San Diego, CA (Conference canceled).

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Chance Flemming
Abby Gillogly
Christine Kwon
Michelle Morrison
Riley Murphy
Maya Novick

Publications & Presentations

2022
  • Aronson, S. & Krones, A. (2022). The impact of an adolescent dating violence prevention program on dating violence norms: A comparison of in-person vs. online program delivery. Paper presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Flemming, C. & Morrison, M. (2022). An analysis of the inequality of Adverse Childhood Experiences facing African Americans in Illinois and the Impact of State Economic Policy. Poster presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Krones, A., Aronson, S., & Welsh, M. (2022). Parent/Caregiver perceptions of students’ mental and behavioral health and the impact on school involvement during the pandemic. Poster presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Kwon, C. (2022). Factors contributing to state and trait anger in incarcerated women. Paper presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Novick, M., Gillogly, A., Dietrich, G., & Saxsma, M. (2022). Parents’ mental health struggles in relation to the mental health of their children during the COVID-19 pandemic: The role of emotion responsive parenting. Paper presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Saxsma, M. (2022). Intimate partner violence: The role of Adverse Childhood Experiences and attachment. Poster presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Welsh, M. (2022). Zero tolerance policies and the school-to-prison pipeline: the important role of school-family collaborations in decreasing juvenile delinquency. Poster presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
2021
  • Baltierra, J., Aronson, S., Welsh, M.  (2021). The impact of COVID-19 on cyber-victimization experiences among middle school students. Presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Guenther, L. (2021). An Investigation into the Potential of Horticultural and Nature-Based Interventions for Well-Being and the Methods to Evaluate Their Effects. Presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Krones, A., Aronson, S., & Yeazel, A. (2021). An Exploration of Dating Violence Norms Among Early Adolescents. Presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Shusterman, B., & Mikuta, E. (2021). Impact of Social Media on Adolescents Eating, Sleep, and Exercise Patterns During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Yeazel, A., Krones, A., & Aronson, S. (2021). Associations Between Parenting Practices and Acceptance of Dating Abuse Norms Among 7th Grade. Presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
2020
  • Brown, J. (2020). A Critique of the Youth Empowerment Model. Presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Maldonado, M. (2020). Effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences on Incarcerated Women. Presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Mowry, D., (2020). Relationships Between Teacher Support, Informal Social Control and Students’ Perceptions of Safety. Presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Reubling, A., & Yeazel, A. (2020). An Examination of The Associations Between Positive and Negative Friendship Qualities and Cyber-Victimization from Friends During Early Adolescence. Presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Saxsma, M., & Welsh, M. (2020). The Relationships Between Self-Esteem, Mental Health, and Cyber-Victimization Among Middle School Students. Presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Yeazel, A., & Reubling, A. (2020). Associations Between Mental Health and Attendance Among 6th Grade Students. Presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
2019
  • Garcia-Greenawalt, L., Razack, S., & McLain, B. (2019). A Systematic Review of Women Involved in the Criminal Justice System: Intersections with Intimate Partner Violence and the Child Welfare System. Presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Alumni of the Lab

  • Jessica Baltierra, BSW
  • Jahnellia Brown, BSW
  • Leyda Garcia-Greenawalt, MSW
  • Elena Gonzalez
  • Wan-Jung (Wendy) Hsieh, PhD
  • Chantelle Jasper
  • Rachel Kaufman, BSW
  • Shongha Kim, PhD
  • Bradley McLain, MSW
  • Mariah Maldonado, MSW
  • Emily Mikuta
  • Percy Moran-Facazio, BSW
  • David Mowry, MSW
  • Alex Nambo, MSW
  • Shameem Razack, BA
  • Ashley Ruebling, BSW
  • Breena Shusterman
  • Amanda Yeazel, MSW

Collaborators

The lab also collaborates with the following individuals:

  • Nicole Allen, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)
  • Jennea Bivens-Klingenberg, PsyD, Urbana School District
  • Sarah Colomé, MS, Women’s Resources Center, UIUC
  • Franklin Cosey-Gay, Ph.D., Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention, University of Chicago
  • Gina Fedock, Ph.D., Crown Family School of Social Work, Practice, and Policy, University of Chicago
  • Matthew Epperson, Ph.D., Crown Family School of Social Work, Practice, and Policy, University of Chicago
  • Jacob Goffnett, Ph.D., School of Social Work, University of Arkansas Fayetteville
  • Deborah Gorman-Smith, Ph.D., Crown Family School of Social Work, Practice, and Policy, & Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention, University of Chicago
  • Jane Hereth, Ph.D., School of Social Work, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
  • Amandeep Kaur, MPH, Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design Core, Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute
  • Marion Malcome, Ph.D., LCSW, School of Social Work, Loyola University
  • Hadi Meidani, Ph.D., Civil & Environmental Engineering, UIUC
  • Molly Pim & Artelia Holt, Between Friends Chicago
  • Jesus Sarol, Jr, Ph.D., Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design Core, Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute
  • Doug Smith, Ph.D., School of Social Work & Center for Prevention Research and Development, UIUC
  • Sarah Whalen, MSW, Courage Connection

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