Trauma Research

The Trauma Section has been engaged in several research initiatives. Each research area is designed to influence practice and service delivery within mental health and law enforcement systems, as well as to improve direct clinical service for children affected by violence.

Domestic and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention Evaluation

The study of our brief secondary prevention model for intervening with children and families exposed to violence and trauma was completed in 2009, and subsequently our findings were published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry in 2010.  Initial findings have shown show that in comparison to standard approaches to treatment, children who received the CFTSI were 71% less likely to be diagnosed with PTSD at the end of treatment and 63% less likely to achieve the PTSD diagnosis three months after the intervention. This positive outcome means that these children will have a better chance of doing well in their homes, school and the larger community and less likely to suffer life-altering results that too often follow traumatic events.  Research was conducted with referrals from the New Haven Department of Police Services, Yale New Haven Hospital Child Sexual Abuse Program and from the Yale-New Haven Hospital Children's Emergency Department.

Child Development Community Policing (CD-CP) Program Evaluation

An intensive CD-CP Program Acute Response evaluation was completed in 2008 by Caliber Associates in Washington, D.C. in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Justice.  The purpose of the evaluation was to look at the effects of a collaborative response by law enforcement and mental health professionals, on children exposed to community violence.  Finding showed that (1) by responding, immediately and collaboratively, barriers to receiving services for families were removed, and (2) clinicians were able to have greater impact on the provision of services to a family due to the immediate onset of a referral.

Domestic Violence Home Visit Intervention (DVHVI) Program Evaluation

Our domestic violence research focuses on the evaluation of the Domestic Violence Home Visit Intervention (DVHVI), an innovative outreach program in which a clinician or a community advocate and patrol officer conduct follow up home-visits to improve physical and psychological security in the aftermath of children's exposure to violence. A longitudinal study was completed to evaluate the efficacy of the intervention at six and 12 months post-violent incident.  Results indicate that women who received the police-advocacy intervention felt more respected by the police and that officers are more helpful following a domestic dispute than women who did not receive the intervention.   Additionally, women were more likely to call the police for non-physical disputes (e.g. breach of peace, violation of protective order) and to engage in treatment services for their children. 

Fathers for Change

A new program, developed by Dr. Stover, is designed for fathers with co-occurring substance abuse and domestic violence issues.  It is designed to utilize the parenting role to motivate fathers to decrease their use of violence and substance abuse and improve their parenting skills.  A pilot evaluation of the program will begin in the coming year.