Steven Marans MSW, PhD

Harris Professor in the Child Study Center; Director, National Center for Children Exposed to Violence/Childhood Violent Trauma Center at the Yale Child Study Center; Director, Trauma Service; Professor of Psychiatry

Research Interests

Child psychoanalysis and psychotherapy; adolescent psychoanalysis and psychotherapy; Adult psychoanalysis and psychotherapy; Trauma consultation and treatment

Current Projects

The Trauma Section at the Yale Child Study Center is currently involved in several research initiatives aims to influence practice and service delivery with mental health and law enforcement systems and to improve direct clinical service for children and their families.

1. Domestic Violence Home Visit Intervention Program (DVHVI)
The DVHVI is an innovative outreach program in which an advocate and a patrol officer conduct follow-up home visits to improve physical and psychological security in the aftermath of a domestic violence incident. Our initial findings showed that women who received this intervention felt officers were more helpful, they were more likely to call the police again and were more willing to engage their children into treatment. This model is currently being disseminated in three other communities with the goal of doing a cross site data collection and analysis of the program.

2. Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention (CFTSI)
The CFTSI is a 4-session secondary prevention approach to children and families exposed to violence and other traumatic events. The intervention is currently being evaluated to determine its effectiveness in reducing post-traumatic stress disorders and symptoms. Initial findings have shown positive results.


Research Summary

Over the past two decades, Dr. Marans' research has focused on acute, intermediate and longer-term responses to violent and catastrophic events in the lives of children, families and communities. The mental health-law enforcement partnership developed by Marans and colleagues has led to innovative approaches to identification and response to traumatized children and families and for women and children specifically affected by domestic violence. This collaborative intervention has demonstrated effectiveness in reducing levels of violence in the home and increases the likelihood of children receiving needed clinical services. In addition, Dr. Marans is the co-developer with Dr. Steve Berkowitz, of the Child Family Traumatic Stress Intervention (CFTSI), a brief approach to children and families affected by potentially traumatic events. Results of a randomized controlled treatment study indicates that children who received CFTSI were far less likely to develop post-traumatic related psychiatric symptoms and disorders as compared to those treated by standard-of-care-psychoeducation approaches.

Extensive Research Description

Our research has been focused on the experience of violent trauma in the lives of children and families as well as changes in systems of care that can improve services and clinical outcomes. The partnership between mental health and law enforcement professionals in New Haven and around the country has generated broad opportunities to identify and respond to thousands of children and families each year who have experienced violence in their homes, schools and communities. Our work in responding to acute, peri-traumatic and longer-term responses to violent and catastrophic events has led to the development of new clinical approaches to meeting the needs of traumatized children and families. These innovative intervention strategies are also grounded in an integration of developmental, psychodynamic, behavioral and neurophysiologic aspects of the traumatic response. We have applied a similar perspective in developing new collaborative responses to domestic violence and to psychologically-informed approaches to emergency management responses to mass casualty man-made and natural disasters.


Selected Publications

  • Marans, S., (2008) Fear and trauma: Challenges to listening and hearing. Journal of Infant, Child, and Adolescent Psychotherapy, 7:165-175
  • Marans, S., Harris, W., Lieberman, A., (2007) In the best interests of society. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 48:3/4 pp 392-411
  • Stover, C., Berkowitz, S., Kaufman, J., & Marans, S., (2007) Childhood PTSD. Volkmar and Martin (Eds) Lewis Textbook of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, W.B. Saunders and Co., Baltimore, MD 701-711
  • Marans, S., Berkman, M., (2006) Police-Mental Health Collaboration on Behalf of Children Exposed to Violence: The Child Development-Community Policing Model. Handbook of Community Based Clinical Practice. A. Lightburn and P. Sessions (eds.); Oxford University Press.
  • Marans, S. (2005) Commentary: When We All Need Someone To Lean On. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy.
  • Marans, S., Murphy, R.A., Rosenheck, R.A., Berkowitz, S. (2005) Clinical Response Modality and Timing in a Police-Mental Health Program for Children Exposed to Violence. Psychiatric Quarterly, Springer, Germany, 107-121.
  • Marans, S., (2005) Listening to Fear: Helping Kids Cope from Nightmares to the Nightly News; Henry Holt and Company (eds), New York, NY.
  • Marans, S., Berkman, M., Berkowitz, S., Casey, R., (2004) Police in the lives of children exposed to domestic violence: Collaborative approaches to intervention. Ending Domestic Violence in the Lives of Children. In Jaffe, Baker and Cunningham (eds.), Guilford Press.
  • Marans, S., (2003) Tribute to Donald J. Cohen: Childhood Trauma, Psychoanalytic Study of the Children. Vol 58, R. King, P. Neubauer, S. Abram, S. Dowling (Eds), Yale University Press.
  • Marans, S., and Cohen, D.J. (2002) Child Psychoanalytic Theories of Development.. Lewis, M. (ed.) Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: A Comprehensive Textbook, 3rd Edition. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, Inc. 196-211.

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