Skip to Main Content

Welcome to the Sullivan Lab

Researchers in the Family Violence Research Lab at Yale School of Medicine wore purple on October 20, 2022 to recognize October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Tami Sullivan, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry and director of the lab, said that for the first time in Connecticut, a purple flag was raised over the State Capitol in Hartford to raise awareness that one in four women and one in seven men experience domestic violence. “Given that the central focus of our work is domestic violence, we took the opportunity to come together to recognize this important month and day,” Sullivan said.

Our program of research is centered on individual- and system-level factors that affect the mental and physical health of women who experience intimate partner violence (IPV).

At the individual level, we conduct risk and protective factor research with a focus on applying micro-longitudinal designs such as experience sampling methods and research that informs the development of interventions to be implemented in community settings. Specifically, we examine

  1. precursors, correlates, and outcomes of women's victimization and their use of aggression in intimate relationships, and
  2. the co-occurrence of IPV, posttraumatic stress, substance use, and sexual risk with specific attention to daily processes (i.e., how experiences and behaviors unfold on a daily basis in their natural environment).

At the system-level, our research focuses on understanding the capacity of systems (e.g., criminal justice system and HIV service system) to meet the unique needs of women who experience IPV and how these systems influence the wellbeing of women. For example, a current study is examining the extent to which criminal orders of protection reduce domestic violence and influence the daily lives of women experiencing intimate partner violence, their offenders’ behavior, and their children’s wellbeing.

In addition to conducting federally-funded research, we are a statewide leader in the delivery of violence prevention services to adult aggressors of domestic violence. Our staff develops and implements psychoeducational groups for men and women to address domestic violence, and as appropriate, anger management. Further, we consult to programs and service systems regarding meeting the unique needs of populations affected by domestic violence.

The Sullivan Lab is at the forefront of applying micro-longitudinal designs to examine risk and protective factors among women experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV).