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Family Violence Research Projects

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). The lab’s specific attention to daily processes and micro-longitudinal designs sets it apart from other IPV research. The lab has conducted cutting edge work to identify the detrimental roles of posttraumatic stress, substance use, and sexual risk in relation to IPV and its co-occurring problems. The Lab’s research on system-level factors is more recent but has gained substantial momentum and recognition as evidenced by two national invited presentations (i.e., National Institute of Justice and National Network to End Domestic Violence).

The Lab’s long-term goals are (1) to develop community-based preventive interventions to decrease IPV and its related health problems – such as, substance use, PTSD, and sexual risk behavior and (2) to contribute to changes in policy and practice at the systems level to improve the wellbeing of women who utilize services.

Research Focus

  • Intimate partner violence, with attention to differential associations of IPV to outcomes by type (i.e., psychological, physical, sexual)
  • Post-traumatic stress symptoms, with a focus on the unique associations to individual PTSD symptom clusters
  • Substance use, i.e., drug, alcohol, tobacco use and their co-occurrence
  • Risky sexual behavior, that is behaviors that put women at risk for HIV, other STI’s and unwanted pregnancy
  • Women’s Victimization
  • Women’s Use of Aggression
  • Criminal Justice System Response
  • Researcher-Practitioner Collaborations