Megan Petra Named CVIP PhD Affiliate with Distinction 
Megan Petra, a fourth year PhD student in the Brown School, has been named BCVIP PhD Affiliate with Distinction in recognition of her outstanding dissertation proposal and its fit with BCVIP priorities.  As PhD Affiliate with Distinction, Petra has been awarded a mentoring and support package which includes use of center research assistants on her project and consultation and mentoring from center affiliated faculty.  

Petra is currently preparing to defend her dissertation proposal for research into the intersection of addictions and intimate partner violence (IPV).  “I’m interested in investigating harm reduction (effective coping) for women experiencing the often co-occurring family problems of addictions and IPV,” says Petra.  Her dissertation will investigate the social context of families experiencing addictions, IPV, or both, and the relationship between the context and which coping strategies are used and how helpful those coping strategies are to the families.  She hopes that this research will contribute to a body of knowledge that will eventually result in evidence-based interventions for use with families experiencing these co-occurring problems.

Petra’s research interest in addictions and IPV is no passing phase.  She has been involved in research in both areas separately since her undergraduate studies, and is now able to combine these two interests into one project for her dissertation research.  Petra is also no stranger to IPV issues in practice.  She has volunteered as a support group facilitator for LGBT people with mental health issues such as sequelae of IPV in same-sex relationships, as a women’s advocate for survivors of IPV, and as a peer counselor for a telephone hotline for women’s issues such as IPV.  She has also worked as a case manager for women and children affected by IPV.