Child abuse and neglect is a significant public health concern in the United States and around the world. According to the most recent statistics, in fiscal year 2012, there were about three million referrals for some form of child maltreatment. Despite the scope, size, and costs associated with child abuse and neglect, research has been limited and there is a dearth of scholars trained to conduct research in child abuse and neglect. As noted in the recent Institute of Medicine (2013) report by the Committee on Child Maltreatment Research, Policy, and Practice for the Next Decade, “Existing research and service system infrastructures are not sufficient for responding to this public health challenge”.

This five-year intensive summer research training institute is designed to prepare a new cadre of skilled investigators dedicated to engaging in child abuse and neglect research. The proposed institute, “Building a Multidisciplinary Pipeline of Researchers in Child Abuse and Neglect” will train and mentor more than 75 scientists. Institute presenters (trainers) represent diverse fields (e.g., anthropology, criminology, genetics, law, medicine, psychology, public health, and social work), methodological expertise, and cultural backgrounds. This pipeline will include both early career investigators and more senior researchers who wish to transition to child maltreatment research but lack the needed methodological training in this area to help them overcome the unique challenges in measurement, data collection, design and ethics in this area.

Melissa Jonson-Reid, PhD
Cathy S. Widom, PhD