Our Work


Child Maltreatment Solutions Network at Penn State
grant

Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Telehealth

This project extends the forensic sexual assault telehealth model pioneered by Penn State’s Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Telehealth (SAFE-T) Center to provide expertise, training, peer review and live telehealth consultation to four new hospital sites that have a deficit in SANE response. 

Research Team

Profile photo for Sheridan Miyamoto, Ph.D.
Sheridan Miyamoto, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, College of Nursing

Principal Investigator: DOJ/OVC Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Telehealth (SAFE-T) Center

Child Maltreatment Solutions Network at Penn State
project

The Child Health Study

A major project of our P50 Capstone Center for Healthy Children is the Child Health Study which is a prospective, longitudinal study of a cohort of 1200 child welfare-involved children aged 8-13 from across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This study aims to identify mechanisms of health disparities through a day-long assessment which includes physical health, brain health, behavioral health, and emotional health. A major focus of this study is to understand the biologic embedding of stress and the ways in which malleable behavioral factors (healthy lifestyle and behaviors, personal agency, prosocial engagement, regulation) can mitigate its impact. Finding will inform novel interventions promoting resilience so that abused and neglected children have the best chance of leading healthy, productive lives.

Research Team

Profile photo for Chad Shenk, Ph.D.
Chad Shenk, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies

Profile photo for Idan Shalev, Ph.D.
Idan Shalev, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biobehavioral Health

Mark T. Greenberg Early Career Professor for the Study of Children's Health and Development

Profile photo for Christine Heim, Ph.D.
Christine Heim, Ph.D.

Professor of Biobehavioral Health

Profile photo for Hannah M. C. Schreier, Ph.D.
Hannah M. C. Schreier, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biobehavioral Health

Profile photo for Jennie G. Noll, Ph.D.
Jennie G. Noll, Ph.D.

Professor of Human Development and Family Studies

Director: Child Maltreatment Solutions Network 

Principal Investigator: NICHD P50 Capstone Center for Healthy Children

Child Maltreatment Solutions Network at Penn State
project

TechnoTeens

TechnoTeens is a NICHD R01-funded study where we are objectively tracking the internet and social media behaviors of 460 sexually abused and comparison teens longitudinally from age 12 to 15. This study aims to articulate the role of internet pornography and high-risk social media behaviors on sexual development and on internet-initiated victimization (including sexual exploitation, cyber bullying, “slut-shaming”, and sex-trafficking). This is the first study to objectively monitor internet activity and social media behaviors and to record and quantify adolescents’ “internet and social media footprints” in real-time. Results will inform internet safety campaigns for normative and at-risk teens.

Research Team

Profile photo for Jennie G. Noll, Ph.D.
Jennie G. Noll, Ph.D.

Professor of Human Development and Family Studies

Director: Child Maltreatment Solutions Network 

Principal Investigator: NICHD P50 Capstone Center for Healthy Children

Child Maltreatment Solutions Network at Penn State
project

Early Psychosocial Intervention and Parent and Child Cardiovascular Disease Risk

This project focuses on the assessment of cardiovascular disease risk among 7-8 year old children and their parents part of an ongoing intervention trial evaluating the impact of a perinatal coparenting intervention (Family Foundations; PI: Mark Feinberg). We are following up with the original sample of 399 first-time parents and their children who were recruited across several states. This will allow us to investigate psychosocial pathways within the family that influence cardiovascular disease risk as well as potential intervention effects of Family Foundations on parent and child cardiovascular disease risk.

Research Team

Profile photo for Hannah M. C. Schreier, Ph.D.
Hannah M. C. Schreier, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biobehavioral Health

Child Maltreatment Solutions Network at Penn State
project

Biological embedding of early-life experiences: How early-life experiences impact childhood development and can accelerate aging

A project funded by the Sara van Dam Foundation (Roseriet Beijers, Radboud University, Netherlands PI, Shalev Co-I). Its aim is to test early-life factors associated with children’s socio-emotional development, cognition, and pubertal development. This includes biological-embedding mechanisms underlying this link. These research questions are being investigated in the Dutch BIBO-study (Basal Influences on the Baby Development): a prospective study in which 193 mothers and their children are followed from pregnancy until the last assessment at age 10. My lab is conducting all telomere length testing in children at both age 6 and 10.

Research Team

Profile photo for Idan Shalev, Ph.D.
Idan Shalev, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biobehavioral Health

Mark T. Greenberg Early Career Professor for the Study of Children's Health and Development

project

Complex interactions of behavior, genes, and environment in the multi-system characterization of the effects of sleep loss on health, cardio-metabolic disease risk, cognition, and the epigenome

The aim of this project is to comprehensively characterize cardio-metabolic, cognitive, genomic, and epigenetic effects of sleep insufficiency in a controlled laboratory setting. My lab assist with the collection and sorting of blood samples for DNA methylation and whole-genome expression analysis. For this study, we are further investigating specific type of cells including monocytes and lymphocytes.

Research Team

Profile photo for Idan Shalev, Ph.D.
Idan Shalev, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biobehavioral Health

Mark T. Greenberg Early Career Professor for the Study of Children's Health and Development

Child Maltreatment Solutions Network at Penn State
project

Intergenerational transmission of trauma? Testing cellular aging in mothers exposed to sexual abuse and their children

The overarching goal is to test the hypothesis of intergenerational transmission of trauma by measuring cellular aging in both mothers and children, members of the Female Growth and Development Study. Specifically, we are testing telomere length in mothers exposed to sexual abuse, control mothers, and their children.

Research Team

Profile photo for Idan Shalev, Ph.D.
Idan Shalev, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biobehavioral Health

Mark T. Greenberg Early Career Professor for the Study of Children's Health and Development

Child Maltreatment Solutions Network at Penn State
project

Temporal genomics mechanisms underlying disease and aging

The goal of this project is to identify genomic mechanisms involved in young adults’ response to stress, as moderated by early adversity. Specifically, we are testing whether individuals exposed to early-life adversity show dysregulated changes in gene expression in response to a well-established laboratory stressor, compared with a no-stress condition, and compared with individuals without exposure to early adversity.

Research Team

Profile photo for Idan Shalev, Ph.D.
Idan Shalev, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biobehavioral Health

Mark T. Greenberg Early Career Professor for the Study of Children's Health and Development

Child Maltreatment Solutions Network at Penn State
grant

Parent-Child Biobehavioral Coregulation and Child Maltreatment Risk

 

Research Team

Profile photo for Erika Lunkenheimer, Ph.D.
Erika Lunkenheimer, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Psychology

Associate Director: Child Maltreatment Solutions Network

grant

Dynamic Coupling of Parental Biobehavioral Regulation and Discipline

 

Research Team

Profile photo for Erika Lunkenheimer, Ph.D.
Erika Lunkenheimer, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Psychology

Associate Director: Child Maltreatment Solutions Network

Child Maltreatment Solutions Network at Penn State
project

PaRenting in Stressful Moments (PRISM)

PRISM is a pilot project involves studying how parents control their emotions, behaviors, and heart rate when disciplining their preschoolers. This project is designed to test methods for the capture of biological data using wearable technology in the home and using a phone app to collect information on discipline and stress. Our interest is in understanding how parents regulate themselves while disciplining their children so that we may learn how to better intervene with parents to reduce stress and prevent harsh discipline and physical abuse of children.

Research Team

Profile photo for Erika Lunkenheimer, Ph.D.
Erika Lunkenheimer, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Psychology

Associate Director: Child Maltreatment Solutions Network

Child Maltreatment Solutions Network at Penn State
project

Penn State Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Telehealth (SAFE-T) Center (Department of Justice/Office for Victims of Crime)

The SAFE-T Center was created in 2016, with support from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime. The mission of the Center is to partner with underserved communities in Pennsylvania to enhance compassionate, high-quality care for sexual assault victims. The Center provides access to expert mentoring, quality assurance, education and live examination consultation for victims of sexual assault in underserved and rural areas. The goals of the project are to enhance access to high-quality care for victims of assault and to demonstrate the effectiveness of a statewide model to support forensic nurses to deliver care in underserved communities.  

Research Team

Profile photo for Sheridan Miyamoto, Ph.D.
Sheridan Miyamoto, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, College of Nursing

Principal Investigator: DOJ/OVC Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Telehealth (SAFE-T) Center

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