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Advances in Child Maltreatment Prevention


Todd Herrenkohl, Marion Elizabeth Blue Professor of Children and Families announces a new lecture series, Advances in Child Maltreatment Prevention. This is an annual lecture that focuses on global child maltreatment prevention.

The Advances in Child Maltreatment Prevention speaker series features the work of leading prevention and child welfare scholars engaged in efforts to strengthen and reform child‑serving systems. The series provides a forum for new and emerging knowledge from the social sciences and the helping professions that can improve the health and well-being of vulnerable children and their families.

Why is it So Hard to Prevent Childhood Sexual Abuse? Lessons Learned From a Universal Approach

Childhood sexual abuse is a common, costly, and persistent problem worldwide. Survivors suffer a compounded convergence of mechanisms that can set the stage for a host of deleterious outcomes including subsequent psychopathology, revictimization, substance abuse, teenage childbearing, and sexual dysfunction. Annual incidence rates have plateaued over the past few decades—an indication that prevention efforts have stagnated. Dr. Noll will outline the unique features that set sexual abuse apart from other forms of maltreatment and trauma in terms of its etiology, sequelae, and challenges for prevention. By showcasing a unique state/university partnership, Dr. Noll will present results, as well as implementation triumphs and challenges, from a statewide universal sexual abuse prevention effort. Dr. Noll will also discuss the activities of Penn State’s NICHD Capstone Center (P50HD089922, PI:Noll) which include: basic research on the biological embedding of child maltreatment; community-based-participatory research that directly benefits the child welfare system; and championing a National model for the Research-To-Policy collaboration where researchers compile relevant research, translate findings into products to educate and support policymakers, and facilitate evidence-based policies designed to protect and promote the wellbeing of children.

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