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Shawna J. Lee

Associate Professor of Social Work, School of Social Work and Faculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, Institute for Social Research

Shawna J. Lee, PhD '05, is associate professor at the University of Michigan School of Social Work, where she is director of the Parenting in Context Research Lab. She is a faculty affiliate at the Center for Human Growth and Development (CHGD) and at the Institute for Social Research, Research Center for Group Dynamics (RCGD)

Lee has published more than 40 research articles and book chapters, with primary focus on child maltreatment prevention, fathers' parenting behaviors and father-child relations, and the effects of parental corporal punishment on child wellbeing. Recently she collaborated with MDRC to create the DadTime parenting app. She is pilot testing "Text4dad," a text messaging program for expecting and new fathers. You can learn more about these projects and the Parenting in Context Research Lab at Her research has been funded by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Michigan Health Endowment Fund, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In addition to her contributions to the social work profession through research and teaching, Lee engages in extensive professional service and community-based practice. She leads the design, implementation and evaluation of an intervention for low-income fathers, in collaboration with the Genesee County (Flint, MI) Healthy Start program. She is an active member of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC), where she recently helped to write the APSAC Position Statement Against the Use of Corporal Punishment.

Lee completed a joint doctoral degree in social work and psychology at the University of Michigan in 2005, where she was a National Institutes of Health pre-doctoral trainee in prevention research. She completed her postdoctoral training at the Columbia University School of Social Work. She teaches courses in research methods, program evaluation, social policy, and on specialized topics such as intervention to reduce use of corporal punishment.

Research Interests/Focus

Father's parenting risk behaviors, child maltreatment, community-based interventions


Year Degree   School
2005 PhD Social Work and Psychology University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
2003 MS Psychology University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
2002 MPP Public Policy University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
2001 MSW Social Work University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
1997 BA Psychology University of Michigan, Ann Arbor


U-M SSW PhD Psychology - Social Graduate - 2005

Dissertation Topic

Balancing acts: Possible selves and the transition from welfare to work.

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