Dr. Hansen's primary research area is child maltreatment, including sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect, and witnessing domestic violence. Research activities on maltreatment include: developing and evaluating clinical assessment measures and interventions for victims and families; understanding the correlates and consequences of maltreatment; cultural diversity issues in identification, assessment, and treatment of abuse; and mechanisms of resilience, impact, and change for maltreated children and their families.

Recent research has included: cluster analyses to demonstrate the heterogeneity of symptom presentation among child and adolescent victims of sexual abuse, both before treatment and through follow-up studies; on-going development of a comprehensive clinical assessment measure of abuse and neglect; and the effects of Teacher-Child Interaction Training, an adaptation of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, on reducing problematic behaviors in preschoolers in local Head Start classrooms.

An additional area of research is social-skills assessment and intervention with children and adolescents. Dr. Hansen is also open to supporting and pursuing research interests of students. His research emphasizes procedures enhancing the effectiveness of clinical interventions, through assessing and improving adherence, generalization, maintenance, and social validity.

Dr. Hansen is the Co-Director of the Family Interaction Skills Clinic (with Dr. Mary Fran Flood) and Director of Project SAFE (Sexual Abuse Family Education). Through the Family Interaction Skills Clinic, Dr. Hansen and Dr. Flood supervise clinical psychology graduate students in their clinical work and research activity as Child and Family Consultants at Community Action Partnership of Lancaster and Saunders Counties. Project SAFE is run in collaboration with the Lincoln Child Advocacy Center, and provides clinical treatment for sexually abused children and their nonoffending caregivers and siblings.

The three services provided through Project SAFE are:

  • the single crisis session for parents immediately following disclosure, Parent Support and Education Session (PSES),
  • the 3-6 sessions Brief Family Intervention,
  • and the 12-week Group Intervention with parallel group treatment for nonoffending caregivers, child victims, and non-abused siblings.

Dr. Hansen supervises the direct services provided through Project SAFE by clinical psychology graduate students.