Research

The Child Maltreatment Lab conducts research across various forms of maltreatment, including sexual abuse, physical abuse, and neglect. Research efforts include development of assessments and interventions for victims and families, maltreatment prevention, and understanding the correlates and consequences of maltreatment.

Project SAFE Research

The lab has developed and is evaluating a model intervention program based in a Child Advocacy Center, Project SAFE (Sexual Abuse Family Education), which addresses the mental health needs of child victims and their families following sexual abuse. A variety of assessment measures are collected from families at four time points throughout the intervention to better understand the difficulties they may be facing and evaluate intervention practices. The assessment battery includes well-known and empirically supported measures such as the Child Behavior Checklist and Youth Self Report (Achenbach, 1991), the Children’s Depression Inventory (Kovacs, 1992), the Revised Children’s Manifest Anxiety Scale (Reynolds & Richmond, 1985), the Symptom Checklist – 90 (Derogatis, 2000), the Family Adaptability and Cohesion Scale (Olson, 1996), and the Family Crisis Oriented Personal Evaluation (McCubbin, Olson, & Larson, 1987).  Research efforts also include the development of assessment instruments for evaluating outcomes, such as a weekly problems scale for child victims and their parents, and measures for assessing parent and child expectations for child functioning following sexual abuse. Findings indicate the positive benefits of Project SAFE services for victims and their families (e.g., Hubel et al., 2014; Sawyer & Hansen, 2014).

Head Start Research

Research also addresses maltreatment prevention in Head Start home-based and center-based programs. The lab’s Head Start research investigates risk factors using an ecological model, explores relationships among risks and substantiated abuse and neglect, and examines the program’s ability to identify and reduce risk. For a comprehensive description of the lab's Head Start research efforts, please click here.

Related Projects

Related projects examine the heterogeneous symptom presentation of child and adolescent sexual abuse victims and factors that influence symptom presentation. Recent research projects have used archival data from the Child Advocacy Center in an effort to improve the identification of children who are at highest risk of sexual abuse and identify those at risk for revictimization. Additionally, a recent research project used undergraduate students at UNL to examine perceptions of child sexual abuse victim blame.

Research Grants

Hansen, D. J., Pittenger, S. L., Schreier, A., & Flood, M. F.Research Grants
Woods Charitable Fund, Lincoln, NE
Addressing the Mental Health Needs of Child Abuse Victims and their Families
Total Award = $65,258
Funding Period: June 2015 - June 2018


Schreier, A. & Hansen, D. J. 
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
Administration for Children and Families (ACF)
Head Start Graduate Student Research Grant
Early Head Start Home Visitor's Identification of Risk for Maltreatment
Total Award = $49,991
Funding Period: September 2014 - September 2016


Hubel, G. S. & Hansen, D. J. 
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
Administration for Children and Families (ACF)
Head Start Graduate Student Research Grant
Identifying Risk for and Preventing Child Maltreatment in Early Head Start Families
Funding Period: September 2011 - September 2013

 

Christopher Campbell, M.A.
Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
Administration for Children and Families (ACF)
Head Start Graduate Student Research Grant
Principal Investigator
Adapting an Evidence-Based Intervention to Improve Social and Behavioral Competence in Head Start Children: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Teacher-Child Interaction Training
Total Award for 24 Months = $49,994
Funding Period: September 2009 – September 2011


Campbell, C., & Hansen, D.J.
Principal Investigators
Psi Chi Graduate Research Grant
Heterogeneous psychological and behavioral symptom presentation of sexually abused youth 1-5 years post-treatment.
Total Award = $1, 500
Funding period: March 2010 - February 2011


Hansen, D. J., Tavkar, P., & Flood, M. F.
Principal Investigators
Cooper Foundation
Addressing the mental health needs of sexually abused children and their families: Implementation, evaluation, and dissemination of Project SAFE.
Total Award = $10,000
Funding period: 2009 - 2010

 
Hansen, D. J., Tavkar, P., & Flood, M. F.
Principal Investigators
Cooper Foundation
Addressing the mental health needs of sexually abused children and their families: Implementation, evaluation, and dissemination of Project SAFE.
Total Award = $18,424
Funding period: 2007 - 2008

 
Hansen, D. J., Flood, M. F., & Sawyer, G.
Principal Investigators
Woods Charitable Fund
Addressing the mental health needs of child abuse victims and their families: Program implementation, evaluation, and dissemination.
Total Award = $30,636
Funding period: July 2005 - October 2006


Hansen, D. J., Flood, M. F., Cronch, L., & Ayers, L.
Principal Investigators
Nebraska Child Abuse Prevention Fund
Prevention of child sexual abuse.
Total Award = $45,043
Funding period: July 2004 - June 2007

 
Hansen, D. J., Flood, M. F., & Davies, C.
Principal Investigators
Woods Charitable Fund
Addressing the mental health needs of child abuse victims and their families: Program implementation, evaluation, and dissemination.
Total Award = $93,500
Funding Period: October 2001 - September 2004

 
Hansen, D. J., Hsu, E., & Flood, M. F.
Principal Investigators
Nebraska Child Abuse Prevention Fund
Project SAFE community outreach and collaboration initiative.
Total Award = $750
Funding period: February 2001 - January 2002

 
Hansen, D. J., Flood, M. F., & Davies, C.
Principal Investigators
Layman Award, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Understanding the mental health needs of young children in low-income families: The relationship of child maltreatment and domestic violence with social, emotional, and behavioral development.
Total Award = $7,492
Funding period: July 2001 - June 2002