One In Four Ohio Children Will Experience Domestic Violence, Study Led by Holmes Finds

Jul 21 2017

One in four Ohio children will experience domestic violence before reaching adulthood, according to a new study conducted at the Mandel School at Case Western Reserve University.

The lifetime cost from these experiences is nearly $2.2 billion, including $476 million in increased health care, $600 million associated with crime and $1.1 billion in productivity losses, according to estimates in the report.

Conducted on behalf of The HealthPath Foundation of Ohio, the study sought to determine the extent and expense of domestic violence, as well as the gaps in addressing its roots and aftermath. It was funded with a $75,000 grant.

The report highlights the gap between the number of children in Ohio experiencing violence each year, about 168,000, and those who received help for it in 2016—only about half of them.

“Domestic violence carries lifetime consequences for children that have enormous costs on our society and public resources,” said Megan R. Holmes, PhD, lead researcher of the report and an assistant professor at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve.

When left unaddressed, domestic violence—defined as witnessing or being victimized by physical or sexual acts, stalking or psychological aggression—puts children at higher risk of developing behavioral, mental, social and physical problems.

“This report shines a light on the long-term human and financial costs of violence, which is preventable and can be identified early and addressed by appropriate services and strategies,” Holmes said.

Researchers found a dramatic disparity among Ohio counties, in terms of the number of domestic violence incidents and services offered, as well as significant variations in the enforcement and treatment of domestic violence cases.

A statewide survey of agencies providing relevant services showed a lack of resources, coordination and access. Nearly 90 percent of these organizations pledged to expand services, if resources were made available.

What is to be done?

The report collects and highlights strategies proven to identify and help children already exposed to violence, as well as preventive efforts, such as programs targeting teen dating violence in fifth and sixth grades to complement current offerings in higher grades.

Researchers also recommend making efficient use of existing resources, such as providing training to educators to spot the symptoms of violent trauma in children and improving coordination between Child Protective Services and domestic violence agencies, police and medical, educational and substance use services.

“We hope these findings speak to policymakers and help them make informed decisions about preventive and therapeutic services,” Holmes said. “This is about the future of Ohio’s children and the adults they’ll become, which will shape our state and its economy for decades.”

Addressing violence could also have positive ripple effects for children at risk: If exposed to violence, they have twice the odds of being neglected and are 2.6 times more likely to be physically abused, 4.9 times more likely to be sexually abused and 9.6 times more likely to be psychologically abused, according to research highlighted in the report.

Research collaborators on the paper, “Impact of Domestic Violence Exposure: Recommendations to Better Serve Ohio’s Children,” were Francisca G.-C. Richter, PhD, a research assistant professor at the Mandel School’s Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development; Mark Votruba, PhD, an associate professor of economics at the Weatherhead School of Management; and Kristen Berg and Anna Bender, both doctoral students at the Mandel School.

2017 SSWR: Faculty and Student Presenters

Jan 4 2017

The Mandel School is proud to be participating in the Society for Social Work Research’s 21st Annual Conference, on January 11-15, 2017, in New Orleans. In addition to having a booth at the conference (#102), one of our faculty members, Claudia Coulton, PhD, was chosen as a 2017 SSWR Fellow and will be presenting at the conference among many other Mandel School faculty members and doctoral students. Download the flyer for the complete schedule of presenters: 2017 SSWR Presenters Flyer


Claudia Coulton, PhD & David Crampton, PhD: Advancing the Impact of Ecologically Oriented Research on Child Maltreatment Prevention.

Claudia Coulton, PhD: Temporal Effects of Distressed Housing on Child Maltreatment Among Young Children.

Kathleen Farkas, PhD: Criminologic risk levels of justice involved people with serious mental illness.

Megan Holmes, PhD: Physical Abuse Safety Concerns and Substance use Among Child Welfare Adolescents, Navigating the Academic Job Market, & Promoting Resilient Academic Competence in Maltreated Children.

Jeffrey Kretschmar, PhD & F. Butcher: Promoting Resilience in Juvenile Justice-Involved Youth with Behavioral Health and Trauma Concerns.

Meeyoung Min, PhD, Sonia Minnes, Phd, & J.Y. Kim (PhD Student): Gender variation of individual assets and problem behaviors in at-risk adolescents: A longitudinal cross-lagged analysis.

Dana Prince, PhD: Longitudinal Relationship Between Future Orientation, Substance Use and Delinquency Among African American and Latino Young Men, Sexual Risk Behaviors Among Adolescents in Foster Care: The Impact of Sexual Orientation, & Factors Influencing Homelessness Among Youth Aging out of Foster Care, and The Relation of Homelessness to Other Well-being Outcomes: Findings from the National youth in Transitions Database.

Elizabeth Tracy, PhD & S. Brown (PhD Student): Differential Effects of maternal and Parental Warmth on Adult Recovery Support and Personal network Characteristics Among Women in Substance Abuse Treatment.

Laura Voith, Phd: neighborhood Predictors of Intimate Partner Violence: A Theory-Informed Analysis using Hierarchical Linear Modeling.

J. Cage (PhD Student): Comparing the Odds of High School Level Completion of Maltreated Youth in Out-of-Home Placement to Maltreated Youth in their Biological homes.

Michael Gearhart (PhD Student): Mutual Efficacy and Collective Efficacy: Preventing Neighborhood Disorder.

W. Kim & D. Yoon (PhD Students): The role of fathers in maltreatment: Differential effects on maltreatment type. Mental Health Mechanisms Linking Fathers to Child Outcomes, The underlying effects of the caregiver-child relationship quality on adolescent substance use in at-risk youth, The importance of fathers in social and behavioral development of children at-risk of maltreatment.

A. Vincent (PhD Student): Human- Animal Interaction

Accepted Poster Presentations:

Megan Holmes, PhD: Preschool-to-Kindergarten Transition: Promoting Resilient Prosocial behavior in Children Exposed to Intimate Partner Violence

Elizabeth Tracy, PhD, Meeyoung Min, PhD, & Kathleen Farkas, PhD: Patterns of personal networks and their relationships to quality of life among women with substance abuse disorders.

Elizabeth Tracy, PhD Meeyoung Min, PhD: Patterns of personal networks and substance use among substance-using women.

Laura Voith, PhD: How Neighborhoods Influence Intimate Partner Violence: A Qualitative Inquiry with men in Batterer Intervention Programs.

L.H. Taylor, M.W. Francis (PhD Students), Meeyoung Min, PhD, & Elizabeth Tracy, Phd: Confirmatory factor analysis of an abbreviated abstinence self-efficacy measure: The Drug and Alcohol Abstinence Self-Efficacy Scale.

E.J. Shon, JY Kim, D. Yoon, T. Olgac, M.W. Francis (PhD Students) & Meeyoung Min, PhD: Factor Structure of the urban hassles.

C. Chung (PhD Student): Predictors of Unmet Mental health Needs Among Young Adults with mental Illness in a U.S. nationally Representative Sample

K.A. Berg & M.W. Francis (PhD Students): “I don’t get no sleep”: Social work opportunities to improve sleep of children exposed to interpersonal violence.

The following alumni are also presenting at SSWR 2017:

  • Suzanne Brown, PhD 2012
  • Janet Hoy, MSSA 1999, PhD 2008
  • K.J. Ishler,
  • J.M. Kobulsky, PhD
  • Eun Lye Lee, PhD 2016
  • H. Park,
  • Susan Yoon, PhD 2016