Megan R. Holmes, PhD

Assistant Professor

PhD, University of California Los Angeles
MSW, University of California Los Angeles
BA, San Diego State University

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Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences

Room 110
Case Western Reserve University
11235 Bellflower Road
Cleveland, Ohio 44106


Using her clinical experience with families from domestic violence households to set the foundation for her research, the overarching goal of Dr. Holmes’s work is to contribute to the optimal development of children who have been exposed to intimate partner violence (IPV) by identifying risk and protective factors that will be translated into interventions.
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Course List

Masters Courses

  • SASS 477: Direct Practice Foundation Methods and Skills
  • SASS 549: Theory and Practice Approaches in Direct Practice Social Work
  • SASS 555: Women’s Issues

Doctoral Courses

  • SASS 631: Job Seekers Seminar

Doctoral Student Mentoring

Dr. Holmes is passionate about her ongoing work with the Mandel School doctoral and master’s students. She provides multiple training opportunities to learn essential research and scholarship skills to facilitate the development of becoming a productive independent scholar. For example, under the mentorship of Dr. Holmes students obtain authorship on publications; learn the process of grant writing; present research at national conferences; and develop their own clear independent research and scholarship plan. Her federal grants provide funded research opportunities to her students. She also welcomes the opportunity for doctoral students to participate in a teaching mentorship for her current courses.

Scholarly Interests

  • Intimate partner violence exposure
  • Child maltreatment
  • Sibling relationships and maternal parenting
  • Early childhood development

Current Funded Research

Longitudinal Effects of Family Violence: Sibling Factors and Maternal Parenting
Principal Investigator: Megan R. Holmes
NIH NICHD (Grant Number 1R03HD078416-01A1), $158,500. 4/10/2015–3/31/2017Effects of instructional strategies on social work student learning outcomes
Co-Principal Investigators: Megan Holmes & Zoe Wood
Case Western Reserve University, Nord Grant, $5,000. 1/5/2015–12/18/2017Multilevel Protective Factors that Promote Well-Being for Maltreated Children
Principal Investigator: Megan R. Holmes.
Administration of Children, Youth, and Families, Children’s Bureau (Grant Number 90CA1817-01-00), $200,000. 9/30/2014–9/21/2016 

Sibling Relationships and the Psychobiology of Intimate Partner Violence Exposure: A Pilot Study
Principal Investigator: Megan R. Holmes.
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences Research and Training Development Grant, $13,000. 9/1/2013–6/30/2016

Holmes, M. R., Yoon, S., Voith, L. A., Kobulsy, J. & Steigerwald, S. (2015). Resilience in physically abused children: Protective factors for aggression. Behavioral Sciences, 5, 176–189. doi: 10.3390/bs5020176

Holmes, M. R., Tracy, E. M., Painter, L. L., Oestreich, T., & Park, H. (2015) Moving from flipcharts to the flipped classroom: Using technology-driven teaching methods to promote active learning in foundation and advanced master’s social work courses. Clinical Social Work Journal, 43, 215–224. doi: 10.1007/s10615-015-0521-x

Holmes, M.R., Voith, L.A., & Gromoske, A. (2015). Lasting effect of IPV exposure during preschool on aggressive behavior and prosocial skills. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. 30(10), 1651­–1670. doi: 10.1177/0886260514552441

Voith, L.A., Gromoske, A., & Holmes, M.R. (2014). Effects of cumulative violence exposure on children’s trauma and depression symptoms: A social ecological examination using fixed effects regression. Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma, 7(4), 207-216. doi: 10.1007/s40653-014-0026-8

Freisthler, B. Holmes, M. R., & Wolf, J. P. (2014) The dark side of social support: Understanding the role of social support, drinking behaviors and alcohol outlets for child physical abuse. Child Abuse & Neglect. 36(6), 1106-1119.

Holmes, M. R. (2013). Sleeper effect of intimate partner violence exposure: Long-term consequences on young children’s aggressive behavior. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. 54(9), 986–995. doi:10.1111/jcpp.12071

Holmes, M. R. (2013). Aggressive behavior of children exposed to intimate partner violence: An examination of maternal mental health, maternal warmth and child maltreatment. Child Abuse & Neglect. 37(8), 520-530. doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2012.12.006

Holmes, M. R., Yoon, S., Voith, L. A., Kobulsy, J. & Steigerwald, S. (2015). Resilience in physically abused children: Protective factors for aggression. Oral presentation at the Council on Social Work Education 61th Annual Program Meeting, Denver, CO, October 2015.


Yoon, S., Steigerwald, S., & Holmes, M. R. Child exposure to violence: The underlying effect of trauma symptoms on behavior problems. Electronic poster presentation at the Society for Social Work and Research 19th Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA, January 2015


Holmes, M. R., Tracy, E. M., Painter, L. L., & Oestreich, T. D. From flipcharts to the flipped classroom: Using technology to promote clinical skills. Faculty Development Institute at the Council on Social Work Education 60th Annual Program Meeting, Tampa, FL, October 2014.


Holmes, M. R., Voith, L. A., & Gromeske, A. N. Lasting Effect of Intimate Partner Violence Exposure During Preschool: Cross-Lagged Analyses of Aggressive Behavior and Prosocial Skills. Oral paper presentation at the Society for Social Work Research 18th Annual Conference, San Antonio, TX, January 2014.


Voith, L. A., Gromeske, A. N., & Holmes, M. R. An Ecological Examination of Cumulative Violence Exposure on Children’s Trauma and Depression Symptoms. Oral paper presentation at the Society for Social Work Research 18th Annual Conference, San Antonio, TX, January 2014.


Holmes, M. R. Maternal warmth and depression: Long-term effects on domestic violence-exposed children’s aggressive behavior and prosocial skills. Poster presented at Zero to Three: 28th Annual National Training Institute, San Antonio, TX, December 2013.


Holmes, M. R. Developmental Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence Exposure on Young Children’s Social Behavior. Oral paper presentation at the 18th International Conference & Summit on Violence, Abuse & Trauma, San Diego, CA, September 2013.


Holmes, M. R. The Sleeper Effect of Intimate Partner Violence Exposure: Long-Term Consequences On Young Children’s Aggressive Behavior. Oral paper presentation as part of the Identifying and Maximizing Opportunities for Intervention in Infancy and Early Childhood Symposium at Society for Social Work Research 17th Annual Conference, San Diego, CA, January 2013.


Megan Holmes in the News:

Poly-victimization Across Social Contexts

Jan 20 2017

Fred Butcher, Senior Research Associate, and colleagues recently published an article examining childhood exposure to violence across social contexts.

Nationally, a large proportion of youth experience exposure to violence (ETV) in their homes, schools, and neighborhoods and research has consistently shown that ETV is linked to symptoms of trauma. Juvenile justice-involved youth are particularly at risk for ETV and accurate assessment for this population is vital to their treatment. We examined data from a sample of juvenile justice-involved youth and found that measures of ETV should take into account the cumulative effect of violence across multiple social contexts. Youth who experience ETV in homes, schools, and neighborhoods are particularly vulnerable since they are likely to have few, if any locations in which they feel safe from violence.

Butcher, F., Holmes, M. R., Kretschmar, J. M., & Flannery, D. J. (2016). Poly-victimization across social contexts: Home, school, and neighborhood violence exposure. Criminal Justice and Behavior. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/0093854816662679

Holmes Receives $75K Grant for Study on Effect of Domestic Violence

Jan 5 2017

Megan R. Holmes, PhD, Assistant Professor, received a $75,000 award from the HealthPath Foundation of Ohio to produce a white paper about the effect of domestic violence on Ohio’s Children. The study will result in making recommendations for policies, system changes, programming, funding streams, and other strategies at the state, county, and local levels to help Ohio better serve children who are exposed to domestic violence.

Francisca Richter, PhD, from the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development and Mark Vortruba, PhD, from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University are co-investigators on this grant.

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