|Research & Publications
Pioneers in Child Abuse & Neglect
addition to the Institute's commitment to providing direct clinical
services, an emphasis is placed on developing research and publications
to enhance the understanding of the dynamics of child abuse, while
also examining effective diagnostic and treatment approaches for children
who have suffered abuse.
Esther Deblinger, PhD, is an internationally recognized expert in trauma therapies for children, and has conducted extensive research with her colleagues in an effort to identify, design and evaluate effective therapies for children who have suffered abuse. This research, which began with a $25,000 grant from the Foundation of UMDNJ and to date has attracted over $5.8 million in federal research grants, resulted in the scientifically supported Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT).
For nearly 18 years, Dr. Deblinger and
her colleagues have developed and refined
TF-CBT for addressing the needs of children
who have suffered sexual abuse and their
non-offending caregivers. This treatment
outcome research has been funded by grants
from the National Center on Child Abuse
Neglect (NCCAN) and the National Institute
of Mental Health (NIMH) geared toward identifying
effective treatment strategies for this
population. In fact, the empirically supported
treatment model developed as a result of
this research has been recognized by SAMHSA
as a model program
an “Exemplary Program Award” as
a result of the extensive outcome data
utility. Dr. Deblinger and her co-developers,
Drs. Judith Cohen and Anthony Mannarino,
just completed the largest and first multi-site
treatment of PTSD and other difficulties
among children who suffered sexual abuse.
The findings of this investigation further
corroborated the effectiveness of this
model program (i.e., Trauma-Focused Cognitive
Behavioral Therapy or TF-CBT).
In addition, Martin A. Finkel, DO, FAAP, is considered a pioneer in the medical evaluation and treatment of child sexual abuse. Dr. Finkel is the author of the first scientific paper published in the medical literature on the healing and interpretation of acute genital or anal trauma. Dr. Finkel has also led the way in utilizing videocolposcopy equipment for the assessment and documentation of injuries residual to sexual abuse. Dr. Finkel is the author of numerous articles, book chapters and a textbook on the medical evaluation of the sexually abused child.
Finally, the Institute's research program has expanded over the past three years with the development of our child physical abuse therapy program. Melissa K. Runyon, PhD, is completing the third and final year of a NIMH-funded treatment development grant. Dr. Runyon’s grant compares group Combined Parent-Child Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) that addresses the needs of the child and the offending parent in families in which physical abuse occurs, and group CBT for the offending parent only. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) has identified Combined Parent-Child CBT as a promising practice. Dr. Runyon is seeking funding for another grant entitled “Comparison of Group Versus Individual CBT for Child Physical Abuse” to continue to develop this program of research. This involves a larger clinical trial to empirically support treatment strategies for children who have been physically abused, as well as to further identify factors that mediate and moderate treatment outcomes for this population.