Melissa Jonson-Reid, PhD, MSW
Professor, Brown School
The focus of Dr. Jonson-Reid's research is on the prevention of child abuse and neglect, as well as the secondary prevention of health and socio-emotional consequences of childhood exposure to maltreatment and other forms of family violence. She is also involved in several contracted evaluations of child maltreatment primary prevention as well as prevention of recurrence.
Dr. Jonson-Reid's goal has been to understand how to improve how public sector service systems respond to or provide preventive services to improve the long-term health and well-being of children.She is a member of the national Child Neglect Consortium and a Co-PI of a 5 year conference grant on Translational Research in Child Neglect. She is the Director of the Center for Violence and Injury Prevention. Another area of interest has been school based intervention services—particularly school social work.
Dr. Jonson-Reid currently has 42 peer reviewed journal articles in print or in press and an additional 6 chapters/books in print.
Although she is trained in the area of social welfare, she teaches coursework relevant to public health and transdiciplinary work including the Evaluation of Programs and Services, Foundations of Data Analysis for our PhD program, and Child, Youth and Family policy.
Dr. Jonson-Reid has both direct practice and administrative practice in school social work (focusing on services to children in foster care and other high risk groups) and services to victims and perpetrators of domestic violence. Since leaving the field for academia, she has continued to be active in assisting with evaluation of programs and services. Although some of this work has been paid through evaluation contracts, much of this has been a free service to area agencies. These range from long-term volunteer projects helping school social workers develop accountability and evaluation systems, helping evaluate the Children’s Legal Alliance program for Legal Services of Eastern Missouri to one-time assistance. She serves as the Editor-in-Chief for the National Association of Social Work journal Children & Schools, which is the largest circulation journal for this area. She also has an ongoing consulting and research partnership with Missouri Children’s Division to assist them with both evaluation and innovation in approaches to working with high risk families.
What opportunities do you see for interdisciplinary collaboration on public health initiatives in the future?
"I have already had the privilege of collaborating with public health colleagues in our submission of the Violence and Injury Prevention Center application to CDC that will focus on primary and secondary prevention efforts for child maltreatment, intimate partner violence, sexual violence and suicide. The center includes both research projects and transdisciplinary training for MSW, MPH, JD and medical students. This effort not only reinforced my interest in public health approaches but truly made me aware of the large numbers of faculty across the Washington University departments and schools that have interests in this area.
I am currently collaborating with Dr. Constantino in development and testing of various early childhood interventions to prevent maltreatment and/ or recurrent maltreatment. I am also working with Dr. Hovmand in simulation work to help support policy and program efforts for child maltreatment and more recently for health disparity work.
I hope to be able to work with public health colleagues around primary prevention communication efforts on the supervision of young children to help prevent neglect and subsequent injury."