Healing, Empowerment, Antiviolence Research Team (HEART)

Team bio

Our research team conducts applied and translational social work research to empower families and communities to live free of violence and shift the tide towards healthy relationships. We focus on how the risk of violent victimization and perpetration in adolescence and adulthood stems from physiological, psychological, sociological and cultural adaptations resulting from experiences of trauma, adversity and resilience in childhood. 

We use a trauma informed, social justice research framework and mixed methods to amplify the voices of our collaborators and enrich our understanding and potential solutions of these complex social problems.

Dr. Laura Voith is accepting new students, with a strong preference for underrepresented minority students. Hear what it’s like to work on the HEART. Find out how to get involved below. 

Meet the Team 

Video abstracts

For interested prospective doctoral students

If you are interested in our work, please apply to the Mandel School's doctoral program

For interested prospective undergraduate and masters students

We sometimes have research assistant positions, practicum positions and volunteer opportunities available. These are great ways to gain research experience that will help you prepare for graduate school and future careers. 

Please fill out the research assistant application and when the next opportunity arises, we will contact you to set up an interview. 

Commitment for at least one semester is required with the intent to remain on the team for at least one academic year. Academic credit is available. 

Current-funded research

A five-year formative evaluation and randomized control trial of a novel mentoring program compared to treatment-as-usual on healthy relationships, engaged fatherhood and recidivism with previously incarcerated fathers. The project aims to include a special focus on fathers who screen positive for intimate partner violence and child maltreatment. 

  • Collaborators: Passages Connecting Fathers and Families
  • Funder: Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance, Healthy Marriages and Responsible Fatherhood Program

A formative and outcome evaluation of the Anti-fragility Initiative, a hospital-based violence intervention program that pairs youth exposed to severe violence with social workers. This program aims to enhance resilience and post-traumatic growth, while addressing the effects of complex and acute trauma. 

  • Collaborators: University Hospital and Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, Pediatric Surgical Division
  • Funders: National Institute of Health, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD); Victim of Crime Act (VOCA)

A descriptive study examining risk and protective factors of intimate partner violence perpetration with men in batterer intervention programs. 

  • Collaborators: Domestic Violence Intervention and Education (DIET) Program, City of Cleveland Municipal Court, Probation Office 
  • Funder: Research and Training Grant, Mandel School

Community reports

See our policy briefs and research briefs stemming from the HEART’s work, the Center on Trauma and Adversity, and collaborations with community and university partners.