Dr. Holmes is an Assistant Professor and Founding Director of the Center on Trauma and Adversity. She has over 10 years of clinical practice and research experience working in the field of child exposure to domestic violence and child maltreatment. The overarching goal of her research is to contribute to the optimal development of children who have been exposed to domestic violence by identifying risk and protective factors that will be translated into interventions.
Dr. Holmes’s research indicates that there are sensitive or critical developmental periods, particularly before the age of 5 years, when domestic violence exposure has a significant negative effect on children’s behavioral and mental health outcomes. However her research also shows that nearly 40% of children exposed to domestic violence have resilient social and emotional development, which can be attributed to protective factors experienced by these children.
Building on this research, she published a white paper about the effects of domestic violence exposure on children and identified recommendations for how the state of Ohio can better serve these children. One of these recommendations was linking systems of care for victimized children, which lead to a partnership with the Ohio Attorney General’s office in a Department of Justice-funded demonstration project aimed to identify and promote healing for victims of crime, coordinate prevention and intervention services to youth and families experiencing trauma and victimization, and build capacity within communities to meet the needs of youth exposed to violence. The goal of her future research is to develop an intervention that fosters resilience among siblings exposed.
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.
- Intimate partner violence exposure
- Child maltreatment
- Sibling relationships and maternal parenting
- Early childhood development
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.
In Spring 2017, Dr. Holmes published three new documents on her research for the HealthPath Foundation:
- Impact of Domestic Violence Exposure: Recommendations to Better Serve Ohio’s Children. This full report details the short- and long-term effects on children, the impact of domestic violence on parenting, the impact of the legal system on children and families, and the economic impact. It also includes interventions for a variety of ages and situations and the recommendations on what Ohio can do to better serve its children.
- Executive Summary: This stand-alone document highlights the findings of the report and gives a brief outline of the recommendations.
- Research Methodology: This document explains the research methods and how calculations were made for the report.
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. 4/10/2015–3/31/2017
Effects of instructional strategies on social work student learning outcomes
Co-Principal Investigators: Megan Holmes & Zoe Wood
Case Western Reserve University, Nord Grant, $5,000. 1/5/2015–12/18/2017
Multilevel 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., Berg, K. A., Bender*, A. E., Evans*, K. E., O’Donnell*, K, & Miller*, E. K (2022). Nearly fifty years of child exposure to intimate partner violence empirical research: Overarching themes and future directions. Journal of Family Violence.
Holmes, M. R., Berg, K. A., Bender*, A. E., Evans*, K. E., Kobulsky, J. M., Davis, A. P. & King, J. A. (2022). The effect of intimate partner violence on children’s physical health and medical system engagement: A systematic review. Journal of Family Violence.
Miller*, E. K., O'Donnell*, K., Bender*, A. E., Evans*, K. E., Holmes, M.R. (2022). Mothers’ Experiences of Emotional Connection During COVID-19 in the United States: A Thematic Analysis. Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services, preprint. DOI: 10.1177/10443894221094504
Berg, K. A., Evans*, K. E., Powers*, G., Moore, S. E., Steigerwald, S., Bender*, A. E., Holmes, M. R. Yaffe, A., & Connell, A. M. (2022). Consequences of Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence on Children’s Physiologies: A Systematic Review of the Literature. Journal of Family Violence.
Bender*, A. E., McKinney, S. J., Schmidt-Sane, M. M., Cage, J., Holmes, M. R., Berg, K. A., Salley, J., Bodell*, M, & Voith, L. A. (2022) Childhood Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence and Effects on Social-Emotional Competence: A Systematic Review. Journal of Family Violence.
Evans*, K., Schmidt-Sane*, M. M., Bender*, A. E., & Holmes, M. R. (2022). Children's Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence and Perceptions, Acceptance, or Appraisals of IPV: A Systematic Review. Journal of Family Violence.
Lee*, H., Russell*, K. N., O’Donnell*, K. A., Bender*, A. E. Scaggs, A. L., Harris, L. A., Holmes, M. R., & Berg, K. A. (2022) The Effect of Childhood Intimate Partner Violence (2022) Exposure on Bullying Outcomes: A Systematic Review. Journal of Family Violence.
Evans*, K. E., Lee*, H., Russell*, K. N., Holmes, M. R., Berg, K. A., Bender*, A. E., & Prince, D. M. (2021). Adolescent Dating Violence Among Youth Exposed to Intimate Partner Violence: A Systematic Review. Journal of Family Violence.
Evans*, K. E., King, J. A., & Holmes, M. R. (2021). Advancing Child Trauma Screening Practices: An Evidence-Informed Framework for a Pictorial Child Trauma Screening Tool. Advances in Social Work.
Cage, J., Kobulsky, J. M., McKinney, S. J., Holmes, M. R., Berg, K. A., Bender*, A. E., & Kemmerer*, A. (2021). The Effect of Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence on Children’s Academic Functioning: A Systematic Review of the Literature. Journal of Family Violence.
Evans*, K. E., Holmes, M. R., Prince, D., & Groza, V. (2021). Social Work Doctoral Student Well-Being and the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Descriptive Study. International Journal of Doctoral Studies.
Holmes, M. R., Rentrope, C. R., Korsch-Williams, A., & King, J. A. (2021). Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Posttraumatic Stress, Grief, Burnout, and Secondary Trauma of Social Workers in the United States. Clinical Social Work Journal.
Bender*, A. E., Berg, K. A., Miller*, E. K., Evans*, K. E., Holmes, M. R. (2021). “Making Sure We Are All Okay”: Healthcare Workers’ Strategies for Emotional Connectedness During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Clinical Social Work Journal.
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 intimate partner violence 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. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2014.03.011
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.
- Children, Youth and Families
In the News
January 25, 2023
Doctoral students Wenxing Wei and Sarah Balser published in high-impact journal
January 20, 2023
SSWR 2023 Annual Conference: Mandel School Presentations
January 06, 2023
May 17, 2022
Mandel School Announces Grant-Funded Partnership with Office of Gender-Based Violence at Arizona State University
April 18, 2022
SSWR 2022 Conference: Mandel School Presentations
January 10, 2022
Mandel School faculty work towards the Grand Challenges for Social Work
September 09, 2021
January 29, 2021
SSWR 2021 Virtual Conference: Award Winner & Presentations
January 19, 2021
No ‘one-size-fits-all solution’ for children exposed to domestic violence, researchers say
December 03, 2020
Trauma Center's Research Scholars program now accepting applications
August 7, 2020
18 research teams receive over $500,000 in pilot grants to study COVID-19
July 30, 2020
Case Western Reserve team studying ‘unprecedented’ levels of trauma caused by COVID-19 pandemic
May 1, 2020