Megan R. Holmes, PhD

Associate Professor
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences
Founding Director
Center on Trauma and Adversity
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences

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.

Biosketch
Curriculum Vitae
Google Scholar

Teaching Information

Teaching Interests

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.

    Courses Taught

    SASS 477. Direct Practice Foundation Methods and Skills
    SASS 549. Theory and Practice Approaches in Direct Practice Social Work
    SASS 555. Women’s Issues
    SASS 631. Job Seekers Seminar

    Research Information

    Research Interests

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

    Research Projects

    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.

    Recent Funding

    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

    Publications

    Recent Publications

    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

    Presentations

    Recent Presentations

    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.

    Education

    Doctor of Philosophy
    University of California, Los Angeles
    Master of Social Work
    University of California, Los Angeles
    Bachelor of Arts
    San Diego State University