Boston College Institute of Early Childhood Policy (IECP) Leadership Team
Catherine Taylor, PhD, LCSW, MPH, is a Professor in the Boston College School of Social Work. Her research agenda is focused on the primary prevention of violence, especially violence that impacts children, and her scholarship contributes to the science of evidence-based interventions as well as understanding the important and complex role of social norms in this arena.
Dr. Taylor has received funding and training support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), most notably the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). Since 2009, she has served as the Principal Investigator (PI) on research funded by NIH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This research has been focused on understanding and changing social norms regarding corporal punishment, with a long-term goal of reducing population rates of child physical abuse. This scholarship is designed to be translated and applied to interrupt intergenerational cycles of violence, reduce childhood exposure to trauma, and maximize children’s health and health equity. As an example, her work contributed to the American Academy of Pediatrics updated policy statement on”Effective Discipline to Raise Healthy Children.” She was also selected as a fellow for the NIH Summer Institute on the Design and Conduct of Randomized Clinical Trials Involving Behavioral Interventions as well as a recipient of the NIH Pediatric Research Loan Repayment Program.
Dr. Taylor received her PhD from the UCLA School of Public Health in the Department of Community Health Sciences, where she completed her dissertation on the topic of social norms and intimate partner violence. She also minored in media studies and was an American Association for the Advancement of Science Mass Media Fellow at ABC television in New York. She completed her MSW in clinical social work and her MPH in epidemiology at Boston University. After finishing her PhD, she completed a postdoctoral position at Columbia University School of Social Work, focusing on the science of preventing child physical abuse. From there, she began her first faculty position at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans. While at Tulane, Dr. Taylor launched and became the first Director of Tulane’s Violence Prevention Institute as well as Tulane’s Pincus Violence Prevention Scholarship program.
A list of Dr. Taylor’s media interviews and press coverage can be found here.
Fleckman, JM, Scholer, SJ, Branco. N, and Taylor, CA. (2020) U.S. Pediatricians’ Training Needs and Motivations to Change Norms Regarding Effective Child Discipline. Academic Pediatrics. doi.org/10.1016/j.acap.2020.05.028
Fleckman, JM* Taylor, CA, Theall, KP, Andrinopoulous, K. (2019) The Association between Perceived Injunctive Norms toward Corporal Punishment, Parenting Support, and Risk for Child Physical Abuse. Child Abuse and Neglect. 88, 246-255. doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2018.11.023
Fleckman, JM* Taylor, CA, Theall, KP, Andrinopoulous, K. (2019) Perceived Social Norms in the Neighborhood Context: The Role of Perceived Collective Efficacy in Moderating the Relation Between Perceived Injunctive Norms and Use of Corporal Punishment. Child & Adolescent Social Work Journal. 36 (1) 29-41. doi.org/10.1007/s10560-018-0581-1
Fleckman, JM*, Storer, H, Rubin-Miller, L, Taylor, CA, Andrinopoulous, K, Weil, L, Theall, KP. (2018) Breaking the mold: Socio-ecologic factors to influence the development of non-harsh parenting strategies to reduce risk for child physical abuse. Children and Youth Services Review. 94, 274-283. doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2018.10.019
Gershoff, E. T., Font, S. A., Taylor, CA, Garza, A. B., Olson-Dorff, D., and Foster, R. H. (2018) A Short-Term Evaluation of a Hospital No Hit Zone Policy to Increase Bystander Intervention in Cases of Parent-to-Child Violence. Children and Youth Services Review. 94, 155-162. doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2018.09.040
Taylor CA, Fleckman, JM*, Scholer, SJ, and Branco. N. (2018) U.S. Pediatricians’ Attitudes, Beliefs, and Perceived Injunctive Norms about Spanking. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. 39, 564–572.doi: 10.1097/DBP.0000000000000592
Temple, J.R., Choi, H.J., Reuter, T., Wolfe, D., Taylor CA, Madigan, S., & Scott, L.E. (2018) Childhood corporal punishment and future perpetration of physical dating violence. Journal of Pediatrics. 194, 233-237. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2017.10.028. Epub 2017 Dec 5.
Kallemeyn L, Evenson A, Heller S, Taylor CA, Gilkerson L, Moran T. (2018) Local Adaptation during Implementation: A Case Study of the Fussy Baby Network® New Orleans and Gulf Coast Initiative. Early Childhood Research Quarterly. 42: 128-139. doi.org/10.1016/j.ecresq.2017.08.007
Taylor CA, Fleckman, JM*, Lee SJ. (2017) Attitudes, beliefs, and perceived norms about corporal punishment and related training needs among members of the "American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children." Child Abuse and Neglect. 71:56-68. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2017.04.009. (Special issue: “Moving beyond the spanking debate: A call to action”)
Afifi TO, Ford D, Gershoff ET, Merrick M, Ports K, Grogan-Kaylor A, MacMillan HL, Holden G, Taylor CA, Lee SJ, Bennett RP. (2017) Spanking and Adult Mental Health Impairment: The Case for the Designation of Spanking as an Adverse Childhood Experience. Child Abuse and Neglect. 71:24-31. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2017.01.014. (Special issue: “Moving beyond the spanking debate: A call to action”; Named 2017 “Article of the Year” in Child Abuse and Neglect)
* trainee at time of research
R01 HD093665 Taylor & Fleckman (Multi PI) 9/10/2018 – 6/30/2023
NIH / National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Longitudinal follow-up of brief parenting interventions to reduce risk of child physical maltreatment in a selected population
Our long-term goal is to reduce rates of child physical maltreatment and use of corporal punishment and by strengthening the evidence base for brief, widely adaptable, and sustainable interventions deliverable in broad selected and universal populations. The objective is to test the sustained effects of two such interventions, Triple P-Level 2 and Play Nicely, and to examine how social contexts influence their adoption and sustained effects.
R01 HD095609 Theall/Branas (Co-PIs) 8/01/2018–7/31/2023
NIH / National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Place matters - Adaptable Solutions to Violence at the Community Level
The goal of this research is to assess the impact of greening and blight remediation on youth and adult violence.
Pincus Family Foundation Fleckman/DruryFrancois (Co-PIs) 07/01/2019—6/31/22
This award is to develop an innovative community engaged research fellowship program focused on building community partner capacity and training the next generations of researchers focused on childhood violence prevention
Role: Co-Investigator (as of July 1, 2020); Co-PI (through June 30, 2020)