Boston College Institute of Early Childhood Policy (IECP) Leadership Team
Catherine Taylor, PhD, LCSW, MPH, is a Professor with dual experience and training in social work and public health, with a foundation in biological sciences. She completed her MSW/MPH at Boston University and then trained at UCLA School of Public Health in community health sciences, epidemiology, and media studies. She went on to be post-docortal scholar at Columbia University School of Social Work, focused on the development and assessment of preventive interventions to prevent child abuse. She then joined Tulane University School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine in New Orleans (2005-2020) as faculty, where she became the Founding Director of their Violence Prevention Institute and Pincus Violence Prevention Scholarship program, and developed their first course on “violence as a public health problem.”
Her research is focused on the primary prevention of trauma and violence, especially that which impacts children, via testing and implementing preventive interventions and understanding the important and complex role of social norms in this arena. She is also focused on optimizing access to and translation of scientific evidence, as well as the uptake and implementation of evidence-based practice to promote mental health, treat trauma, and prevent violence.
Dr. Taylor is co-leading a mixed methods study which has received funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The quantitative aim includes a randomized controlled trial (RCT) (n=821) with short and long term (~4 year) follow-up designed to assess the efficacy of two brief, relatively low-resource preventive intervention parenting programs with potential for wide dissemination. The qualitative aim is assessing key social ecological contexts that impact parenting via in-depth interviews with primary caregivers and partners as well as focus groups with pediatric care providers. Extensive data have been collected to assess individual, dyadic, and social-ecological constructs relevant to parenting, including three forms of quantitative data: 1) dyadic (mother-child) observational data, which assessed the quality and synchrony of the relationship such as parent sensitivity, child involvement, and dyadic reciprocity using the Coding Interactive Behavior (CIB) rating system; 2) dyadic (mother-child) Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia (RSA) readings representative of autonomic nervous system emotional and behavioral self-regulation; and 3) parent self-report via telephone or face-to-face interviews of constructs such as: parenting discipline behaviors and attitudes, stress, and mental health; exposure to intimate partner and/or neighborhood violence in adulthood, and adverse experiences in childhood (ACEs); perceived social norms relevant to parenting; and COVID-related experiences.
Dr. Taylor welcomes interest from prospective and current students and postdoctoral scholars in a variety of fields (e.g.,social work, public health, neuroscience, psychology, sociology, or other related fields in social behavioral and mental health sciences), who are interested in working with data from this project either directly in her lab or collaborating with her team. To learn more, please reach out to Dr. Taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org) and complete this form.
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) 8/1/2018–7/31/2023
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) 7/1/2019—6/30/2024
Pincus Violence Prevention Scholars Program
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.