Research at the Boston College School of Social Work is about more than publishing papers—our faculty and students analyze emerging trends in hopes of breaking new ground in the field, and uncovering innovative ways to address social problems locally and globally.
Our researchers are committed to fully engaging with people to understand their lived experiences in order to co-design the most effective interventions and programs. BCSSW research focuses attention on communities that experience disproportionate social, health, and economic disparities in the United States, including the following:
Homeless and Housing Insecure Communities
Older (or Aging) Populations
Many factors contribute to child and family well-being, including maternal access to prenatal care, environmental factors such as housing and food insecurity, and even societal issues like structural racism. Our researchers are focused on numerous topics related to child well-being including:
Child and Adolescent Mental Health
Child Abuse Prevention
Focus on Fathers
BCSSW faculty forge strong collaborative relationships with government officials and policymakers to ensure effective interventions can be scaled and sustained, and our implementation partners include leading humanitarian organizations and local NGOs. Our global research includes the following areas of focus:
Research Partnerships in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs)
Refugees and Migrants
Children and Families in Humanitarian Settings
Environment and Sustainable Development
A key strength of our partnerships is application of novel approaches that enable community members to engage in intervention planning, design, and implementation. These methods center community voice, enable shared decision-making, and ensure culturally appropriate and relevant interventions and outcome measures. Our methods prioritize:
Participatory Research and Design
Prev. 3 fiscal years
Paid student research positions
Find information about training, mentoring, and consulting services to support BCSSW faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and student investigators to plan, fund, and implement research that generates a deeper understanding of and robust solutions to intractable social problems.
Dozens of undergrads at BC have conducted research with faculty in the School of Social Work over the past few years. What they have learned, they say, has given them a leg up in class, reconfigured their career paths, and shaped their perspectives of pressing social problems.
Maggi Price, an assistant professor who studies the mental health of youth who are stigmatized because of their gender identity, is working to create a virtual training program to teach a group of therapists how to provide gender-affirming care to young clients.
Erika Sabbath and Cal Halvorsen will team up with the Harvard Center for Work, Health, and Well-Being to carry out the research, which will examine organizational policies, practices, and programs that impact the health of workers.