Project Details


The Translational Center for Child Maltreatment Studies (TCCMS) at Penn State will increase the rigor and quality of research conducted in the field of child maltreatment via exciting research projects and cores. Through a large-scale partnership with the State of Pennsylvania's Department of Human Services, Project 1 is a prospective cohort study of 1200 maltreated and comparison children aimed at elucidating the multiple etiological processes believed to play a role in the onset and maintenance of adverse health outcomes for victims. By using state-of-the-art assessment methods across multiple levels of analysis?neuroendocrine, autonomic, epigenomic, immunological, behavioral, familial, contextual, and several aspects of resilience? Project 1 will identify the putative and protective mechanisms of subsequent health outcomes, including physical health, behavioral health, and brain development. This rigorous science will significantly advance knowledge of the complex interplay between biological and behavioral mechanisms responsible for health disparities in maltreatment victims and illuminate avenues for promoting resilience and opportunities for reversibility. Project 2 is stratified cluster randomized trial (SCRT) of a Clinical Decision Rule (CDR) for Abusive Head Trauma (AHT) designed to increase child abuse evaluations of high-risk head trauma cases and saving lives where AHT is currently unrecognized. This SCRT will comprise 416 AHT patients aged 0-3 in 8 Pediatric ICUs across the country. Project 2 also includes a sustainability trial of implementation strategies utilizing another 104 AHT patients. By translating high-quality science into fiscal messages that will leverage legislative action, the TCCMS's Dissemination and Outreach Core (DOC) will develop a national model for advancing the basic, yet illusive, tenet of science as a vehicle for impacting and mobilizing social change. Using administrative data the DOC will employ predictive analytics to craft translational messages about the economic impact of child maltreatment. The DOC will also use predictive models to translate knowledge generated in Projects 1 & 2 into compelling fiscal messages regarding the public costs incurred by maltreated children in the Project 1 cohort, and the Return-On-Investment of implementing the Project 2 CDR. By engaging community providers, the DOC will use a Community-based Participatory Research (CBPR) model to devise and test workable solutions to facilitate implementation of child welfare reform. The DOC will package TCCMS research into products that will entreat increased public investment. The Admin Core will maximize and accelerate TCCMS impact by ensuring that its research and products receive high-level exposure to the public and to policy leaders. The Admin Core will serve as a national model for growing new science and nurturing budding scientists through access to a national data repository and innovative experiential learning forums. The TCCMS will emerge as THE premier center where transdisciplinary scientists work together with practitioners and policy-makers to implement solutions to the complex problem of child maltreatment.
Effective start/end date4/20/173/31/22


  • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: $1,556,175.00
  • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: $1,496,721.00
  • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: $1,727,990.00
  • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: $160,500.00
  • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: $1,565,948.00
  • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: $1,530,505.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.