Moore Center Research Projects
Our research develops and evaluates primary prevention interventions that will reduce child sexual abuse. Relatedly, we seek to improve our understanding of the costs, causes and consequences of child sexual abuse, as well as the policies that purport to address it.
Youth, Family and School-focused Prevention
- Parent-focused Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse. This parent-focused intervention will promote healthy sexual development of children and reduce the prevalence of child sexual abuse by teaching parents how to talk to their children about responsible behavior with others. This research is a collaborative effort with Dr. Tamar Mendelson, associate professor, Department of Mental Health, JHSPH.
- Youth-focused Universal Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse. This universal prevention program will educate middle-school children about rules and boundaries with young children and encourage conversations between these youth and their parents in an effort to reduce perpetration and to increase bystander involvement. This research is a collaborative effort with Dr. Cindy Schaeffer, associate professor, Medical University of South Carolina, and Dr. Catherine Bradshaw, professor and associate dean for research and faculty development, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia.
- Youth-focused Targeted Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse. The “Help Wanted” project is a collaborative effort with the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA) that aims to develop and evaluate a prevention intervention for adolescents who are attracted to younger children. This project was featured in Luke Malone’s award winning radio story “Help Wanted” on This American Life and adapted for Matter magazine.
Cost, Causes and Consequences of Child Sexual Abuse
- Child Sexual Abuse Cost Study. This project aims to estimate the US economic impact of child sexual abuse, the first study to comprehensively do so. This cost study analysis is critical for drawing attention to the anemic child sexual abuse prevention efforts characterizing US efforts to date. This project is in collaboration with James A. Mercy, PhD, Derek S. Brown, PhD, and Xiangming Fang, PhD
- Youth and Family Survey Study. This project examines how placement on sex offender registries affects youth mental health, family well-being and social support systems. This project is a collaboration with Dr. Andrew Harris, associate professor and associate dean for research and graduate programs, College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Massachusetts Lowell.
- Juvenile Sex Offender Registration and Notification Policy Evaluation. A multistate evaluation, this study will determine the impacts of juvenile registration and notification policies on recidivism rates across different states in collaboration with Drs. Mark Chaffin, professor, School of Public Health, Georgia State University and Donna M. Vandiver, associate professor and interim doctoral program director, School of Criminal Justice, Texas State University.
- Safe Harbor. This study examines the effects of “Safe Harbor” legislation that aims to decriminalize juvenile prostitution and instead focus on these children as victims rather than as prostitutes or offenders.
- Differences in Justice: Do Same-Sex Victim Dyads Receive Harsher Punishment? Assessment of whether discrepancies exist in the juvenile justice system in cases involving same-sex versus opposite-sex offender/victim dyads.
Projects in Development
- Risk Reduction Therapy with Adolescents: a family-based intervention designed to address substance use and risky sexual behaviors
- Analysis of the Danish registry data to identify risk and promotive factors associated with perpetration of child sexual abuse
- An environmental scan of federal resources aimed at child sexual abuse (with Daniel Webster)
- Development of an algorithm to prioritize Internet-crimes-against-children (ICAC) cases towards those most likely to involve current, live victims (with Gregg Dwyer and Michael Seto)
- Convening a consortium of experts on domestic child sex trafficking (with Judith Bass)
- Secondary data analysis of a longitudinal research study to identify risk and protective factors associated with perpetration of sexual abuse (with Nicholas Ialongo, William Eaton, and Cindy Schaeffer)
- Conducting an on-going qualitative study with the ATSA collaborative investigating young adults living with attractions to prepubescent children. More information can be found on the study recruitment site.