Parenting program tackles child abuse and neglect among formerly homeless families

Renee McDonald

Parenting program tackles child abuse and neglect among formerly homeless families

A parenting program developed by researchers in SMU’s Department of Psychology will now help Dallas-area families who were once homeless. Family Compass, one of the oldest child abuse prevention agencies in Dallas, is expanding its use of "Project Support." The Project Support program was developed by SMU psychologists Renee McDonald and Ernest Jouriles to reduce child abuse and neglect in severely violent families.

Toronto Star: Parents have a key role to play in teaching healthy relationship skills

A research study by Ernest Jouriles in collaboration with others in the SMU Department of Psychology is cited in a Nov. 5 article in the Toronto Star. Journalist Ann Douglas elaborates on the study in her article about the way parents make a difference when it comes to encouraging their children to make healthy relationship choices. The study, "Teens' experiences of harsh parenting and exposure to severe intimate partner violence: Adding insult to injury in predicting teen dating violence," was published in April in the journal "Psychology of Violence." Children Need Direct Answers after Interparent Violence

The research of SMU psychologists Renee McDonald, Ernest Jouriles and David Rosenfield was featured in an article on the web site McDonald, lead author on the research and a professor of psychology, researches specific child adjustment problems, such as aggression and antisocial behavior, and how they are associated with exposure to family conflict and violence.

2010 a year of advances for SMU scientific researchers at the vanguard of those helping civilization

ATLAS%20150x120.jpgSMU scientists are at the forefront of cutting-edge research aimed at addressing some of the world's most pressing challenges, questions and issues.

See a sampling of the work they tackle, from Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, to immigration, diabetes, evolution, childhood obesity and more. Besides working in campus labs and within the Dallas-area community, SMU scientists conduct research throughout the world.

UPI: Abusive mothers can improve parenting

MotherDaughter.jpgUPI covered the research of SMU psychologists Ernest Jouriles, Renee McDonald, David Rosenfield and Deborah Corbitt-Shindler in a July 30 story "Abusive mothers can improve parenting." The research found that abusive mothers, who are taught parenting skills and given emotional support, can improve their parenting skills, the researchers say.

Abusive mothers improve their parenting after home visits, classes and emotional support from therapists


Each year, U.S. child welfare agencies log more than 3 million reports of child abuse and neglect involving nearly 6 million children.

There are many types of services to address child abuse but very little scientific data about whether the services actually work, according to SMU psychologists Ernest Jouriles and Renee McDonald.

Practicing assertiveness skills on virtual-reality “dates” may help women prevent sexual victimization

avatar-06-web.jpgWomen can choose from four avatars when using SMU's virtual reality technology to learn skills for resisting sexual coercion and rape.In a program at Southern Methodist University, young women are using virtual reality to practice how to recognize and resist unwanted sexual advances in the real world.

Children’s sense of threat from parental fighting determines trauma symptoms

artist-dolls-fighting.jpgIf children feel threatened by even very low levels of violence between their parents, they may be at increased risk for developing trauma symptoms, new research suggests.

A study by SMU psychologists found that children who witness violence between their mother and her intimate partner report fewer trauma symptoms if they don't perceive the violence as threatening. The research highlights the importance of assessing how threatened a child feels when his or her parents are violent toward one another.

Extreme reality: Women avoid sexual assault in virtual zone

virtual-reality-dating-violence-300.jpgSMU's Department of Psychology and The Guildhall at SMU have joined forces against dating violence.

Psychology Professors Ernest Jouriles and Renee McDonald, with Guildhall Lecturer Jeff Perryman and Deputy Director Tony Cuevas, are collaborating on a role-playing program that combines virtual reality with behavioral insight to help teach and test sexual assault avoidance techniques.

The program's environment of a rain-lashed car parked in an isolated area immerses women into not just a location, but also a "conversation" with a potential attacker.

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