Wayne State University

Core research areas

The School of Social Work and the Center for Social Work Research strive to conduct and disseminate research and forge community partnerships in four core areas of practice and research:

Aging

The Aging research area focuses on addressing the diverse needs of older adults in urban areas. Topics include health promotion for older adults, moving and transitions for older adults and older adult service provision.

Dean Cheryl Waites
Assistant Professor (Clinical) and BSW Coordinator Cassandra Bowers
Associate Professor and Director, Doctoral Program Faith Hopp
Associate Professor (Clinical) and BSW WOW! Coordinator Fayetta Keys
Assistant Professor Tam Perry

Child welfare

The Child Welfare research area seeks to understand the needs of and services for vulnerable youth and the people and systems that serve them. Topics include access to higher education for foster care youth, Child Welfare workforce training, foster parent support and the health needs of foster care youth.

Assistant Professor Angelique Day
Assistant Professor Megan Hayes Piel
Assistant Professor (Clinical) and Director of Field Education Anwar Najor-Durack 
Associate Professor, Associate Dean for Research and Director of the Center for Social Work Research Joanne Sobeck

Health/Behavioral health

The health/behavioral health research area examines the health and behavioral health risk and protective factors for under-served populations. Topic areas include substance abuse, trauma, infant mental health, gambling, suicide and mental health.

Distinguished Professor Jerrold Brandell
Assistant Professor Suzanne Brown
Assistant Professor Carolyn Dayton
Associate Professor Antonio Gonzalez-Prendes
Associate Professor Kim Jaffee
Associate Professor Michael Kral
Assistant Professor Jamey Lister
Associate Professor Durrenda Onolemhemhen
Assistant Professor Stella Resko
Assistant Professor (Clinical) and MSW Coordinator Shirley Thomas

Interpersonal Violence

The Interpersonal Violence research area looks at prevalence, prevention and risk and protective factors for relational violence or coercion and support for the vulnerable groups affected. Topics include teen dating violence, sexual assault and rape, domestic violence, and bullying and peer victimization.

Assistant Professor Jun Sung Hong
Associate Professor Poco Kernsmith
Associate Professor Debra Patterson
Assistant Professor for Research Joanne Smith-Darden
Professor Arlene Weisz

Faculty also conduct research in the areas of community development, policy and program development

Assistant Professor Richard Smith
Associate Professor, Associate Dean for Research and Director of the Center for Social Work Research Joanne Sobeck
Assistant Professor Erin Comartin