Emily Douglas, PhD

Douglas is an assistant professor of social work at Bridgewater State University (BSU) in Massachusetts. Her scholarship focuses on child and family well-being, the connection between social science and policy, and how programming and policy action can affect overall family functioning. Specifically, her expertise is in the child welfare system, children who die as a result of maltreatment, partner violence, corporal punishment, families of divorce, and how to facilitate the flow of evidence-based information from researchers to policy- and decision-makers. Between 2007-2009, Douglas was the co-investigator (with Professor Denise Hines at Clark University) of the first national-based study (funded by NIMH) on men who sustain partner violence from their female partners and seek help. For the 2010-2011 academic year, Douglas is the Presidential Fellow for BSU, an honor that is given to one or two faculty a year, to focus full-time on scholarship at full salary. During this year, Douglas was a visiting research fellow at the Family Research Laboratory at the University New Hampshire and is studying fatal child maltreatment.

After earning an undergraduate degree in psychology from Clark, Douglas joined the PhD program in 1997. In 2002, she completed her dissertation, "The Influence of Public Policies on Human Behavior: The Effects of a New Hampshire Law Stating a Presumption for Joint Legal Custody on Fathers' Involvement in Divorced Families". Following award of her doctorate degree, between 2002-04, she completed an NIMH-funded post-doctoral research fellowship at the Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire, under the mentorship of Professor Murray Straus. Two years later she joined the faculty at BSU.

Douglas has presented her research numerous times at national and international academic and professional conferences, and is the author of multiple articles and chapters in peer-reviewed sources. She is the founder and chair of the National Research Conference on Child and Family Programs and Policy which is held annually at BSU and the founder and director of MGC Infolink, a web-based clearinghouse for information about social policy issues in Massachusetts. She is co-author of a forthcoming book in 2012 titled, The Primordial Violence: Corporal Punishment by Parents, Cognitive Development, and Crime (with Murray A. Straus and Rose Medeiros; Psychology Press). She is the author of the edited volume, Innovations in Child and Family Policy: Multidisciplinary Research to Strengthen Children and Their Families (Lexington Books, 2010) and the sole author of a book on social policies for divorced families—a topic which sprang from her dissertation: Mending Broken Families: Social Policies for Divorced Families—How Effective Are They? (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006).

Emily Douglas lives in northeastern Massachusetts with her family where she regularly trains for marathons and other long-distance running events, enjoys travel, hiking, and regular outings with the dogs and dog owners in her community.