Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development
Dr. Freisthler’s research focuses on how situation, social, and location characteristics affect the use of child abuse and neglect. Specifically, she is interested in how microcontexts (e.g., where a person is during a particular event) shape behavior, such as parenting or substance use. These microcontexts might include where and with whom parents drink alcohol, use marijuana, or experience higher levels of stress; all of these may affect parenting behaviors. The goal of this research is to design, implement, and evaluate intervention strategies that reduce substance misuse and child abuse and neglect. This work falls under three broad categories: (1) basic science to better understand how context affects both parenting and substance misuse; (2) how specific features of environments or microcontexts can be modified to reduce or prevent child maltreatment and substance misuse; and (3) studying the effects of interventions designed to reduce child abuse and neglect and/or substance misuse.