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Research Projects

Current research projects on intimate partner violence (IPV) 

1. Health and Brief Screening Tools for IPV Perpetration Survey

(Co-Directed by Dr. Padilla-Medina)

We designed and launched a survey on health and intimate partner violence (IPV) in April 2020. The main purpose of the research study is to validate existing brief measures to detect IPV perpetration within rapidly moving settings (i.e. emergency rooms, doctors offices, etc.) using a large national sample. We will also be examining how U.S. residents feel about discussing IPV perpetration or victimization with their healthcare providers among other health-focused questions. We updated the survey, which 2,045 people responded to in the month of April, to inquire about the impact of COVID-19 on IPV. Special thanks to Dr. Ohad Gilbar and Dr. Galina Portnoy

Click the link below for our most recent COVID-19 & IPV findings:

Intimate Partner Violence Victimization and Perpetration among U.S. Adults during COVID-19: A Brief Report

Data analysis in progress, more details coming soon….

2. Longitudinal Evaluation of The Men’s Group (TMG) in Chicago*

(In Partnership with The HOPE Family Services Program at St. Pius V parish in Chicago, IL)

*Research funding needed*

Visit our publications page for completed qualitative study results. To see an example of anecdotal evidence of TMG success see video link below:

3. The Hip Hop Project

(In Collaboration with Grand Prairie Storm Athletics Association, Youth Research Enhancement Program)

This project is focused on using the healing power of hip-hop music to reduce intimate partner abuse. The research team gathered songs in which the primary message was centered on condemning or bringing attention to intimate partner abuse. Song lyrics were then used as qualitative data. Preliminary analyses results were presented by the high school students who worked as interns on the project in the summer of 2019 at Texas A&M University. Further analyses are currently underway.







On the far right are Chereeta Wilson, M.Ed and Jeff Wilson, BS, co-founders of the non-profit







Five of the six project interns, PhD Student Jessica Williams, Maxine Davis


4. Addressing Religious Intimate Partner Abuse in the Black Church

(In Partnership with Sister Maxine Johnson)

The purpose of this project is to design, test, and implement interventions that prepare Black clergy and laity to recognize and appropriately respond to religious-related intimate partner abuse. A qualitative study conducted in partnership with Sister Maxine Johnson on the topic was recently published in the Journal of Aggression Maltreatment and Trauma. The team is also in the process of collecting potential training materials to serve clergy outside of seminary classrooms. Sister Johnson serves as a voluntary consultant for several research projects related to faith, the Black church, and domestic violence.








Left: Sister Maxine Johnson, Right: Maxine Davis  (1988)


5. Validation of a Measurement Tool on Intimate Partner Violence Religious Abuse

This project focuses on testing the psychometric properties of a multi-item tool that examines various ways religion or spirituality are used by one intimate partner against another. Items included on the tool were first proposed in the Journal of Black Sexuality & Relationships by Dr. Davis in 2015. Testing is currently underway with a U.S. nationally representative sample.

6. Using Twitter Data to Explore Online Intimate Partner Violence Perpetration

(Directed by Dr. Ohad Gilbar)

Developed in partnership with Dr. Shirin Nilizadeh  and a graduate student research assistant (Mr. Sayak Saha Roy) of the Computer Science Engineering department at UTA, this project aims to examine the impact of #metoo on twitter users across genders using novel algorithms. The team is also in the process of drafting a grant proposal to develop algorithms that detect cyber abuse/violence among current or former intimate partners.


Additional social work practice intervention and research from our team…

#Worship At Home: Development and Evaluation of a Public Service Announcement to Protect the Black Church amid COVID-19

Inspired by God, Dr. Davis directed the production of a short public service announcement (PSA) to encourage members of the Black church to worship and meet in alternative ways while social distancing guidelines are in place. The PSA was released on all social media platforms on April 11, 2020, the day before Easter Sunday. With funding, Dr. Davis can lead the scientific evaluation of this social work practice intervention as part of her overall efforts to improve the health and well-being of Black/African-Americans.  Prioritized as an urgent investigation. Grant and/or private funding needed.

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