Victim Researcher Profile

Researcher Photo

Sandra Graham-Bermann





University of Michigan




Master's, PhD


Clinical Psychology


More than 20 years


I received my BA, MS, and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Michigan and was Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Minnesota. As Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Michigan, I study how different forms of violence affect women’s and children's adjustment, including their traumatic stress reactions and, most recently children’s resilient coping. These community-based studies take place in a variety of contexts, such as preschools and service agencies, as well as shelters for women experiencing intimate partner violence. From this program of research I have developed new measures of symptoms of traumatic stress, children’s family fears and worries, their attitudes and beliefs about violence, family stereotyping, stressful events, the Distressing Events Checklist for Kids, and conflicts in sibling relationships. With support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and foundations, I created and evaluated intervention programs for abused women and their children - specifically, The Kids’ Club, The Preschool Kids' Club, and the Moms’ Empowerment Program. To date, three randomized control trials of these interventions have been conducted for women and their school-aged children, with women and their preschool-aged children, and a third Spanish language version of the programs with Latina immigrant women and their children. These are among the largest clinical trials to date of effective intervention for women and children exposed to family violence. Among many significant outcomes, results show more than 75% fewer children in the clinical range on externalizing and internalizing problems over time. The Moms’ Empowerment Program improves positive parenting, reduces depression and traumatic stress while improving women’s coping. These programs have been adopted in 3 countries and 38 states, including with Native Alaskan women and their children exposed to family violence. My newest program, based on positive mental health for all school-age children, is the Kids’ Empowerment Program, which is currently being evaluated. Early results show the program successfully reduces traumatic stress and anxiety, and enhances children’s well-being and ability to regulate their emotions. I have published more than 130 research articles and three edited volumes (APA Books, Inc.; Nova Science Books) on the effects of intimate partner violence on women and children. In 2016 I received an Honorary Ph.D., from the School of Law, Psychology and Social Work, at Örebro University, in Sweden. In 2015 the American Psychological Association conferred the Nicholas Hobbs Award for Child Advocacy and in 2017 the Florence Halpern award for distinguished professional contributions to Clinical Psychology.


Domestic and Family Violence, Vicarious Trauma


American Indian and Alaska Native (tribal) victims, Child victims, Limited English proficiency victims, Immigrants and refugees


Community-based participatory research, Data collection, Program evaluation, Quantitative studies, Randomized controlled trial, Training and/or technical assistance


Community-based participatory research, Data collection, Descriptive studies, Program evaluation, Qualitative studies, Quantitative studies, Randomized controlled trial, Training and/or technical assistance