The Psychology department welcomes guest speaker, Distinguished Professor of Psychology Cathy Spatz Widom (John Jay College and City University of New York) to present her research seminar titled “What has become of abused and neglected children?” Everyone welcome, no need to book in advance.
Numerous cross-sectional studies have reported associations between childhood adversities and outcomes. However, the results of these studies are ambiguous because they represent only a snapshot of the child, adolescent, or adult at the time. Since the late 1980s, Cathy Spatz Widom has been studying a large group of children with documented cases of physical and sexual abuse and neglect and another group without those histories (controls), matched on the basis of age, sex, race, and approximate childhood family social class. Both groups (abuse/neglect and controls) have been followed up in several waves of in-person interviews and data collection efforts over 30 years. This presentation will describe the long-term consequences of childhood abuse and neglect across multiple domains of functioning, pointing out differences by sex and race, and implications for policy and practice. Cathy Spatz Widom, Ph.D., is a Distinguished Professor in the Psychology Department at John Jay College and a member of the Graduate Center faculty of the City University of New York. Her work represents the intermingling of two disciplines – psychology and criminology -- and this is reflected in her publications, awards, and funding. She is an elected fellow of the American Psychological Association, American Psychopathological Association, and American Society of Criminology (ASC).
Widom served on the Institute of Medicine Committee on Child Maltreatment Research, Policy, and Practice for the Next Decade and is currently a member of the Committee on Law and Justice at the Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences at the National Research Council. Her work has been funded by the National Institute of Justice, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and she has received numerous awards for her research, including the Edwin H. Sutherland Award in 2013 from the ASC and the Stockholm Prize in Criminology in 2016.
Widom and her colleagues have published over 145 scholarly papers and book chapters on the long-term consequences of childhood abuse and neglect, including two articles in Science (1989 and 2015). Dr. Widom received her Ph.D. in psychology from Brandeis University.