Family Social Science,Institute of Child Development
Room 294 McNH
1985 Buford Ave
St Paul, MN 55108
Areas of Interest
Healthy Development of Children
Prevention and intervention research with children and families affected by traumatic and highly stressful events.
Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Columbia University
M.A., Vocational Counseling Psychology, Tel Aviv University
B.S., Psychology, University College London
My work with diverse children and families:
My research projects have included diverse populations of families exposed to adversity and traumatic stress. These include our current study of National Guard and Reserve Families in Minnesota (ADAPT), as well as projects with families exposed to homelessness, intimate partner violence, maltreatment, and war (Ambit Network). Our projects also represent the geographic diversity of the state of Minnesota. In addition, two studies are underway outside Minnesota. In Michigan, we are conducting a study of parent preferences for parenting interventions, in partnership with the Michigan Department of Community Health, and as part of research of the Center for Personalized Prevention at the University of Minnesota. In Israel, we are studying parenting in families affected by exposure to missile attacks.
Honors & Awards
2011 - Professional of the Year, National Alliance for Mental Illness – MN Chapter
2009 - Rising Star Award, Women’s Philanthropic Leadership Circle, University of Minnesota
2008 - New Career Excellence Award, College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota
2000 - Fellow, American Psychoanalytic Association
Teaching & Learning
FSoS 1201: Human Development course
CPsy 4311: Behavioral and Emotional Problems of Children
CPsy 8360: Clinical Interventions for Children
Prev 8001: Prevention Science
Research & Discovery
My primary interests are in trauma, resilience, and promoting children’s healthy development, with two distinct but interrelated research foci:
- The impact of exposure to highly stressful and traumatic events (e.g. homelessness, violence, war) on parenting and child functioning.
- The development, implementation, and evaluation of evidence-based, family- focused interventions in community settings.
My research team is currently working on two major projects: ADAPT and Ambit Network. ADAPT – After Deployment, Adaptive Parenting Tools, is a National Institute of Drug Abuse- funded study to develop and test a web-enhanced parenting program among 400 National Guard families with parents returning from deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan. Ambit Network is a SAMHSA/National Child Traumatic Stress Network-funded Community Services and Treatment Center whose goal is to increase access to quality for children and families affected by traumatic events throughout Minnesota by adapting and implementing empirically-supported interventions, and trauma-informed practice. Our work is accomplished in collaboration with multiple community partners including the MN National Guard, Reserves, MN’s Department of Human Services (Children’s Mental Health and Child Welfare Divisions), NAMI-MN, supportive housing agencies, and mental health clinics throughout the state.
Outreach & Engagement
Interdisciplinary Steering Committee for a Prevention Science Minor Advisory Committee
Early Childhood Mental Health Certificate Advisory Committee,Center for Early Education and Development
Board Member of the Talmud Torah of St. Paul (2004-2007)
Gewirtz, A.H., Medhanie, A.*, & DeGarmo, D. (2011). Effect of mother’s parenting on children’s internalizing trajectories following partner violence. Journal of Family Psychology, 25, 29-38.
Gewirtz, A.H., Erbes, C., Polusny, M.A., Forgatch, M.S., & DeGarmo, D. (2011). Supporting military families during and after deployment: The need for parenting interventions. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 42, 56-62. PCMID# 303635
Khaylis*, A., Polusny, M.A., Erbes, C.R., Gewirtz, A.H., & Rath, M. (2011). Posttraumatic Stress, Family Adjustment, and Treatment Preferences Among National Guard Soldiers Deployed to OEF/OIF. Military Medicine, 176,126-131.
Gewirtz, A.H., Polusny, M., DeGarmo, D., Khaylis*, A., & Erbes, C. (2010). Parenting, family relationships and posttraumatic distress symptoms among National Guard members deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 78, 5, 599-610.
Catani, C., Gewirtz, A.H., Wieling, E., Schauer, E., Elbert, T., Neuner, F. (2010). Tsunami, war, and cumulative risk in the lives of Sri Lankan schoolchildren. Child Development, 81,1176 – 1191.
Lee, S., August, G.J., Gewirtz, A.H., Klimes-Dougan, B., Bloomquist, M.L., & Realmuto, G.M. (2010). Identifying Unmet Mental Health Needs in Children of Formerly Homeless Mothers Living in a Supportive Housing Community Sector of Care. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 38, 421-432.
August, G.J., Gewirtz, A.H., & Realmuto, G.M. (2009). Moving the field of prevention from science to service: Integrating evidence-based preventive interventions into community practice through adapted and adaptive models. Applied and Preventive Psychology. doi:10.1016/j.appsy.2008.11.001
Gewirtz, A.H., DeGarmo, D.S., Plowman, E*., August, G.J., & Realmuto (2009). Parenting, parental mental health, and child functioning in families residing in supportive housing. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 79, 336-347.
Gewirtz, A.H., Forgatch, M., & Wieling, L. (2008). Parenting practices as potential mechanisms for child adjustment following mass trauma. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 34, 2, 177–192.
Gewirtz, A.H., Hart-Shegos, E., & Medhanie, A.* (2008). Psychosocial status of children and youth in supportive housing. American Behavioral Scientist, 51, 6, 810-823.
Gewirtz, A.H., & Medhanie, A.* (2008). Proximity and Risk in Children's Witnessing of Intimate Partner Violence Incidents. Journal of Emotional Abuse, 8, 1-2, 67-83.
Gewirtz, A.H., & August, G.J. (2008). Incorporating multi-faceted mental health prevention services in community sectors-of-care. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 11, 1-2, 1-11.
Gewirtz, A.H. (2007). Promoting children’s mental health in family supportive housing: a community-university partnership for formerly homeless children and families. Journal of Primary Prevention, 28, 3-4, 359-374.
Gewirtz, A., & Edleson, J. (2007). Young children’s exposure to adult domestic violence: Towards a developmental risk and resilience framework for research and intervention. Journal of Family Violence, 22, 3, 151-163.