Executive Leadership & Expert Bios
Areas of Expertise
- Child maltreatment prevention
Melissa T. Merrick, PhD
Behavioral Scientist, Surveillance Branch, Division of Violence Prevention, NCIPC
Melissa T. Merrick, PhD, is a behavioral scientist with the Etiology and Surveillance Branch in the Division of Violence Prevention at the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC). Her major research interests focus on the etiology, surveillance, course, and prevention of child maltreatment. In particular, much of her current work examines safe, stable, nurturing relationships as they relate to child maltreatment prevention and examining the effects of adverse childhood experiences, particularly maltreatment, throughout the lifespan.
Dr. Merrick is involved in multiple DVP initiatives and projects. She serves as the Science Lead for the surveillance of safe, stable, nurturing relationships through partnerships with OJJDP and the National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence. She is also the Science Lead for the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study and for a panel examining the role of safe, stable, nurturing relationships in the intergenerational transmission of child maltreatment. Dr. Merrick is a coauthor on the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) and is particularly interested in violence experienced in childhood and adolescence.
Prior to joining the CDC, Dr. Merrick was an NIH-funded Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Miami Child Protection Team (CPT) involved in a multi-site program of research that examined child maltreatment risk and protective factors in families evaluated by CPTs across the state of Florida.
Dr. Merrick received her BA in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2001. She then completed a two-year National Institutes of Health (NIH) Intramural Training Award Fellowship at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) in the Section on Social and Emotional Development. Dr. Merrick received a MS and PhD in Clinical Psychology from the San Diego State University/University of California, San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, where she served as a Program Coordinator for the San Diego site of the Longitudinal Studies on Child Abuse and Neglect (LONGSCAN) consortium.
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