Dr. Elsaesser joined the School of Social Work faculty in August. She teaches research in the MSW and doctoral programs. Her research agenda focuses on evaluating the developmental impact of childhood violence exposure and victimization over the life course. She is examining and contributing much needed insight into how specific forms of violence exposure and/or victimization impact outcomes for youth, especially with regard to education. Drawing upon advanced statistical analyses, her research examines the variation in responses to violence, the pathways by which violence influences development, and how accumulation of exposure influences development. Dr. Elsaesser focuses on various forms of violence and victimization (e.g., community violence, family violence, and peer victimization) as chronic and cumulative stressors to understand the psychological, behavioral and physiological responses to better inform interventions. violence.
Caitlin’s research interests were inspired by her work as a teacher in Chicago Public Schools with predominantly Black and Latino children. Her work is deeply interdisciplinary and reflects her training and background in education, psychology and social work. She was awarded a prestigious four-year doctoral fellowship from the Institute of Educational Sciences. Her scholarship and teaching will contribute to several of the School’s areas of excellence, including mental health, trauma, and violence prevention; social and health disparities; diversity and cultural competence.