Dr. Darcey Merritt to Give Multiple Presentations at ISPCAN'S 15th European Regional Conference on Child Abuse & Neglect

Dr. Darcey Merritt
Dr. Darcey Merritt

When the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) holds its 2017 European Regional Conference in The Hague, Netherlands this October 1-4, Associate Professor Darcey Merritt will be one of the event’s most prolific presenters, with three oral presentations and four posters on her recent research.

Dr. Merritt will make her oral presentations on the conference’s first day in a session on The Voice of the Child. In “Should I Stay or Should I Go? Correlates of Children’s Placement Preferences,” she will share findings from her research investigating the association of socio-demographic characteristics, attachment to caregivers, and levels of social capital with children’s permanency preferences and placement expectations. In “How Is Access to Peer Support Amongst Traumatized Adolescents Associated with Behaviors? A National Study of Child Welfare Involved Youth,” Dr. Merritt will report on her analysis of a subsample of participants from Wave II of the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW II) to assess children’s perceptions of access to friends when in need as a moderator of the relationship between traumatic experiences and problematic behaviors. In “What Effect Does Caseworker Listening Have on Inhalant Use?” Dr. Merritt and her frequent collaborator Susan Snyder of Georgia State University will report on their study, also based on data from NSCAW II, investigating whether, after controlling for other variables associated with use, children’s perceptions of caseworker support influences inhalant use.

Dr. Merritt’s posters, three of which are collaborations with Dr. Snyder, will be displayed on the conference’s final day. They address the association between child-welfare involved youth's behaviors and their perceptions regarding the quality of school friendships; assess whether children’s perceptions of case-worker support moderates the relationship between the type of maltreatment and problematic behaviors; investigate community level factors related to adolescent substance abuse; and assess children’s placement preferences, distinguishing between what children prefer to be permanent home situations and what children expect will be permanent situations.

The complete conference schedule and links to Dr. Merritt’s abstracts can be found in the conference program.

In addition to her research and scholarship in the field, Dr. Merritt has extensive experience as a practitioner in the private and public child welfare systems, specializing in child and family assessments for appropriate foster and adoptive placements. An active member of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC), she serves on the Editorial Board of Children and Youth Services Review, is a reviewer for many other journals in the field, and is the lead author of the chapter entitled, “Effective Program Models for the Prevention of Child Maltreatment” in the forthcoming The APSAC Handbook on Child Maltreatment, 4th Edition.