Catherine Cerulli

University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, United States

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Publications (86)125.61 Total impact

  • Justin Russotti · Alisa Hathaway · Jed Metzger · Catherine Cerulli
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    ABSTRACT: Military families must navigate the various deployment phases, which may occur during sensitive periods of attachment formation, uniquely affecting the parent-child bond. Employing Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) principles, focus groups were conducted with military-involved parents (n = 18) to better understand the psychosocial needs of children. Using grounded theory, attachment issues surfaced as a strong theme. Despite their belief of being present via technology, parents found their children were not digitally connected in the same way, receiving the returning parent in unexpected ways. Strategies are discussed to develop interventions that will help reintegrate deployed service members into their families, including supporting and rebuilding parent-child relationships.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Pregnant and parenting adolescents experience high rates of intimate partner violence (IPV) and its sequelae posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. Narrative exposure therapy (NET) is an innovative intervention that has demonstrated strong preliminary evidence in improving mental health. The specific aims of this article are 3-fold: (1) provide a brief background about IPV-related PTSD and depression among pregnant and parenting adolescents; (2) describe NET's theoretical principles, its therapeutic process, and provide a review of existing evidence; and (3) discuss NET as a potential treatment to address the mental health burden among adolescents experiencing IPV-related PTSD and depression.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Family & community health
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    ABSTRACT: Family law attorneys frequently encounter intimate partner violence (IPV) when they represent individuals in divorce and custody suits. Understanding the challenges that IPV presents for these attorneys is critical because case outcomes affect safety for clients and their children. To explore these challenges, the authors conducted three focus groups with family law attorneys to learn their personal attitudes and experiences with IPV in their practice. Attorneys reported that their scope of practice often encompassed the psychosocial context of their clients’ lives, and identified IPV assessment, client reaction, and variance in legal system response as prevalent difficulties. This study contributes to the literature by assessing family law attorneys’ perceptions about IPV and considering how they might inform their procedures and practices.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Journal of Child Custody
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    ABSTRACT: While in recent years, intimate partner violence (IPV) has attracted considerable research attention, the experiences of IPV affecting the Deaf community have been understudied. As a linguistic and cultural minority, Deaf victims of IPV encounter significant barriers in accessing information and services designed to address the medical and legal consequences of victimization. The number of Deaf Americans who communicate via American Sign Language (ASL) may well exceed a half-million, yet little is known about Deaf IPV victims' experiences and the characteristics of persons who perpetrate IPV with ASL users. This study addressed both topics.The current study is based on interviews in ASL with 14 Deaf IPV victims (participants). We explored: the types of abuse participants experienced; characteristics of victims and perpetrators; participants' help-seeking behaviors; and the availability, use, and helpfulness of various resources. These findings were compared to what is known about IPV in the hearing community.Our findings include that lack of information regarding IPV and lack of access to specialized IPV services were pervasive problems affecting Deaf victims. For some victims, the close-knit nature of the Deaf community was a barrier for discussing IPV and accessing information and support. It was common for Deaf victims to receive services or information about IPV from providers who were not IPV specialists. Communication abuse was prevalent in our study. The nature of communication abuse is unique for Deaf victims compared to hearing victims.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Journal of Interpersonal Violence
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    ABSTRACT: Sleep disturbance is a common feature of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but is not a focus of standard PTSD treatments. Psychological trauma exposure is associated with considerable physical and mental health morbidity, possibly due to the alterations in neuroendocrine function and inflammation observed in trauma exposed individuals. Although PTSD treatments are efficacious, they are associated with high drop-out rates in clinical trials and clinical practice. Finally, individuals with PTSD stemming from exposure to interpersonal violence represent an especially under-treated population with significant sleep disturbance. Community-based participatory research was utilized to design and prepare a clinical trial that randomizes recent survivors of interpersonal violence who have PTSD, depression, and insomnia to receive either: (1) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBTi) followed by Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) for trauma, or (2) attention control followed by CPT. Outcome measures include subjective and objective measures of sleep, clinician-administered PTSD and depression scales, inflammatory cytokines, and salivary cortisol. Assessments are conducted at baseline, following the sleep or control intervention, and again following CPT. The design allows for: (1) the first test of a sleep intervention in this population; (2) the comparison of sequenced CBTi and CPT to attention control followed by CPT, and (3) assessing the roles of neuroendocrine function, inflammatory processes, and objective sleep markers in mediating treatment outcomes. The study's overarching hypothesis is that treating insomnia will produce reduction in insomnia, PTSD, and depression severity, allowing patients to more fully engage in, and derive optimal benefits from, cognitive processing therapy.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Contemporary clinical trials
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    Nicole Trabold · Marc T. Swogger · Zach Walsh · Catherine Cerulli
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    ABSTRACT: This study sought to increase specificity in our knowledge of links among child sexual abuse (CSA), aggression, and physical intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration by criminal offenders, with particular interest in gender. Participants were 202 men and 72 women (N = 274), who were recruited from an urban pretrial supervision program. Women reported higher rates of CSA than men. After controlling for relevant covariates, CSA was associated with general aggression and severe IPV. We found a gender by CSA interaction; CSA was associated with aggression and severe IPV for women, but not men. Findings provide preliminary evidence that CSA impacts aggression and IPV perpetration differently for female offenders compared to male offenders and gender-specific treatment might be warranted in pretrial settings.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Journal of Aggression Maltreatment & Trauma
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    ABSTRACT: Homicide is a pressing issue in America. This study used qualitative data obtained from focus groups of family and friends of homicide victims (FFHV) to assess and better meet the needs of victims post homicide. The study results posit myriad changes to the systematic response to homicide. The article concludes with recommendations for training and resources, with specific attention to legal, law enforcement, medical, and behavioral health providers.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Violence and Victims
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    ABSTRACT: Therapeutic diversion courts seek to address justice-involved participants’ underlying problems leading to their legal system involvement, including substance use disorder, psychiatric illness, and intimate partner violence. The courts have not addressed systemic hurdles, which can contribute to a cycle of substance use disorder and recidivism, which in turn hinder health and wellness. The study purpose is to explore the systemic issues faced by women participants in drug treatment court from multiple perspectives to understand how these issues may relate to health and wellness in their lives. Qualitative thematic framework analysis of five separate focus groups consisting of female drug treatment court participants, community providers, and court staff (n = 25). Themes were mapped across the socio-ecological framework and contextualized according to social determinants of health. Numerous systemic factors impacted women’s access to treatment. Laws and legal policies (governance) excluded those who could potentially have benefitted from therapeutic court and did not allow consideration of parenting issues. Macroeconomic policies limit housing options for those with convictions. Social policies limited transportation, education, and employment options. Public policies limited healthcare and social protection and ability to access available resources. Culture and societal values, including stigma, limited treatment options. By understanding the social determinant of health for women in drug treatment court and stakeholder’s perceptions, the legal system can implement public policy to better address the health needs of women drug court participants.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Socio-cultural and sociopolitical influences on women’s experiences of intimate partner violence (IPV) and their decision-making processes are not well-understood. This study characterizes help-seeking behaviors of Hispanic and non-Hispanic survivors using Liang et al.’s analytical framework and identifies differences in barriers to help-seeking between these cultural groups. Transcripts from two focus groups of non-Hispanic survivors and one focus group of Hispanic survivors were coded to identify similar and dissimilar factors impacting Liang et al.’s three stages of help-seeking. Though several barriers were common, Hispanic participants felt informal support systems were inaccessible and being involved in IPV was shaming. They preferred to not seek help but act to change their circumstances. Non-Hispanic participants described extensive experience with formal systems, but relied on strong self-advocacy skills for effectiveness. These findings highlight the importance of understanding the socio-cultural context in which decision-making processes occur in order to provide the best support to IPV survivors.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · Journal of Family Violence
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    ABSTRACT: New York State law mandates specific intimate partner violence (IPV) documentation under all circumstances meeting the enumerated relationship and crime criteria at the scene of a domestic dispute. Law enforcement compliance with this mandate is unknown. We reviewed law enforcement completion rates of Domestic Violence Incident Reports (DVIRs) and assessed correlations with individual or legal factors. Law enforcement officers filed DVIRs in 54% of the cases (n = 191), more often when injury occurred (p < .01) and the defendant had prior court contact (p < .05). The discussion explores policy implications and potential means to rectify the gap between mandated processes and implementation. © The Author(s) 2015.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Violence Against Women
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    ABSTRACT: Significant health disparities exist among socioeconomically disadvantaged women, who experience elevated rates of depression and increased risk for poor depression treatment engagement and outcomes. We aimed to use stakeholder input to develop innovative methods for a comparative effectiveness trial to address the needs of socioeconomically disadvantaged women with depression in women's health practices. Using a community advisory board, focus groups, and individual patient input, we determined the feasibility and acceptability of an electronic psychosocial screening and referral tool; developed and finalized a prioritization tool for women with depression; and piloted the prioritization tool. Two intervention approaches, enhanced screening and referral using an electronic psychosocial screening, and mentoring using the prioritization tool, were developed as intervention options for socioeconomically disadvantaged women attending women's health practices. We describe the developmental steps and the final design for the comparative effectiveness trial evaluating both intervention approaches. Stakeholder input allowed us to develop an acceptable clinical trial of two patient-centered interventions with patient-driven outcomes. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Contemporary clinical trials
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    Fengsu Hou · Catherine Cerulli · Marsha N Wittink · Eric D Caine · Peiyuan Qiu
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    ABSTRACT: Background Few studies have focused on depression and social support in Eastern populations, especially women in rural China. Our research investigated depression among women in rural China, and studied the relationships between social support and depression. Methods We recruited women ages 16 years and older from north Sichuan. Participants completed socio-demographic measures, the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, and the Duke Social Support Index. The analysis method included descriptive statistics and logistic regression. Results The final sample included 1,898 participants with a mean age of 48.6 years, and the prevalence of significant depressive symptoms was 12.4%. Results suggest being unemployed, having poorer perceived health/economic status, and lower social support were positively associated with depression. Younger age and greater social support were negatively associated with depression. Conclusions This study provides insights on the psychological health of women in rural China and potential directions for future research. These issues are especially pertinent during this time of rapid economic transformation and outmigration in rural China.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · BMC Women's Health
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    ABSTRACT: This paper describes the first step toward creating training tools to improve pharmacy students' and pharmacists' ability to identify intimate partner violence (IPV) among patients and facilitate referrals. The paper's objectives are to evaluate an IPV didactic session adapted for pharmacy students and describe student quantitative and qualitative feedback on the session. Almost 90% of students believed IPV was relevant to their pharmacy careers and that the session improved their ability to recognize IPV. Twenty one percent believed they had encountered a patient they suspected was a victim of IPV. Legal and liability issues, course logistics, skill development, greater specificity and student engagement were themes that emerged. Greater specificity toward pharmacy was recommended to understand the intricacies of legal and professional responsibilities, patient and personal safety risks, and maintaining strong provider/patient relationships. To overcome barriers to screening, assessment and referral, students need opportunities to engage in role-playing and practical application of the knowledge gained.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning
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    ABSTRACT: Recent community-based research indicates that the prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV) in the Deaf community exceeds known rates among hearing individuals, yet little is known about services available to Deaf IPV victims. Given the inaccessibility of IPV services, providers (doctors, psychologists, and lawyers) who know American Sign Language become IPV providers while addressing myriad comorbid issues that affect Deaf clients. This article presents data drawn from transcripts of semistructured interviews with 12 interdisciplinary providers who serve the Deaf population. We sought to understand the etiology of abuse involving Deaf victims and what, if any, services are available. We explore similarities and differences between service provision for hearing and Deaf IPV victims. Findings suggest providers working with Deaf IPV victims typically (a) work with victims and perpetrators alike, (b) provide services to couples and families, (c) serve larger geographical areas, and (d) address stigmatization. Perhaps the most important finding is that standard terminology in IPV measures, without linguistic and cultural modifications, may be invalid for use with Deaf individuals. Policy implications are discussed.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · Journal of Community Psychology
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    ABSTRACT: Following a criminal case disposition, an intimate partner violence (IPV) victim's willingness to seek future police and prosecutorial assistance may depend on her prior experiences within the system. This longitudinal study examines the relationship between IPV victims' future help-seeking based on past experiences. We hypothesized women would return to the criminal justice system if their adjudication wishes corresponded with prosecutors' actions. Contrary to the hypothesis, results suggest women return to the criminal system and other venues even if prosecutors' actions do not correspond to their earlier stated wishes. This has important policy implications given pro-prosecution protocols that encourage adjudication regardless of a woman's participation.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Violence and Victims
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    Diane S Morse · John L Wilson · Ann M Dozier · Catherine Cerulli

    Preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Addiction science & clinical practice

  • No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Drug and Alcohol Dependence
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    ABSTRACT: Seven focus groups with a diverse group of intimate partner violence (IPV) survivors (n = 39) explored how to improve survivor satisfaction, empowerment, and safety related to their court-based experiences. These occurred in three jurisdictions which all supported community coordinated responses to IPV. This paper contributes to the literature by asking survivors about existing service gaps and how helping professionals might enhance court operations. Analysis was conducted using a framework approach based on the socio-ecological model. Findings suggest four areas worthy of improvement: Logistics, Emotional Enhancements, Society’s Perception of IPV, and Court Procedures. The recommendations for change are neither expensive nor complicated; rather, modest changes may result in greater victim satisfaction with the courts.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Journal of Family Violence
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Based upon therapeutic justice principles, mental health courts use legal leverage to improve access and compliance to treatment for defendants who are mentally ill. Justice-involved women have a higher prevalence of mental illness than men, and it plays a greater role in their criminal behavior. Despite this, studies examining whether women respond differently than men to mental health courts are lacking. Study goals were to examine gender-related differences in mental health court participation, and in criminal justice, psychiatric and health-related outcomes. Methods: This study utilized a quasi-experimental pre-posttest design without a control group. The data were abstracted from administrative records of Kalamazoo Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse agency, the county jail and both county hospitals, 2008 through 2011. Generalized estimating equation regression was used to assess gender-differences in pre-post program outcomes (jail days, psychiatric and medical hospitalization days, emergency department visits) for the 30 women and 63 men with a final mental health court disposition. Results: Program-eligible females were more likely than males to become enrolled in mental health court. Otherwise they were similar on all measured program-participation characteristics: treatment compliance, WRAP participation and graduation rate. All participants showed significant reductions in emergency department visits, but women-completers had significantly steeper drops than males: from 6.7 emergency department visits to 1.3 for women, and from 4.1 to 2.4 for men. A similar gender pattern emerged with medical-hospitalization-days: from 2.2 medical hospital days down to 0.1 for women, and from 0.9 days up to 1.8 for men. While women had fewer psychiatric hospitalization days than men regardless of program involvement (2.5 and 4.6, respectively), both genders experienced fewer days after MHRC compared to before. Women and men showed equal gains from successful program completion in reduced jail days. Conclusions: Despite similar participation characteristics, findings point to greater health gains by female compared to male participants, and to lower overall psychiatric acuity. Mental-health-court participation was associated with decreased psychiatric hospitalization days and emergency department visits. Successful program completion correlated to fewer jail days for both women and men.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014
  • Catherine Cerulli · Susan Mangold · Crystal Ward Allen
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    ABSTRACT: Every year, thousands of children become involved in the child welfare system. The responsibility for these children’s health and welfare lies with child welfare system. However, governmental mandates and funding streams dictated by the federal, state and local governments place limitations on what services agencies can offer and what interventions they can implement. This presentation will discuss findings from a two-year mixed method study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Public Health Law Research Program to examine the impact of funding sources, both Title IV-E waivers as well as local levies, on child welfare outcomes. The community-based participatory research team was comprised of attorneys, a statistician, an anthropologist, and child welfare experts. The study included quantitative analysis of ten years of statewide county-level data, surveys with county child welfare leaders, and semi-structured interviews with key informants and a stratified sample drawn from counties with diverse funding structures and population levels. Findings suggest funding matters, as well as partnerships. The notion of the courtroom workgroup has been altered beyond the courthouse walls to include service providers, mental health professionals, substance abuse counselors, kinship care providers and myriad others. The ability to use funding streams in flexible manners influences outcomes, but also assists with partnerships forged and fostered. Future research plans are discussed for this portfolio of collaborative work with the ultimate goal of improving children’s lives.
    No preview · Conference Paper · Nov 2014

Publication Stats

617 Citations
125.61 Total Impact Points


  • 2006-2015
    • University of Rochester
      • • Department of Psychiatry
      • • School of Medicine and Dentistry
      Rochester, New York, United States
  • 2004-2015
    • University Center Rochester
      • Department of Psychiatry
      Рочестер, Minnesota, United States
  • 2014
    • Indiana University Bloomington
      Bloomington, Indiana, United States