Joshua Mersky, PhD
Dr. Joshua Mersky is a professor of social work and founding co-director of the Institute for Child and Family Well-Being, a community-university partnership between the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare and Children's Wisconsin. The mission of the Institute is to improve the lives of children and families with complex challenges by implementing effective programs, conducting cutting-edge research, engaging communities, and promoting systems change.
Dr. Mersky’s research interests include the study of adverse and traumatic experiences that undermine health and well-being over the life course. He applies his expertise to developing, testing, and disseminating effective strategies in community settings to promote resilience.
- Ph.D., Social Welfare, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2006
- MSW, Social Work, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2001
- B.A., History, University of Mary Washington, 1995
- Trauma and resilience
- Prevention and intervention
- Program evaluation
- Translational research
- 9/30/21-9/29/25. Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Grant Program Funding: U.S. DHHS, Health Resources and Services Administration. Role: Principal Investigator
- 7/1/21-6/30/23. Strong and Stable Families. Funding: Wisconsin Child Abuse & Neglect Prevention Board. Role: Principal Investigator
- 3/1/21-12/31/22. Milwaukee Equity Action Plan. Funding: Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Role: Co-Principal Investigator (PI: J. Topitzes)
- 10/1/17-9/30/22. Trauma and Recovery Project. Funding: U.S. DHHS, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Role: Principal Investigator
- 10/1/17-9/30/22. Grants to Expand Substance Abuse Treatment Capacity in Family Treatment Drug Courts. Funding: U.S. DHHS, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Role: Principal Investigator
- Mersky, J.P., Rose, R.A., & Lanier, P. (in press). Research translation in mental health. Child and Family-Serving Systems: A Compendium of Policy and Practice. Child Welfare League of America.
- Mersky, J.P., Janczewski, C.E., Plummer Lee, C., & Yasin, T. (in press). Impact of home visiting programs on parenting stress in low-income women: Findings from a community-based trial at an urban health department. Children and Youth Services Review.
- Mersky, J.P., Choi C., & Plummer Lee, C. (in press). Quasinatural experiment of postnatal home visiting: An independent impact study of Family Connects. American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
- Janczewski, C., & Mersky, J.P. (in press). Secondary traumatic stress among home-visiting professionals. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy.
- Mersky, J.P., Choi C., Langlieb, J., Plummer Lee, C., & Chang, P. (in press). Implementation study of a universal nurse home visiting program: An independent analysis of Family Connects. Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research.
- Cleek, E.A., Totka, J.P., Sheets, L.K., Mersky, J.P., Haglund, K.L. (in press). Helping nurses identify and report sentinel injuries of child abuse in infants. Pediatric Nursing Journal, 48(3), 123-128.
- Luft, H., Mersky J.P., Choi, C., Canario, J., Sehi, G, & Temple, J. (2022). Prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and association with dating violence and symptoms of mental illness among adolescents in the Dominican Republic. Child Abuse & Neglect, 129, 105668.
- Choi, C., Mersky, J.P., & Janczewski, C.E. (2022). Advancing research on perinatal depression trajectories. Evidence from a longitudinal study of low-income women. Journal of Affective Disorders, 301, 44-51.
- Zhang, L., Mersky, J.P., & Plummer Lee, C. (2022). Intergenerational pathways linking mothers' adverse childhood experiences on children's social-emotional problems. Child Abuse & Neglect. 10775595211067212.
- Plummer Lee, C., Mersky, J.P., Marsee, I., & Fuemmeler, B. (2022). Childhood polyvictimization and marijuana use trajectories. Development and Psychopathology, 34(1), 273-283.
- Mersky, J.P., McKelvey, L.M., Janczewski, C.E., & Fitzgerald, S. (2021). Effects of COVID-19 on home visiting services for vulnerable families: A multi-state analysis of enrollment, engagement, and attrition patterns. Families, Systems, & Health, 40(2), 262-267.
- Romain Dagenhart, D., Mersky, J. P., Schubert, E., Topitzes, J., & Krushas, A. (2021). Assessing polyvictimization in a Family Justice Center: Lessons learned from a demonstration project. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Advance online publication.
- Mersky, J. P., Choi, C., Lee, C. P., & Janczewski, C. E. (2021). Disparities in adverse childhood experiences by race/ethnicity, gender, and economic status: Intersectional analysis of a nationally representative sample. Child Abuse & Neglect, 117, 105066.
- Janczewski, C. E., Mersky, J. P., & Plummer Lee, C. (2021). A brief measure of work environment for health and human service professionals. Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership & Governance, 1-14.
- Mersky, J. P., Topitzes, J., Langlieb, J., & Dodge, K. (2021). Increasing equity in mental health treatment access through trauma-responsive and collaborative systems of care. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 91(6), 703–713.
- Gilbert, R., Mersky, J. P., & Plummer Lee, C. (2021). Prevalence and correlates of vaccine hesitancy in a sample of low-income mothers. Preventive Medicine Reports, 21, 101292.
- Mersky, J. P., Plummer Lee, C., Janczewski, C. E. (2021). Toward the assessment of adverse adult experiences: An initial validation study of the Adult Experiences Survey. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 13(5), 528–536.