Research Areas research areas


  • Jennifer O'Brien is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Work and affiliated with the Crimes against Children Research Center (CCRC) at the University of New Hampshire. Her areas of research include childhood sexual abuse, the commercialized sexual exploitation of children (CSEC), and Internet victimization. Dr. O’Brien received her Ph.D. in Social Work in 2017 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her MSW from Smith College School of Social Work in 2010. A licensed clinician, Dr. O’Brien’s research interests stem from her practice experiences both domestically and abroad with survivors of sexual abuse and trauma. Currently, Dr. O’Brien is working on several projects including: the role of technology in the lives of youth who trade sex, law enforcement’s response to victims (and survivors) of CSEC, and CSEC survivor’s treatment needs and preferences. Her work is published in a variety of peer-reviewed journals, and has been presented at numerous conferences world-wide.
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title
    2022 Improving services for youth survivors of commercial sexual exploitation: Insights from interventions with other high-risk youthChildren and Youth Services Review.  132:106313-106313. 2022
    2021 Sexual exploitation and abuse among adolescents in Ghana: The role of schoolsJOURNAL OF FAMILY TRAUMA CHILD CUSTODY & CHILD DEVELOPMENT.  18:332-352. 2021
    2021 Parent-Child Attachment Moderates the Associations Between Cyberbullying Victimization and Adolescents' Health/Mental Health Problems: An Exploration of Cyberbullying Victimization Among Chinese Adolescents.Journal of Interpersonal Violence.  36:NP9272-NP9298. 2021
    2021 A Path Analysis Investigating the Relationships between Family Violence, Addictive Behaviors, and Trauma among Adolescents in ChinaJournal of Family Violence.  36:709-720. 2021
    2021 Rigor and Respect: Recruitment Strategies for Engaging Vulnerable Populations in Research.Journal of Interpersonal Violence.  8862605211023497. 2021
    2021 Investigating the Complex Relationship Between Intimate Partner Violence Victimization and Perpetration Among System-Involved Women in Heterosexual Relationships: An Exploratory Analysis.Journal of Interpersonal Violence.  36:NP3738-NP3764. 2021
    2020 Child victimization in China: Prevalence and links to family contextual characteristics using a representative sampleChildren and Youth Services Review.  112:104919-104919. 2020
    2020 Featured counter-trafficking program: Love146.Child Abuse and Neglect.  100:104131. 2020
    2020 The role of the internet in the grooming, exploitation, and exit of United States domestic minor sex trafficking victimsJournal of Children and Media.  14:187-203. 2020
    2019 “What Does It Matter How We Define It?”: Exploring Definitions of DMST Among Service Providers and Victims/SurvivorsJournal of Human Trafficking.  5:91-108. 2019
    2019 Educating Youth About Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children: a Systematic ReviewGLOBAL SOCIAL WELFARE.  6:29-39. 2019
    2019 "It's All about Breaking down Those Barriers…": Exploring Survivors' Perspectives on Services and Treatment Needs following Commercial Sexual Exploitation during Childhood.Journal of Evidence-Informed Social Work.  16:1-18. 2019
    2019 Reporting Maltreatment to Child Protective Services in the Context of Intimate Partner Violence Research.Violence Against Women.  25:131-147. 2019
    2018 Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement for Video Game Addiction in Emerging Adults: Preliminary Findings from Case ReportsInternational Journal of Mental Health and Addiction.  16:928-945. 2018
    2018 "Sometimes, Somebody Just Needs Somebody - Anybody - to Care:" The power of interpersonal relationships in the lives of domestic minor sex trafficking survivors.Child Abuse and Neglect.  81:1-11. 2018
    2018 Body Disapproval as a Mediator of the Relationship Between Risk Factors and Eating Disordered Behaviors Among American Adjudicated Male YouthInternational Journal of Mental Health and Addiction.  16:692-706. 2018
    2018 Measuring Substance Use Among System-Involved IPV Survivors: A Research Note.Violence Against Women.  24:101-119. 2018
    2017 Domestic minor sex trafficking among adjudicated male youth: prevalence and links to treatmentChildren and Youth Services Review.  82:392-399. 2017
    2017 Research With Children Exposed to Partner Violence: Perspectives of Service-Mandated, CPS- and Court-Involved Survivors on Research With Their Children.Journal of Interpersonal Violence.  32:2998-3026. 2017
    2017 Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Among Child Welfare-Involved Youth: An Exploratory Study of Correlates.Child Maltreatment.  22:265-274. 2017
    2017 Mindfulness-oriented recovery enhancement for internet gaming disorder in U.S. adults: A stage I randomized controlled trial.Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.  31:393-402. 2017
    2016 Culturally specific interventions for female survivors of gender-based violenceAggression and Violent Behavior.  31:48-60. 2016
    2016 Mental Health and Behavioral Outcomes of Sexual and Nonsexual Child Maltreatment Among Child Welfare-Involved Youth.Journal of Child Sexual Abuse.  25:483-503. 2016
    2016 Problem Internet Overuse Behaviors in College Students: Readiness-to-Change and Receptivity to Treatment.Journal of Evidence-Informed Social Work.  13:373-385. 2016
    2016 Body Disapproval Among Adolescent Male Sexual Offenders: Prevalence and Links to TreatmentChild and Adolescent Social Work Journal.  33:39-46. 2016
    2016 Examining parenting quality and dyad interactions between female CPS- and/or court-involved partner violence survivors and their young children using observational methodsJournal of Child Custody.  13:30-51. 2016
    2016 Diagnostic Criteria for Problematic Internet Use among U.S. University Students: A Mixed-Methods Evaluation.PLoS ONE.  11:e0145981. 2016
    2016 “I never knew which way he would swing…:” Exploring the Roles of Substances in the Lives of System-Involved Intimate Partner Violence SurvivorsJournal of Family Violence.  31:61-73. 2016
    2015 Characteristics of internet addiction/pathological internet use in U.S. university students: a qualitative-method investigation.PLoS ONE.  10:e0117372. 2015
    2015 Eating Disordered Behaviors and Body Disapproval in Adolescent Males Adjudicated for Sexual and Nonsexual Crimes.Journal of Child Sexual Abuse.  24:922-942. 2015
    2015 The Effect of U.S. University Students' Problematic Internet Use on Family Relationships: A Mixed-Methods Investigation.PLoS ONE.  10:e0144005. 2015

    Teaching Activities

  • Special Projects & Ind Study Taught course 2022
  • Social Work Practice II Taught course 2022
  • Human Behavior & Soc Environ I Taught course 2021
  • Social Work Practice II Taught course 2021
  • Social Work Practice II Taught course 2021
  • Human Behavior & Soc Environ I Taught course 2020
  • HBSE III Taught course 2020
  • HBSE III Taught course 2020
  • Social Work Practice I Taught course 2020
  • Social Work Practice II Taught course 2020
  • Human Behavior & Soc Environ I Taught course 2019
  • Social Work Practice I Taught course 2019
  • Social Work Practice II Taught course 2019
  • HBSE III Taught course 2018
  • Human Behavior & Soc Environ I Taught course 2018
  • Adv Generalist Practice IV Taught course 2018
  • Social Work Practice II Taught course 2018
  • Human Behavior & Soc Environ I Taught course 2017
  • Human Behavior & Soc Environ I Taught course 2017
  • Full Name

  • Jennifer O'Brien
  • Mailing Address

  • University of New Hampshire

    Department of Social Work

    55 College Rd.

    Durham, NH  03824

    United States