The Ohio State University College of Social Work Logo





Gray background
About

Freisthler, Bridget, Ph.D.

Professor and Associate Dean of Research

614-292-2856
freisthler.19@osu.edu

Curriculum Vitae

Education
PhD - University of California, Berkeley, 2003 - Social Welfare
AM - University of Chicago, 1998 - Social Service Administration
BS - Purdue University, 1996 - Child Development and Family Studies
BA - Purdue University, 1996 - Psychology

Areas of Expertise
Child abuse and neglect
Drug and alcohol use (particularly marijuana, opiates, and alcohol)
Drug distribution systems
GIS
Spatial analysis
Service availability

Areas of Interest for Mentoring PhD Students
Child abuse and neglect
Drug and alcohol use (particularly marijuana, opiates, and alcohol)
Drug distribution systems
GIS
Spatial analysis
Service availability

Bio

Dr. Freisthler’s research focuses on how situation, social, and location characteristics affect the use of child abuse and neglect. Specifically, she is interested in how microcontexts (e.g., where a person is during a particular event) shape behavior, such as parenting or substance use. These microcontexts might include where and with whom parents drink alcohol, use marijuana, or experience higher levels of stress; all of these may affect parenting behaviors. The goal of this research is to design, implement, and evaluate intervention strategies that reduce substance misuse and child abuse and neglect. This work falls under three broad categories: (1) basic science to better understand how context affects both parenting and substance misuse; (2) how specific features of environments or microcontexts can be modified to reduce or prevent child maltreatment and substance misuse; and (3) studying the effects of interventions designed to reduce child abuse and neglect and/or substance misuse.

Dr. Freisthler employs community engaged strategies to partner with agencies in order to ensure this work is useful and meaningful for the populations she studies. Her work often focuses on studies of parents in the general population to identify avenues for prevention and intervention before involvement with the child welfare system is necessary. She also collaborates with child welfare and community agencies on these efforts. She is leader in the use of geospatial statistics in studies of child abuse and neglect and is one of the first to use Ecological Momentary Assessments with parents to study problematic parenting behaviors (https://u.osu.edu/familylife/).

You can find more about her work as it relates to implementing and evaluating programs on the following sites: