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Violence Research Centre


Professor Catherine L. Ward - from the Department of Psychology, University of Cape Town, South Africa - is visiting the Violence Research Centre this month. She is part of the Evidence for Better Lives Study (EBLS) Consortium, which runs the project. EBLS has at its core an eight-site longitudinal cohort study of child development. The sites are medium-sized cities chosen to reflect the diversity of social and cultural conditions across the globe, including South America, the Caribbean, Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Indian Subcontinent and South East Asia. 

She holds a PhD in Clinical-Community Psychology from the University of South Carolina, USA. Her research interests are in violence prevention from the perspective of children’s development and particularly in public health approaches to this – in developing evidence-based approaches to violence prevention that have a wide reach and are effective in improving children’s development and reducing their likelihood of becoming aggressive. Much of her current work is focused on preventing child maltreatment and on understanding the epidemiology of risk factors faced by South African children.

Prof Ward has edited two books in the violence prevention field. With Amelia van der Merwe and Andrew Dawes, she produced Youth violence: Sources and solutions in South Africa. The book reviews the current state of the science in understanding how to prevent children from becoming aggressive and how to adapt the evidence-base for use in low- and middle-income countries. It is available here

With Peter Donnelly from St Andrews University, she edited the Oxford Textbook of Violence Prevention: Epidemiology, Evidence and Policy, published by Oxford University Press in 2015. This book presents the current state of the science in violence prevention broadly and is the first of its kind.

In addition, she serves on the Advisory Board of the Alan J. Flisher Centre for Public Mental Health and the Steering Committees of the Safety and Violence Initiative at the University of Cape Town and of the World Health Organization’s Violence Prevention Alliance. She is also on the Editorial Boards of the journals South African Crime Quarterly, Psychosocial Interventions and Child Abuse and Neglect.

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