Deborah Gorman-Smith

Dean & Emily Klein Gidwitz Professor, Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice


Deborah Gorman-Smith is the Dean and Emily Klein Gidwitz Professor of the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice. She is also the Principal Investigator and Director of the Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention, one of six national Academic Centers of Excellence for Youth Violence Prevention funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Her program of research, grounded in a public health perspective, is focused on advancing knowledge about development, risk, and prevention of aggression and violence, with specific focus on minority youth living in high burden urban communities. She has published extensively in areas related to youth violence, including the relationship between community characteristics, family functioning and aggression and violence, including partner violence and the impact of family-focused preventive interventions. Gorman-Smith led a study for the United Nations on violence against children that provided an in-depth picture of the prevalence, nature, and causes of all forms of violence against children. Her research group put forth recommendations for consideration by Member States of the UN. She was also a member of a Study Group on Primary Prevention of Antisocial Behavior for the United Kingdom’s Department of Health.


Selected Publications

Garthe, R., Gorman-Smith, D., Gregory, J. & Schoeny, M. (2018). Neighborhood concentrated
disadvantage and dating violence among urban adolescents: The mediating role of
neighborhood social processes. American Journal of Community Psychology.

Charles, P., Gorman-Smith, D., Schoeny, M., Sudec, L., Tolan, P.H. & Henry, D. (2018) Fathers’
criminal behavior and involvement with children: The moderating role of family relationships.
Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, 9, 131-157.

Elsaesser, C., Gorman-Smith, D., Henry, D.B. & Schoeny, M. (2017). The longitudinal relation
between community violence and academic engagement during adolescence: Exploring
families’ protective role. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 1-22.

Henry, D., Tolan, P., Gorman-Smith, D., & Schoeny, M. (2017). Alternatives to randomized control trial designs for community-based prevention evaluation. Prevention Science, 18, 671-680.

Gorman-Smith, D., Henry, D. B., & Tolan, P. H. (2004). Exposure to community violence and violence perpetration: The protective effects of family functioning. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology33(3), 439-449.

Tolan, P. H., Gorman-Smith, D., & Henry, D. B. (2003). The developmental ecology of urban males’ youth violence. Developmental psychology39(2), 274.

Gorman–Smith, D., & Tolan, P. (1998). The role of exposure to community violence and developmental problems among inner-city youth. Development and psychopathology10(1), 101-116.

Gorman-Smith, D., Tolan, P. H., Zelli, A., & Huesmann, L. R. (1996). The relation of family functioning to violence among inner-city minority youths. Journal of family psychology10(2), 115.



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