Dr. Sandra A. Graham-Bermann

Dr. Sandra A. Graham-Bermann

Associate Professor, Department of Psychology and Women’s Studies
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Sandra Graham-Bermann, Ph.D. primary area of focus has been the impact of different forms of family violence on children’s social and emotional adjustment. This work spans the ages from 3 to 13 and includes children in a variety of contexts, such as preschools, community settings, and shelters for battered women. With funding from the National Institutes of Justice, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Dr. Graham-Bermann has studied multiple forms of violence in the lives of children using a nested ecological framework, social-cognition and trauma theories to explain results. With these tools, she has been able to demonstrate which children are most affected by family violence, in what ways, and how best to intervene for children with particular adjustment profiles.

Dr. Graham-Bermann is currently Associate Professor at the Department of Psychology at the University of Michigan, where she received her B.A. in Psychology as Magna Cum Laude (1979) and subsequently her A.M. in Psychology (1984). In the meantime, she also interned with the University’s Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Hospitals (1982-1984), later pursuing her Ph.D., in Personality and Clinical Psychology, which she acquired in 1987. Dr. Graham-Bermann also worked as a Child and Family Therapist at the Ann Arbor Center for the Family, Inc. (1984-1988). She subsequently became a Postdoctoral Fellow with the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota (1988-1990), acquiring a position as clinical staff and intern supervisor at the University Center for the Child and Family, Inc. (1990-1994).

In 1996, Ph.D., Dr. Graham-Bermann assumed the position of Assistant Professor of Psychology (1990-1996) at the University of Michigan’s Department of Psychology, also later becoming Co-Director of the Interdisciplinary Research Program on Violence at the University’s Institute for Research on Women and Gender (1994-present). She contributed to the field in a variety of other ways during this time, including as Research Associate with the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota (1988-1990) and as Research Consultant at the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, DC (1998-2000). Alongside these pursuits, she was also Clinical Program Director and Practicum Supervisor at The Kids’ Club and Moms’ Parenting Empowerment groups with the Domestic Violence Project at SAFEHouse, Inc. in Ann Arbor (1992-present), as well as Clinical Psychologist Consultant with the Domestic Violence Project at SAFEHous, the Head Start Preschool Program in Jackson, MI (1998 – present), the First Step Program for Battered Women in Canton, MI (1995, 1997), and the Ann Arbor Y Childcare, Inc. (1987-1997).

Dr. Graham-Bermann is also a regular consultant to local domestic violence programs and Head Start schools. Nationally, she has served as research consultant to the National Academy of Sciences. In addition, Dr. Graham-Bermann has authored numerous research journal articles, as well as a recent book with co-editor Jeff Edleson, entitled Domestic violence in the lives of children: The future of research, intervention, and policy.



Sandra Graham-Bermann is professor of clinical psychology and women’s studies, and a consultant to national research centers, as well as women’s shelters, including the SAFEHouse Center of Ann Arbor, and the Better Homes Fund Homeless Program. Dr. Graham-Berman’s research focuses on documenting traumatic effects, resilience, and gender paradigms in children exposed to family violence. With funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention she studied the efficacy of a brief intervention program for children and their mothers in woman-abusing families. The program was effective in changing attitudes and beliefs about violence as well as improving children’s social and emotional adjustment. She has given national presentations and published her research on the social relationships and adjustment of children in homeless families, woman-abusing families, and high-risk families. She is co-editor of Domestic Violence in the Lives of Children: The Future of Research, Intervention and Social Policy (2001).

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