Jennifer O'Brien

Research Affiliate
Office: Social Work, Pettee Hall, Durham, NH 03824
Jennifer E. O'Brien, Assistant Professor, Social Work

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.


  • Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • M.S.W., Smith College
  • B.A., University of Texas at Austin
  • B.S., University of Texas at Austin

Courses Taught

  • SW 830: Social Work Practice I
  • SW 831: Social Work Practice II
  • SW 850: Human Behavior & Soc Environ I
  • SW 931: Adv Generalist Practice IV
  • SW 952: HBSE III

Selected Publications

Rizo, C. F., Klein, L. B., Chesworth, B. R., O’Brien, J. E., Macy, R. J., Martin, S. L., . . . Love, B. L. (2019). Educating Youth About Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children: a Systematic Review. Global Social Welfare, 6(1), 29-39. doi:10.1007/s40609-018-0119-7

Rizo, C. F., O’Brien, J., Macy, R., Ermentrout, D., & Lanier, P. (2019). Reporting Maltreatment to Child Protective Services in the Context of Intimate Partner Violence Research. Violence Against Women, 25(2), 131-147. doi:10.1177/1077801218761604

Li, W., Garland, E. L., O’Brien, J. E., Tronnier, C., McGovern, P., Anthony, B., & Howard, M. O. (2018). Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement for Video Game Addiction in Emerging Adults: Preliminary Findings from Case Reports. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 16(4), 928-945. doi:10.1007/s11469-017-9765-8

O’Brien, J. E. (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 & Neglect, 81, 1-11. doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2018.04.010

Li, W., O’Brien, J. E., & Bowen, N. K. (2018). Body Disapproval as a Mediator of the Relationship Between Risk Factors and Eating Disordered Behaviors Among American Adjudicated Male Youth. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 16(3), 692-706. doi:10.1007/s11469-017-9826-z

O’Brien, J. E., Ermentrout, D., Li, W., Dababnah, S., Rizo, C. F., & Macy, R. J. (2018). Measuring Substance Use Among System-Involved IPV Survivors: A Research Note. Violence Against Women, 24(1), 101-119. doi:10.1177/1077801216675744

O'Brien, J. E., Li, W., Givens, A., & Leibowitz, G. S. (2017). Domestic minor sex trafficking among adjudicated male youth: prevalence and links to treatment. Children and Youth Services Review, 82, 392-399. doi:10.1016/j.childyouth.2017.09.026

Rizo, C. F., Macy, R. J., Ermentrout, D. M., O’Brien, J., Pollock, M. D., & Dababnah, S. (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(19), 2998-3026. doi:10.1177/0886260515596534

O’Brien, J. E., White, K., & Rizo, C. F. (2017). Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Among Child Welfare–Involved Youth: An Exploratory Study of Correlates. Child Maltreatment, 22(3), 265-274. doi:10.1177/1077559517709995

O'Brien, J. E., & Macy, R. J. (2016). Culturally specific interventions for female survivors of gender-based violence. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 31, 48-60. doi:10.1016/j.avb.2016.07.005

Most Cited Publications