Dr. Leila Wood
Dr. Leila Wood

We are thrilled to celebrate Leila Wood, PhD, for receiving a prestigious National Institute for Justice (NIJ) Award. Her grant titled, "Safe Transitions for Teens: Assessing the Impact of Intimate Partner Transitional Housing on Adolescent Residents" explores the need to develop and test community-level interventions like transitional housing offered by agencies focused on intimate partner violence, for youth who have been exposed to intimate partner violence (IPV) within their homes.

This study will build upon its parent project, Safe Transitions, which examines the long-term impact of intimate partner violence-focused transitional housing can have on survivor health, safety, and economic mobility. The Safe Transitions study is led by Dr. Bethany Backes at the University of Central Florida and supported by co-principal investigator Dr. Leila Wood, and Co-Investigators Drs. Julia O'Connor and Rachel Voth Schrag.

The NIJ award for the Safe Transition for Teens project will capitalize on recruiting participants involved in the parent study. These two important projects will build upon each other to further examine how transitional housing offered by IPV focused agencies impact family risk and protective factors.

This work is a broad look at structural and community factors on violence prevention, says Wood. We haven't spent enough time on this group of adolescents and the power that housing may have on disrupting violence.

This study, which will longitudinally follow adolescents living in transitional housing, has the will provide vital information about preventing intergenerational cycles of violence. By focusing on risk and protective factors, communities can enhance their abilities to support the structure and resources necessary to support families enrolled in transitional housing following IPV.

Existing research tells us that housing is one of most powerful forms of violence prevention, Dr. Wood explains.

While we understand housing, we don't know the importance and significance this factor has on survivors, let alone their children. This specific population of teens exposed to IPV that we will study is a group that needs more attention, says Wood.

Dr. Wood, Professor at the UTMB School of Nursing in Galveston, Texas has worked in this field for more than 21 years and continues to influence policies related to intimate partner violence prevention both regionally and nationally.

Congratulations, Dr. Leila Wood, on this achievement and thank you for your dedication to this work!