Clinical Psychology, Oklahoma State University
Cohort Six Fellow

Academic Mentor
Jane Silovsky
Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

Policy Mentor
Elizabeth Ralston
Founding Director, Dee Norton Lowcountry Children's Center and Clinical Faculty, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Medical University of South Carolina

Research Interests
Child Maltreatment Prevention, Problematic Sexual Behavior of Youth, Qualitative and Mixed Methods Research, Implementation of Evidence Based Practices, Family Service Engagement

Areas of Expertise

Child Welfare and Foster Care Systems, Evidence-Based/Evidence-Informed Programs, Home Visiting and Maltreatment Prevention, Mental Health and Well-Being, Program Evaluation, Regression Modeling, Content Analysis, Grounded Theory, Mixed Methods, Adolescents and Young Adults, Low-Income Families and Individuals, Racial/Ethnic Minority Groups, School-aged Children


Jennifer Daer Shields is a doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology Training Program at Oklahoma State University. Ms. Shields conducts research at the Center on Child Abuse and Neglect through the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC) where she has been a part of numerous federally funded studies evaluating child abuse and neglect prevention programs. Most recently, she has worked as the project coordinator on a regional multisite evaluation examining treatment programs for youth with problematic sexual behavior. Ms. Shields’s research interests focus on factors that influence service engagement and attrition in evidenced based treatment programs for children and their families. Clinically, she provides group treatment services to school-aged children with problematic sexual behavior. Prior to graduate school, Ms. Shields graduated summa cum laude with bachelor’s degrees in both psychology and music from the University of Tulsa. She holds a master’s of science in clinical psychology from Oklahoma State University.


Protecting our Children through Family Engagement: An Evaluation of Factors Influencing Participant Attrition in the Treatment of Youth with Problematic Sexual Behavior

Research to date has focused largely on the impact of sexual offenses committed by adults; however, greater than one-third of child victims are sexually abused by other youth. A rehabilitative response is essential to preventing future problematic sexual behavior (PSB) and keeping children safe in our communities. Despite our knowledge about the efficacy of evidence-based practices (EBP) for these youth, EBP’s are not provided to most youth with PSB. Engaging families in treatment for PSB is complex due to a variety of factors at the individual, family, system, and policy levels. The present study will utilize a mixed-methods study design to analyze data from treatment programs in five states for youth with PSB to understand factors that influence attrition and service engagement. Findings are expected to provide important knowledge about strategies that may be used by service providers and policy makers to overcome treatment barriers for these families.