Public Health, Tulane University
Cohort Six Fellow

Academic Mentor
Catherine Taylor
Associate Professor, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences, Tulane University

Policy Mentor
Stacie Leblanc
Executive Director/Department Head, New Orleans Children's Advocacy Center/Audrey Hepburn CARE Center of Children's Hospital

Research Interests
primary prevention of child physical abuse; social norms regarding child physical abuse; intergenerational transmission of violence; community-based prevention programs

Areas of Expertise

Evidence-Based/Evidence-Informed Programs, Families and Family Systems, Home Visiting and Maltreatment Prevention, Implementation Science, Maternal Health, Prevention Science, Program Evaluation, Workforce Development, Youth Development, Regression Modeling, Structural Equation Models, Ethnography, Grounded Theory, Mixed Methods, Participatory Action Research, Adolescents and Young Adults, Infants and Toddlers, Low-Income Families and Individuals, Preschool-aged Children, Racial/Ethnic Minority Groups, School-aged Children, Primary Prevention of Physical Maltreatment

Julia Fleckman is a PhD candidate at in the Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences at Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. As a behavioral scientist and social epidemiologist, the primary focus of her work is to promote healthy child socio-emotional development and prevent child physical abuse. Ms. Fleckman’s experience has been focused in the field of child and adolescent development for the past 8 years through research and community-based programming. Specifically, her current emphasis is on the prevention of child exposure to violence, especially child abuse. Much of her work contributes to better understanding the role of parenting social support in reducing risk for child physical abuse. Additionally, she is the lead research associate on a current randomized controlled trial designed to test the efficacy of two brief parenting interventions on both parent and child outcomes relevant to child maltreatment prevention. Ms. Fleckman completed her undergraduate studies at Colgate University, earning a BA in political science and Spanish. She holds an MPH from the University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston.


Exploring Socio-Ecological Supports to Promote Healthy Child Development and Reduce Risk for Child Physical Abuse

Although general social support is known as an important protective factor for child maltreatment, there is a need to better elucidate the specific roles of various types of social support. This study will use a mixed-methods research design to assess links between perceived neighborhood collective efficacy, social support specific to parenting, neighborhood and social network injunctive norms, and risk for maternal child physical abuse (CPA). This project will leverage a CDC-funded RCT designed to test the efficacy of two brief parenting interventions in reducing risk for CPA. Study findings will inform the evidence base for policies and community-based program development designed for the primary prevention of CPA including insights into the most effective methods for providing parenting support such as: peer-based programming, policies to create neighborhood-based centers and organizations, and development of policy efforts to increase coordination amongst agencies working with parents.