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Joshua P. Mersky

Associate Professor
PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2006

Email: mersky@uic.edu
Phone: (312) 996-8561 
Room: 4246, ETMSW

Download CV

Jerry Cates

Professional Interests

  • Etiology and consequences of child maltreatment
  • Translational research with child welfare populations
  • Prevention science
  • Early childhood interventions
  • Trauma
  • Philosophy of science

Current Research

  • Project Connect: Adapting PCIT to Foster Care
  • Developing home visiting in Wisconsin through shared practice and mentoring
  • Western Wisconsin Collaborative for Children's Safety and Permanency
  • Chicago Longitudinal Study


  • Human behavior and the social environment

Practice Experience

  • 1995-2001: In-Home Counselor, Mentor
  • 1995-1996: Residential Childcare Worker
  • 1994: Mentor, Resident Advisor

Selected Recent Publications

Mersky, J. P., & Janczewski, C. E. (2013). Adult well-being of foster care alumni:  Comparisons to other child welfare recipients and a non-child welfare sample in a high-risk, urban setting. Children and Youth Services Review, 35 (3), 367-376.

Mersky, J. P., Topitzes, J., & Reynolds, A. J. (2012). Unsafe at any age: Linking childhood and adolescent maltreatment to delinquency and crime. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 49 , 295-318.

Topitzes, J., Mersky, J. P., & Reynolds, A. J. (2012). From child maltreatment to violent offending: An examination of mixed-gender and gender-specific models. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 27, 2322-2347.

Mersky, J. P., Topitzes, J., & Reynolds, A. J. (2011). Maltreatment prevention through early childhood intervention: A confirmatory evaluation of the Chicago Child-Parent Center preschool program. Children and Youth Services Review, 33 , 1454-1463.

Begun, A. L., & Mersky, J. P. (2011). Sibling relationships and out-of-home care. In J. Caspi (Ed.), Sibling relationships in practice: Cultural and environmental influences . Springer Publishing.

Mersky, J. P., & Topitzes, J. (2010). Comparing early adult outcomes of maltreated and non-maltreated children: A prospective longitudinal investigation. Children and Youth Services Review, 32 , 1086-1096.

Topitzes, J., Mersky, J. P., & Reynolds, A. J. (2010). Child maltreatment and adult cigarette smoking: A long-term developmental model. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 35 , 484-498.

Mersky, J. P., Topitzes, J., & Reynolds, A. J. (2009). Chronic neglect: Prediction and prevention. Protecting Children, 24 , 67-77.

Mersky, J. P., Berger, L. M., Reynolds, A. J., & Gromoske, A. N. (2009). Risk factors for child and adolescent maltreatment: A longitudinal investigation of a cohort of inner-city youth. Child Maltreatment, 14 , 73-88.

Reynolds, A. J. & Mersky, J. P. (2008). Collaboration between education and social work to improve outcomes for urban youth. In D. Lindsey (Ed.), Child Welfare Research, New York , NY : Oxford University Press.

Mersky, J. P., & Reynolds, A. J. (2007). Child maltreatment and violent delinquency: Disentangling main effects and subgroup effects. Child Maltreatment, 12 , 246-258.

Reynolds, A. J. Temple, J. A., Ou, S., Robertson, D. L., Mersky, .J. P., Topitzes, J. & Niles , M. D. (2007). Effects of a school-based, early childhood intervention on adult health and well being: A 19-year follow up of low-income families. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 161 , 730-739.

Affiliations, Associations & Consultations

Editorial Board Member: Journal of Youth and Adolescence
Member: Society for Social Work and Research
National Association of Social Workers-WI Chapter

Editorial Reviews

Child Maltreatment
Children and Youth Services Review
Criminal Justice and Behavior
Developmental Psychology
Journal of Adolescent Health
Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency
Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Pediatrics
Social Work in Health Care