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Paula Nurius

Grace Beals-Ferguson Scholar
Director, Prevention Research Training Program
PhD, University of Michigan

Dr. Paula Nurius received her doctorate in Social Work and Psychology from the University of Michigan where she also received her masters in Psychology. She received her MSW from the University of Hawaii. During her graduate training she was awarded an NIMH traineeship award and the Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship and Dissertation Grant Awards.

Professor Paula Nurius is a mental health specialist with particular interest in vulnerable populations and early/preventive intervention and fostering resilience. Her research focuses on processes and effects of stress, aiming to distinguish both the distinct and combined effects of adverse or traumatic experiences and chronic stress associated with poverty and social disadvantage.  Dr. Nurius collaborates with several research teams, with projects focusing on victims of violence (single and multiple forms), longitudinal trajectories of at-risk youth into adulthood, links of lifecourse stress to health disparities such as adverse birth outcomes, effects of early childhood trauma on later mental and physical health conditions, and stress effects of combat and repeat deployment on military personnel and their families.  She is integrating attention to physical and mental health (eg, depression and obesity) related to stress burden, and ways that neurophysiological processes embody and add to psychosocial outcomes of stress.

She directs the School’s Prevention Research Training Program. Funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, this program supports training and mentoring by senior faculty in mental health and prevention research for social welfare doctoral students, attentive to the growing need for translational, transdisciplinary, and multi-level research skills.

Dr. Nurius has served as Vice-President of the Society for Social Work & Research, is active in a number of national organizations, and has UW campus affiliations with CSSS, HIPRC, CSDE, and ITHS.