Drew Rothenberg ’12 Works with Cambridge Faculty to Develop Protocols for Child Abuse Victims

Drew Rothenberg ‘12 spent his summer in the United Kingdom working in his field of psychology alongside Drs. Michael Lamb and Lindsay Malloy at the University of Cambridge on a research project involving child abuse. The group analyzed forensic interviews of abused children and developed protocols which will allow young people to more easily discuss sexual and physical abuse.

Child abuse investigation is a challenge due to the victim’s uncertainty about what had taken place and because of the questions raised involving the reliability of young victims. Rothenberg contributed to a project that has spanned several decades under the guidance of Professor Lamb, Head of the Department of Social and Development Psychology. “Research in this program is designed to identify the best ways of accessing children’s autobiographical memory and maximizing the utility of the information they provide,” says Lamb.

The protocols developed by the research team are essentially designed to “put perpetrators behind bars and keep kids safe,” says Rothenberg.

Rothenberg’s summer research experience was the result of his relationship with his Park Faculty Mentor, Dr. Lynn Baker-Ward, a professor in NC State’s Department of Psychology who connected him with Lamb. Mentors provide professional guidance and advice during the Park Scholar undergraduate experience.

“Traveling to Cambridge not only confirmed that my passions lie in clinical psychology, but taught me to utilize my talents to tangibly serve the world community of which I am a part,” says Rothenberg.

After he graduates, Rothenberg plans to continue working with children and obtain his Ph.D. in clinical child psychology. He also intends to explore the possibility of divinity school after he completes his doctorate.

~posted 2009.11.23