Cathy Spatz Widom

Cathy Spatz Widom

Distinguished Professor
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Room number and address: 
10.63.02 NB


BS,                     Cornell University, Child Development and Family Relationships
MS and PhD,      Brandeis University, Psychology


CATHY SPATZ WIDOM is a Distinguished Professor in the Psychology Department at John Jay College and a member of the Graduate Center faculty, City University of New York. She is a fellow of the three divisions of American Psychological Association (Division 41 - Psychology and Law, Division 43 – Society for Family Psychology, and Division 37 – Child and Family Policy and Practice), the American Psychopathological Association, and the American Society of Criminology. A former faculty member at Harvard, Indiana, University at Albany (SUNY), and New Jersey Medical School, Widom was co-editor of the Journal of Quantitative Criminology from 2010-2013 and has served on the editorial boards of psychology, criminology, and child maltreatment journals. She is a frequent consultant on national review panels and has been invited to testify before congressional and state committees. She has published extensively on the long-term consequences of child abuse and neglect, including numerous papers on the cycle of violence. Widom serves on the Committee on Law and Justice at the Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences at the National Research Council (NRC) and was a member of the Institute of Medicine Study panel, Committee on Child Maltreatment Research, Policy, and Practice for the Next Decade (2012-2013). Professor Widom has received numerous awards for her research, including the 1989 American Association for the Advancement of Science Behavioral Science Research Prize for her paper on the "cycle of violence” and the 2016 Stockholm Prize in Criminology. Since 1986, Widom has been engaged in a large study to determine the long term consequences of early childhood abuse (physical and sexual) and neglect and has recently published her second paper in Science (2015) on the intergenerational transmission of child abuse and neglect. 



Area of Expertise

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Honors and Awards

1989  American Association for the Advancement of Science Prize for Behavioral Science Research

1996  Ninth Mark Keller Award, best paper in Journal of Studies on Alcohol

1997  American Association of Applied & Preventive Psychology Award for Distinguished Contribution to Applied Research in Psychology and Law

1997  American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children,Outstanding Research Study

1997  Robert Chin Memorial Award from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues

1998  Award for Excellence in Research, The University at Albany (SUNY)

1993  Fellow, American Psychological Association, Division 41 (Psychology-Law)

1998  Fellow, American Psycho-pathological Association, President, 2010-2011,

2003  Fellow, American Society of Criminology

2010  American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children,Outstanding Article in the Journal of Child Maltreatment

2010  Seventh Annual Lee N. Robins Endowed Lectureship in Psychiatry

2013  Edwin H. Sutherland Award, American Society of Criminology

2015  Fellow, American Psychological Association, Division 43 (Society for Family Psychology)

2015  Fellow, American Psychological Association, Division 37 (Child and Family Policy and Practice)

2016  Stockholm Prize in Criminology


2020 Summer Training Institute in Child Abuse and Neglect. 

Applications are now being accepted for the fourth annual “Building a Multidisciplinary Pipeline of Researchers in Child Abuse and Neglect: Summer Training Institute for Early Career or Transitioning Scholars.” The project is funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and administered by two senior scholars (Dr. Melissa Jonson-Reid of Washington University and Dr. Cathy Spatz Widom of John Jay College of Criminal Justice). Trainees will participate in a week-long seminar including presentations in a variety of disciplines and individual mentoring. 

Applications are due January 10, 2020. Email with any questions. See PDF with full application information below.