Miriam Ehrensaft

Miriam Ehrensaft

Miriam Ehrensaft
Associate Professor
Phone number: 
Room number and address: 
10.65.13 NB


PhD  Stony Brook, State University
MA    Stony Brook, State UniversityBA    Queens University at Kingston



Dr. Miriam Ehrensaft is an associate professor of psychology at John Jay College. Prior to joining the department at John Jay, Miriam was assistant professor of clinical psychology in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Columbia University, where she completed an NIMH Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Award (K-Award). Miriam is a clinical psychologist with expertise in the assessment and treatment of disruptive behavior disorders and antisocial behavior in boys and girls. She enjoys supervising and training doctoral and Masters students in cognitive behavioral therapy, parent management training, and related interventions for disruptive behavior. She completed her undergraduate training at Queen’s University at Kingston, Canada, her doctoral training in clinical psychology at the University at Stony Brook, and her post-doctoral training in child psychiatric research at Columbia. Miriam’s research interests focus on the association of developmental psychopathology with the risk for interpersonal violence. She has expertise in longitudinal studies of the intergenerational transmission of antisocial behavior and intimate partner violence. She is particularly interested in the influence of family violence, parent-child relationships, and poverty on the transmission of problem behavior across generations. She is currently directing a 4-year study of intimate partner violence prevention, funded by the Centers for Disease Control’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. This study follows up a sample of younger siblings of adjudicated juvenile delinquents, to test whether their prior participation (at NYU’s Child Study Center) in a randomized clinical trial to prevent the early development of conduct problems will also prevent those youth from involvement in abusive opposite sex relationships as they enter adolescence and early adulthood. In her leisure time, Miriam enjoys adventure travel with her family, running, and restoring old houses.


Scholarly Work

Peer Reviewed Publications 

Ehrensaft, M. K., Cohen, P., & Chen, H. (2007).  Developmental trajectories of children’s behavioral opposition and maternal complaints in social ecological context.  Journal of Child and Family Studies, 16, 577-88.
Ehrensaft, M. K.  (In press). Intimate partner violence: Persistence of myths and implications for intervention. Children and Youth Services Review. 
Chen, H., Cohen, P., Kasen, S., Johnson, J. G., Ehrensaft, M. K., & Gordon, K.  (2006).  Predicting conflict within romantic relationships during the transition to adulthood. Personal Relationships, 13(4), 411-427.
Ehrensaft, M. K., Cohen, P., Johnson, J., & Chen, H. (2006).  Development of personality disorder symptoms and the risk for partner violence. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 15, 474-483. 
Ehrensaft, M. K., Moffitt, T. E., & Caspi, A.  (2006). Domestic violence is followed by risk of psychiatric disorder in women but not men: A longitudinal cohort study. American Journal of Psychiatry, 163 (5), 885-892.
Ehrensaft, M. K. (2005).  Interpersonal relationships and sex differences in the development of conduct problems. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 8, 39-63. 
Ehrensaft, M. K., Moffitt, T. E., & Caspi, A.  (2004). Clinically abusive relationships and their developmental antecedents in an unselected birth cohort.  Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 113, 258-271.
Ehrensaft, M. K., Cohen, P., Brown, J., Smailes, E., Chen, H., & Johnson, J. G. (2003). Intergenerational transmission of partner violence: A 20-year prospective study. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 71, 741-753. 
Ehrensaft, M. K., Wasserman, G., A., Verdelli, L., Greenwald, S., Miller, L. S., & Davies, M.  (2003).  Maternal antisocial behavior, parenting, and behavior problems in high risk boys. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 12, 27-40.
Ehrensaft, M. K., Langhinrichsen-Rohling, J., Heyman, R. E., O’Leary, K. D., & Lawrence, E.  (1999).  Feeling controlled in marriage: A phenomenon specific to physically aggressive couples?  Journal of Family Psychology, 13, 20-32. 
Ehrensaft, M. K., & Vivian, D.  (1999).  Is physical aggression between dating partners related to their appraisals of coercive control?   Journal of Family Violence, 14, 251-266.
Ehrensaft, M. K. & Vivian, D.  (1996).  Spouses' reasons for not reporting existing physical aggression as a marital problem.  Journal of Family Psychology, 10, 443-453.
Ehrensaft, M. K., Condra, M., Morales, A., & Heaton, J.  (1994).  Communication patterns in patients with erectile dysfunction and their partners.  International Journal of Impotence Research, 6, 25-32.
Heyman, R., E., Feldbau-Kohn, S. R., Ehrensaft, M. K., Langhinrichsen-Rohling, J., & O’Leary, K. D.  (2001).  Can questionnaire reports correctly classify relationship distress and partner physical abuse? Journal of Family Psychology, 15, 334-346.
Johnson, J. G., Cohen, P., Kasen, S., Ehrensaft, M. K., & Crawford, T. N.  (in press).  Associations of parental personality disorders and Axis I disorders with child-rearing behavior. Psychiatry: Interpersonal and Biological Processes, 69, 336-350.
Kaplan, M. L., Ehrensaft, M. K., Sanderson, W. C., Wetzler, S., Foote, B., & Asnis, G.  (1998).  Dissociative symptoms and aggressive behavior.   Journal of Comprehensive Psychiatry, 39, 1-7. 
Langhinrichsen-Rohling, J., Schlee, K., Monson, C., Ehrensaft, M. K., & Heyman, R. E.  (1998).  What’s love got to do with it?: Perceptions of marital positivity in husband-to-wife aggressive distressed, and happy marriages.  Journal of Family Violence, 13, 197-212. 
Pan, H. S., Ehrensaft, M. K., Heyman, R. E., O'Leary, K. D., & Schwartz, R.  (1997).  Evaluating domestic partner abuse in a family practice clinic.  Journal of Family Medicine, 29, 492-495. 

Manuscripts Under Review or in Preparation
Ehrensaft, M. K., Brooks-Gunn, J., Cohen, P., & Blackmer, T.  (In preparation).  Poverty, interpersonal processes, and child development: A review.
Ehrensaft, M. K., & Cohen, P.  (In preparation).  Family violence as a mechanism for the intergenerational transmission of antisocial behavior: A three-generation study.
Jouriles, E. N., McDonald. R., Spiller L., & Ehrensaft, M. K.  (2006, under review).  Effectiveness of Project Support in reducing risk of child maltreatment in mothers at risk.
Chapters & Reports
Ehrensaft, M. K.  (2007).  Intergenerational transmission of intimate partner violence.  In, N. Jackson, (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Domestic Violence.  New York: Routledge.
Ehrensaft, M. K.  (In press).  Family and relationship predictors of psychological aggression and physical aggression.  In K. D. O’Leary & E. Woodin (Eds.), Understanding Psychological and Physical Aggression in Couples: Existing Evidence and Clinical Implications, Washington, D. C.: American Psychological Association Press. 
Ehrensaft, M. K., & Wamsley, M.  (2000). Foster children with incarcerated parents: Barriers to parental involvement and contact.  Vera Institute of Justice.  Report prepared for the Administration for Children’s Services, NYC. 
Ehrensaft, M. K., Wamsley, M., Khashu, A., Ross, T., & Kyriakakis, S. (2003).  Patterns of criminal conviction and incarceration among mothers of children in foster care in New York City. Vera Institute of Justice and Administration for Children’s Services, NYC.
Selected Recent Presentations
2007, April Plenary Symposium Presentation, Society for Life History Research in Psychopathology, Scientific Meeting (Three Classes of Processes Linking Child Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence with Adverse Behavioral Outcomes).
2006, Nov.   Panelist, Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy.  (“Recommendations for Incorporating Couple and Family Processes into the DSM-V: Where Do We Go from Here?”).
 2006, June Symposium Panelist, Society for Prevention Research, (“Screening for partner violence in mothers of children with disruptive behavior disorders”). 
2005 Nov. Symposium Panelist, Association for Advancement of Behavior and Cognitive Therapies.  (“Building Bridges Between Clinical Psychology and Public Health: Basic Research and Intervention Programs Targeting Intimate Partner Violence”).   
2005, Sept. Plenary Symposium Presentation, Society for Life History Research in Psychopathology, Scientific Meeting. (“Continuity of Marital Distress Across Generations: How Far Does it Go?”).
2005, May Symposium Panelist, Society for Prevention Research, (“Corporal Punishment Across Two Generations: Are There Cohort Effects?”) 
2005, April  Symposium Panelist, Society for Research in Child Development, (“Continuity & Discontinuity of  Internalizing and Externalizing Behavior Across Generations: Findings from Prospective Longitudinal Research”).
2004, Nov. Symposium Panelist, Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy.  (“Intergenerational Transmission of Family Violence and Adolescent Personality Deviance”). 
2004, June Invited Address, Annual Forensic Conference, The McMaster/Penetanguishene Centre for the Study of Aggression and Mental Disorder, Ontario, Canada. (“Antisocial Behavior and Intergenerational Transmission of Partner Violence”).
2004, May Plenary Symposium Presentation, Society for Life History Research in Psychopathology, Scientific Meeting. (“Family Violence as a Mechanism for the Intergenerational Transmission of Antisocial Behavior: A Three-Generation Study”). 
2003, Nov. Panelist, Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy. (“Using Basic Research to Craft Effective Violence Intervention Programs: The Controversial Nature of Conducting Research on Intimate Violence.”).
2003, Oct. Invited Workshop, Domestic Violence Conference for New York City, Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence. (“Youth and Domestic Violence”). 
2003, Oct. Grand Rounds, Division of Child Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons & New York State Psychiatric Institute. (“Developmental Psychopathology and the Prevention of Partner Abuse”). 
2003, June Symposium Presentation and Chair, Society for Prevention Research.  (“Longitudinal Research to Inform Family Violence Prevention”).


Research Summary


2007-2011 Centers for Disease Control, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, “Can Prevention of Conduct Problems Reduce Risk for Intimate Partner Violence’.
2005-08 Columbia Center for Youth Violence Prevention, Co-Investigator (Centers for Disease Control, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control). (B. Link, PI). 
2002  Columbia Center for Youth Violence Prevention Pilot Award, “Evaluating Service Needs of Pediatric Psychiatry Outpatients Exposed to Domestic Violence”. (M. Ehrensaft, PI)
2000-2007 National Institute of Mental Health, Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Award (NIMH K-08; M. Ehrensaft, PI), “Adolescent Psychopathology and Partner Violence Prevention”.
1999 National Institute of Justice (Violence Against Women), Co-investigator (P. Cohen, PI), “Childhood Antecedents of Adolescent and Adult Crime and Violence: A Three Generation Study.
1999  Presbyterian Hospital, Office of Clinical Trials, Clinical Trial Pilot Award, “Prevention of Dating Violence in Youth with Conduct Problems’. (M.. Ehrensaft, PI)
1998  American Foundation for the Prevention of Suicide, ‘Dating Violence and Risk for Suicidal Ideation in Adolescents’. (M. Ehrensaft, PI)
1996   Clinical Research Center Pilot Grant, Division of Child Psychiatry, Columbia University, ‘Dating Violence in Urban Girls at Risk for Conduct Disorder’.  (M. Ehrensaft, PI). 


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