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Adams, Adrienne, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Ecological-Community Psychology

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Dr. Adams is an assistant professor of Ecological/Community Psychology at Michigan State University. She has been committed to ending violence against women since the late 1990s when she worked at a domestic violence shelter as an undergraduate student.

Dr. Adams’ research focuses on understanding and intervening to reduce the economic effects of intimate partner abuse on women. She developed and validated the first measure of economic abuse, which has been readily adopted by both the practitioner and research communities. She has also examined the economic and mental health impacts of job instability stemming from intimate partner abuse, as well as studied the effects of adolescent dating violence on girls’ educational attainment and earnings in adulthood. Currently, Dr. Adams is exploring the problem of coerced debt, a form of economic abuse that occurs when an abuser obtains credit in their partner’s name via fraud or coercion.

In addition to her research, Dr. Adams also has expertise in evaluating community-based interventions and victim service programs at the local, state, and national level. She works collaboratively with organizations to build their capacity to evaluate their services and learn from the evaluation process and findings. To that end, she developed and facilitates a “Putting Evaluation to Use” workshop that engages stakeholders in the data interpretation process in order to provide them with an opportunity to reflect on their work, celebrate successes, identify areas for improvement, and plan for change.

Dr. Adams is invested in using her research and evaluation work to strengthen the community and policy response to intimate partner abuse in order to improve women’s economic well-being and general quality of life.

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About RCGV

MSU’s Research Consortium on Gender-Based Violence faculty and staff are dedicated to research and outreach initiatives related to ending and preventing gender-based violence and improving the community response to survivors. RCGV faculty are committed to mentoring the next generation of gender-based violence researchers by providing substantial educational and employment opportunities to undergraduate and graduate students.

Gender-based violence (GBV) is a significant and widespread social problem internationally, devastating adults, children, families and societies across the globe. It includes any form of harm that is both a consequence and cause of gender power inequities. It can be physical, psychological, sexual, economic, or sociocultural, and includes but is not limited to sexual abuse, rape, intimate partner abuse, incest, sexual harassment, stalking, femicide, trafficking, gendered hate crimes and dowry abuse. Gender-based violence intersects with race-based, class-based or religiously oppressive forms of abuse, and cross-cuts many other social problems (e.g., poverty, substance abuse, mental and physical health, crime).

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