Elizabeth M. Z. Farmer

Ph.D., Duke University, 1991

Professor of Health Policy and Administration, College of Health and Human Development

Program Areas: Family Science & Intervention

Contact Information

601E Donald H. Ford Building


Phone: 814-863-7333
Fax: 814-863-2905

Department Web Page

Research Interests

Children's mental health services, effectiveness of mental health interventions, mental health in life course trajectories, community-based services for youth, role of schools in children's mental mealth services

Examples of Current Prevention Projects

What Affects Outcomes for Youth in Group Homes?

National Institute of Mental Health (NIH)

Start Date: 2007

The study is designed to provide focused, applicable, and generalizable data on factors associated with outcomes in group homes. Specific aims will examine: (1) outcomes for youth in group homes; (2) effects of theoretically- and empirically-based organizational factors and core processes on outcomes: (3) rates and predictors of iatrogenic effects; and (4) whether adherence to a promising model of group home treatment (the Teaching Family Model) produces more positive outcomes for youth.

Training Interdisciplinary Educational Scientists (TIES) Program

U.S. Department of Education (T. Farmer and K. Bierman, Co-PIs)

Start Date: 2009

The goal of the TIES program is to prepare educational scientists with expertise in the development and evaluation of interventions aimed at promoting literacy and social/emotional competence in children and youth. 

Recent Publications

Farmer, T. W., Farmer, E. M. Z, Estell, D. B., & Hutchins, B. (2007). The developmental dynamics of aggression and the prevention of school violence. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 197–208.


Dorsey, S., Farmer, E. M. Z., Barth, R. P., Greene, K., Reid, J., & Landsverk, J. (2008). Current status and evidence base of training for foster and treatment foster parents. Children and Youth Services Review, 30, 1403–1416.

Dorsey, S., Mustillo, S. A., Farmer, E. M. Z., & Elbogen, E. (2008). Caseworker assessments of risk for recurrent maltreatment: Association with case-specific risk factors and re-reports. Child Abuse and Neglect, 32, 377–391.

Duppong Hurley, K., Shaw, T., Thompson, R., Griffith, A. K., Farmer E. M.Z., & Tierney, J. (2008). Assessing staff competence at implementing a multi-faceted residential program for youth: Development and initial psychometrics of a staff observation form. Residential Treatment for Children and Youth, 23, 83–104.

Farmer, E. M. Z., Mustillo, S. A., Burns, B. J., & Holden, E. W. (2008). Use and predictors of out-of-home placements within systems of care. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 5–14.

Farmer, E. M. Z., Southerland, D. G., Mustillo, S. A., & Burns, B. J. (2008). Returning home in systems of care: Rates, predictors, and stability. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders.

Southerland, D. G., Mustillo, S. A., Farmer, E. M. Z., Stambaugh, L. F., & Murray, M. (2008). What’s the relationship got to do with it? Understanding the therapeutic relationship in therapeutic foster care. Child and Adolescent Social Work.

Griffith, A. K., Trout, A. L., Chmelka, B., Farmer, E. M. Z., Epstein, M. H., Reid, R., Huefner, J. C., & Orduna, D. (2009). Youth departing from residential care: A gender comparison. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 18, 31–38.