Dr. Anita Barbee

Professor & Distinguished University Scholar

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Dr. Anita P. Barbee has over 160 publications and has given 360 presentations at professional conferences. She received a Dissertation Award in 1989 and the Gerald Miller Early Career Award in 1997 from the International Association for Relationship Research (IARR); she is a Fellow in the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare (AASWSW), APA’s Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI), and the Society for Experimental Social Psychologists (SESP) and received the National Staff Development and Training Association (NSDTA) Lifetime Achievement Award (2007) and the Career Service Award (2014) for her work in child welfare.

Dr. Barbee is President of IARR, member of the Executive Advisory Council for NSDTA, Editor for the journal Training and Development in Human Services, and sits on five other editorial boards, including Personal Relationships, the Journal of Public Child Welfare, Families in Society, Social Service Review, and Journal of Society of Social Work Research.

She has two major lines of research. One line focuses on child welfare system reform with an emphasis on the role employee selection, training, supervision and organizational structure, policy and dynamics have on practice and outcomes for families and children. The other focuses on interpersonal relationship formation and maintenance, as well as the impact of relationship education on improving communication, and conflict resolution, and reducing violent and risky sexual behavior.

Dr. Barbee, in collaboration with her colleagues, has brought in over $37 million in extramural funding to the University (part of $50 million) and most recently a $2.1M grant (part of a larger $15M grant) from the U.S. DHHS, Children’s Bureau to establish the Quality Improvement Center for Workforce Development (QIC-WD) to conduct RCT and Quasi-experiments testing the efficacy of various workforce interventions to reduce turnover at 8 child welfare agencies across the nation.