Robert A Murphy

Associate Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Faculty Fellow of the Center for Child and Family Policy

Robert Murphy is executive director for the Center for Child & Family Health (CCFH), a consortium of Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and North Carolina Central University dedicated to research, training, and intervention related to child trauma and maltreatment.

CCFH is a community treatment and services center within the National Child Traumatic Stress Network focused on improving access to evidence-based mental health care for foster care youth. Murphy's interests include services evaluation and intervention for traumatized, violence-exposed, and HIV/AIDS affected youth. Treatment dissemination efforts include co-directing the development of training infrastructure for dissemination of Parent Child Interaction Therapy in North and South Carolina, participation in a Duke and UNC partnership to disseminate trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy across North Carolina, implementation and evaluation of a statewide project to prevent abusive head trauma among N.C. infants, and as a co-investigator for the Durham Family Initiative, a ten-year program designed to reduce community maltreatment in Durham County by a magnitude of 50 percent. Murphy has also worked on a Department of Defense-funded program to improve resiliency among Marine Corps families following combat deployment and several projects involving orphans and vulnerable children in less wealthy nations.

Research Interests:

  • Children's Mental Health
  • Child Maltreatment


  • Ph.D. University of Massachusetts at Amherst - 1996
  • B.A. University of Massachusetts at Amherst - 1989

Recent Publications (More Publications)

  • Desana, A., Murphy, R. A., Douglas-Palumberi, H., Blau, G., Kelly, B., Horwitz, S. M., & Kaufman, J. (2005) Effectiveness of brief residential versus foster care placements: Clinical and cost outcomes, Child Abuse & Neglect, 29, 627-643. ,
  • Murphy, R. A., Kasprow, W. J., & Rosenheck, R. A. (2005) Parent status among homeless veterans in community residential care. Psychiatric Services, 56, 1147-1149. ,
  • Murphy, R.A. (2010) Multi-system responses in the context of child maltreatment and intimate partner violence. Child Abuse & Neglect, 34, 555-557. ,
  • () O’Donnell, K., Murphy, R., Ostermann, J., Masnick, M., Whetten, R., Madden, E., Thielman, N., Whetten, K., and Positive Outcomes for Orphans Research Team. (In press). A brief assessment of learning for orphaned and abandoned children in low and medium income countries. AIDS and Behavior. ,
  • () Rosanbalm. K. D., Dodge, K. A., Murphy R., O’Donnell, K., Christopoulos, C., Williams, S., Appleyard, K., & Daro, D. (2010). Outcomes of a collaborative community-based child maltreatment prevention initiative. Protecting children, 25 (4), 6-21. ,
  • Runyan, D. K., Hennink-Kaminski, H. J., Zolotar, A. J., Barr, R. G., Murphy, R. A., Barr, M., Sullivan, K., Dougall, E. K., & Nocera, M. (2009) Designing and Testing a Shaken Baby Prevention Program - The Period of PURPLE Crying: Keeping Babies Safe in North Carolina. Social Marketing Quarterly. 15, 2-24 ,