Elizabeth J. Gifford

Associate Research Professor, Sanford School of Public Policy

Beth Gifford is an associate research professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy. Gifford leads the Social and Economic Component of the Children’s Discovery Institute housed within the Duke School of Medicine. She is also a co-PI on two studies that examine the intergenerational effects of parental involvement in the criminal justice system, funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Her primary research interests involve evaluating programs and policies that are designed to improve outcomes for vulnerable children. These populations include children who live in low-income families, are in the juvenile justice system or in foster care, require special education or have emotional and or behavioral problems.

Research Interests:

  • Program Evaluation
  • Public Policy
  • Child Maltreatment
  • Children and the Law
  • Education
  • Poverty and Inequality

Research Projects:

  • Director of Data Initiatives: North Carolina Education Research Data Center and Durham Children’s Data Center
  • Scientific Leader for the Children’s Health & Discovery Institute: Social & Economic Factors
  • Intergenerational Effects of Parental Criminal Involvement on Children’s Health
  • Veteran’s Affairs: Gulf War Illness and Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease


  • Ph.D. Pennsylvania State University - 2005
  • M.S. Pennsylvania State University - 2000
  • B.S. Cornell University - 1997

Recent Publications (More Publications)

  • Gifford, EJ; Eldred, LM; Mccutchan, SA; Sloan, FA (2017) Prosecution, Conviction, and Deterrence in Child Maltreatment Cases Criminal Justice and Behavior, 44, 1262-1280, [doi], [abs]
  • Cook, PJ; Dodge, KA; Gifford, EJ; Schulting, AB (2017) A new program to prevent primary school absenteeism: Results of a pilot study in five schools Children and Youth Services Review, 82, 262-270, [doi], [abs]
  • Gifford, EJ; Eldred, LM; Evans, KE; Sloan, FA (2016) Criminally Involved Parents Who Misuse Substances and Children's Odds of Being Arrested as a Young Adult: Do Drug Treatment Courts Mitigate the Risk? Journal of Child and Family Studies, 25, 2447-2457, [s10826-016-0406-9], [doi], [abs]
  • Gifford, EJ; Eldred, LM; Sloan, FA; Evans, KE (2016) Parental Criminal Justice Involvement and Children's Involvement With Child Protective Services: Do Adult Drug Treatment Courts Prevent Child Maltreatment? Substance Use & Misuse, 51, 179-192, [10826084.2015.1089906], [doi], [abs]
  • Eldred, LM; Gifford, EJ (2016) Empirical evidence on legal levers aimed at addressing child maltreatment Children and Youth Services Review, 60, 11-19, [S019074091530102X], [doi], [abs]
  • Babinski, L.,Corra, A. and Gifford, E.J. (2016) Using a media content analysis to evaluate the impact of a public awareness campaign The Journal of Primary Prevention, , [abs]
  • Gifford, EJ; Sloan, FA; Eldred, LM; Evans, KE (2015) Intergenerational effects of parental substance-related convictions and adult drug treatment court participation on children's school performance. The American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 85, 452-468, [doi], [abs]
  • Gifford, EJ; Wells, RS; Bai, Y; Malone, PS (2015) Is implementation fidelity associated with improved access to care in a school-based Child and Family Team model? Evaluation and Program Planning, 49, 41-49, [S014971891400127X], [doi], [abs]
  • Gifford, E.J. and Evans, K.E. (2011) America's Promise Alliance Dropout Prevention Summits: Mobilizing Action to Address the High School Dropout Crisis across the Nation
  • Wells, R; Gifford, E; Bai, Y; Corra, A (2015) A Network Perspective on Dropout Prevention in Two Cities Educational Administration Quarterly, 51, 27-57, [27], [doi], [abs]
  • Lynne, EG; Gifford, EJ; Evans, KE; Rosch, JB (2015) Barriers to reporting child maltreatment: do emergency medical services professionals fully understand their role as mandatory reporters? North Carolina Medical Journal, 76, 13-18, , [abs]
  • Gifford, Elizabeth J., Eldred, Lindsey, and Sloan, Frank (2014) Empirical evidence on legal levers aimed at addressing child abuse and neglect
  • Gifford, EJ; Eldred, LM; McCutchan, SA; Sloan, FA (2014) The effects of participation level on recidivism: A study of drug treatment courts using propensity score matching Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, 9, 40, [abstract], [doi], [abs]
  • Gifford, EJ; Eldred, LM; Vernerey, A; Sloan, FA (2014) How does family drug treatment court participation affect child welfare outcomes? Child Abuse & Neglect, 38, 1659-1670, [S0145213414001033], [doi], [abs]
  • Skinner, AT; Babinski, LM; Gifford, EJ (2014) Teachers’ expectations and self-efficacy for working with bullies and victims Psychology in the Schools, 51, 72-84, [abstract], [doi], [abs]
  • Wells, R; Gifford, EJ (2013) Implementing a case management initiative in high-need schools Children and Youth Services Review, 35, 787-796, [026], [doi], [abs]
  • Sloan, F., Gifford, E.J.,Chepke, L., Acquah, K. and Bevins, C. (2013) How specialty courts affect outcomes for youth in foster care Evaluation Review, 37, 3-37, [3.abstract], [abs]
  • Gifford, E.J., Wells, R.S, Miller, S., Troop, T.O., Bai, Y., Babinski, L. (2010) Pairing nurses and social workers in schools: North Carolina’s school-based child and family support teams Journal of School Health,
  • Gifford, EJ; Foster, EM (2008) Provider-level effects on length of stay for youth with mental health and substance abuse disorders Medical Care, 46, 240-246, [18388838], [doi], [abs]
  • Bhandari, S. and Gifford, E. (2003) Children with Health Insurance in the United States: 2002 , 60-224,
  • Foster, E.M., E.J. Gifford (2005) The Transition to Adulthood for Youth Leaving Public Systems: Challenges to policies and research