Faculty and Staff Directory

Samantha Brown, Ph.D., MA, LPC

Samantha Brown Assistant Professor

Curriculum Vitae (pdf)

Contact information

Education 117A
1586 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1586
(970) 491-2531

Areas of Interest: Behavioral health; Child maltreatment; Parent-child interactions; Risk and resiliency; Sleep; Stress physiology; Mindfulness- and trauma-informed intervention

Grand Challenges for Social Work: Ensure healthy development for all youth; Stop family violence; Close the health gap


Dr. Samantha Brown is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at Colorado State University. Her research focuses on the identification of barriers, promoters, and pathways through which adversity shapes the health and development of children and families experiencing psychosocial risk in order to develop and test family-oriented interventions that target those factors. Dr. Brown’s recent work has focused on key biological and behavioral correlates, such as stress physiology and sleep, that may be implicated in childhood maltreatment as well as the role of parent-child interactions in buffering children from the negative consequences of early adverse experiences. She has translated this work into the development and testing of family-oriented intervention for child welfare-involved families, with a specific concentration on a mindfulness- and trauma-informed randomized controlled trial. She completed a T32 postdoctoral fellowship with the Developmental Psychobiology Research Group in the School of Medicine – Department of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (T32MH015442) where she received advanced training in physiological and observational data collection methods and analyses. Dr. Brown has published extensively on topics centered on adverse childhood experiences, child welfare, mental health, and substance use, and has received funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), American Psychological Foundation Section on Child Maltreatment, Fahs-Beck Fund for Research and Experimentation, and Society for Social Work and Research. Dr. Brown is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Colorado and her clinical experience includes domestic violence and substance abuse counseling and child welfare casework.

Degree Information

PhD, June 2016, Social Work, University of Denver
MA, June 2010, Forensic Psychology, University of Denver
BA, December 2007, Psychology and Criminal Justice, College of Saint Rose

Academic Appointments

2018-present: Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, Colorado State University
2017-2018: Postdoctoral Fellow, Developmental Psychobiology Research Group, School of Medicine, University of Colorado
2016-2017: Postdoctoral Fellow, Stress, Early Experiences, and Development Research Center, Department of Psychology, University of Denver

Professional Post-Baccalaureate and Post-Master’s Social Work Experience

2015-2016: Clinical Research Coordinator, Evans Community Hospital Pain Clinic, Fort Carson, CO
2011-2013: Social Caseworker, Arapahoe County Department of Human Services, Aurora, CO
2009-2011, 2013: Domestic Violence and Substance Abuse Counselor, A.B. Counseling, Lakewood, CO

Current Professional, Academic, Community-Related and Scientific Memberships

American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children
American Psychological Association Section on Child Maltreatment
Society for Research in Child Development
Society for Social Work and Research

Selected Awards, Fellowships, and Grants

2018-2019: R40 Maternal and Child Health Secondary Data Analysis, Health Resources and Services Administration A Developmental Perspective in Child Welfare: Caregiver Mental, Behavioral, and Physical Health as Determinants of Children’s Health Outcomes Role: PI (Co-PI’s: Orsi & Yoder)

2018-2020: Fahs-Beck Fund for Research and Experimentation in the New York Community Trust A Mindful Parenting and Problem Solving Intervention for Trauma-Informed Child Welfare Practice Role: PI

2018: Developmental Psychobiology Endowment Fund, University of Colorado Physiological and Behavioral Effects of Maltreatment: The Role of Sleep Role: PI

2017: National Institutes of Health, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Building a Multidisciplinary Pipeline of Researchers in Child Abuse and Neglect: Summer Training Institute for Early Career Transitioning Scholars Role: Fellow (PIs: Jonson-Reid & Widom)

2016: Society for Social Work and Research A Mindfulness-Informed Intervention to Improve Family Functioning among Child Welfare-Involved Families with Substance Use Role: PI

Selected Publications

Brown, S. M., Bender, K. A., Bellamy, J., Garland, E., Dmitrieva, J., & Jenson, J. (in press). A pilot randomized trial of a mindfulness-informed intervention for child welfare-involved families. Mindfulness. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s12671-018-1001-5

McCrae, J. S., Bender, K., Brown, S. M., Phillips, J. D., & Rienks, S. (2018). Adverse childhood experiences and complex health concerns among child welfare-involved children. Children’s Health Care. doi: 10.1080/02739615.2018.1446140

Orsi, R., Brown, S. M., Knight, K. E., & Shillington, A. M. (2018). Remaining home: Well-being outcomes and co-occurring parental substance use following a maltreatment investigation in middle childhood. Children and Youth Services Review, 84, 118-124. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2017.11.022

Brown, S. M., Rienks, S., McCrae, J., & Watamura, S. (2017). The co-occurrence of adverse childhood experiences among children investigated for child maltreatment: A latent class analysis. Child Abuse & Neglect, Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2017.11.010

Brown, S. M., & Bellamy, J. (2017). Feasibility, acceptability, and clinical trends of a mindfulness-informed child welfare intervention: Implications for trauma-informed practice. Advances in Social Work, 18, 369-386. doi: 18060/21281

Brown, S. M., & Shillington, A. M. (2017). Childhood adversity and the risk of substance use and delinquency: The role of protective adult relationships. Child Abuse & Neglect, 63, 211-221. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2016.11.006

Brown, S. M., Begun, S., Bender, K., Ferguson, K. M., & Thompson, S. J. (2015). An exploratory factor analysis of coping strategies and relationship to depression among a sample of homeless youth. Community Mental Health Journal, 51, 818-827. doi:10.1007/s10597-015-9870-8

Brown, S. M., Klein, S., & McCrae, J. S. (2015). Collaborative relationships and improved service coordination among child welfare and early childhood systems. Child Welfare, 93(2), 91-116.

Selected Professional Presentations

Brown, S. M., & Orsi, R. (2018, January). The complex health effects of adverse childhood experiences among a national sample of child welfare involved children and youth: Implications for practice. Paper presented at the 32nd San Diego International Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment, San Diego, CA.

Brown, S. M., & Ash, J. (2017, April). Parental history of adversity and greatly increased odds of child mental health problems: Linked state-level data from Colorado. In S. M. Brown (Chair), Parental history of adversity and child psychopathy: Colorado state, tribal, and early head start data. Symposium presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Austin, TX.

Brown, S. M. (2016, October). Mindfulness-based interventions for child welfare-involved families: Effectiveness of a randomized controlled trial. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association, Denver, CO.

Brown, S. M., Bender, K., McCrae, J., Phillips, J., & Rienks, S. (2016, October). Adverse childhood experiences as predictors of health profiles among families involved with child welfare. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association, Denver, CO.

Brown, S. M. (2016, June). Reducing parental stress among child welfare-involved parents: Effects of a randomized controlled trial. Paper presented at the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, New Orleans, LA.

Brown, S. M., Barman-Adhikari, A., Bowen, E., Bender, K., & Rice, E. (2016, January). Social support networks of homeless youth and relation to homelessness and victimization experiences. Paper presented at the annual conference of the Society for Social Work and Research, Washington, DC.