Dr. Elizabeth Aparicio is a community-engaged scholar dedicated to improving health equity via three interrelated areas: teenage pregnancy prevention and teen parenting intervention, intergenerational child maltreatment prevention, and early childhood intervention. Her current work is focused on 1. follow-up to 12 months of a newly developed teen pregnancy prevention and sexual health program for homeless and at-risk youth (community partner: Waikiki Health); 2. developing a "two-gen" sexual health program for foster youth and their caregivers (community partner: Hearts and Homes for Youth); 3. examining parenting+mental health supports as a mechanism to reducing intergenerational transmission of child abuse and neglect among young families; and 4. developing a simulated client protocol to examine effects of a training program for mental health providers serving LGBTQ clients as part of her work with the UMD Prevention Research Center. Dr. Aparicio is a strong advocate for community participation and voice in research, informing the health and social policies and practices that directly affect them. Her scholarly agenda has its foundation in nearly a decade of direct behavioral health practice as a licensed clinical social worker in Maryland and Washington D.C. with trauma-affected children, youth, and families both in foster care and in the general community. She served the community in Montgomery County, Maryland and Washington D.C. for many years as an early childhood specialist in direct clinical practice and as an early childhood mental health consultant for preschools, childcare centers, home-based childcare programs, and Early Head Start/Head Start. Dr. Aparicio is a graduate of Catholic University of America (B.A. and M.S.W.) and University of Maryland (PhD in Social Work). She completed HRSA/MCHB-funded predoctoral fellowship training in maternal and child health leadership at the University of Maryland School of Social Work. Dr. Aparicio directs the Community THRIVES Lab, a research group of on- and off-campus research-practice partners that conduct Community-engaged Transformative Health Research at the Intersection of family Violence, Early childhood, and adolescent Sexual health intervention. She is a faculty affiliate and co-Investigator of the UMD PRC and a faculty affiliate of the UMD Center for Health Equity and UMD Center on Young Adult Health and Development.
PhD University of Maryland School of Social Work
MSW, BA Catholic University of America National Catholic School of Social Service
HLTH625 Community Assessment Through Qualitative Methods
HLTH292 Community Health Engagement
HLTH377 Human Sexuality
Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health, Gamma Zeta Chapter
Phi Beta Kappa
BA, Magna Cum Laude and top of social work class
(*co-authored with students)
King, B., Eastman, A., Grinnell-Davis, C., & Aparicio, E. M. (In Press). Early childbirth among foster youth: A latent class analysis to determine subgroups at greater risk. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health.
*Salerno, J., Turpin, R., Howard, D., Dyer, T., Aparicio, E.M. & Boekeloo, B. (2019) Health care experiences of Black men who have sex with men and transgender women: A qualitative study. Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care. Advance online publication.
Vanidestine, T., & Aparicio, E.M. (2019). How social welfare and health professionals understand “race,” racism, and whiteness in health disparities discourse: A social justice approach to grounded theory. Social Work in Public Health. Advance online publication.
*Kachingwe, O.N., Anderson, K., Houser, C., Fleishman, J., Novick, J., Phillips, D.R., & Aparicio, E.M. (2019). “She was there through the whole process:” Exploring how homeless youth access and select birth control. Children and Youth Services Review, 101, 277-284.
Massey Combs, K., Aparicio, E.M., Prince, D.M., Grinnell-Davis, C., Marra, L., & Faulkner, M. (2019). Evidence-based sexual health programs for youth involved with juvenile justice and child welfare systems: Outcomes across settings. Children and Youth Services Review, 100, 64-69.
Aparicio, E. M., Shpiegel, S., Grinnell-Davis, C., & King, B. (2019). “My body is strong and amazing:” Embodied experiences of pregnancy and birth among young women in foster care. Children and Youth Services Review, 98, 199-205.
*Aparicio, E.M., Rodrigues, E., Birmingham, A., & Houser, C. (2018). Dual experiences of teenage parenting and homelessness among Native Hawaiian youth: A critical interpretative phenomenological analysis. Child and Family Social Work, 1-10. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/cfs.12618
*Aparicio, E.M., Phillips, D.R., Cabral, M.P., Okimoto, T., & Houser, C., & Anderson, K. (2018). Participant and provider perspectives of Wahine Talk: A holistic teen pregnancy prevention program developed with and for homeless youth. Children and Youth Services Review, 93, 467-473.
Aparicio, E. M., Gioia, D., & Pecukonis, E. V. (2018). “I can get through this and I will get through this”: The unfolding journey of teenage motherhood in and beyond foster care. Qualitative Social Work, 17(1), 96-114.
West, A., Aparicio, E., Berlin, L., & Jones Harden, B. (2017). Home visitors’ perceptions of supplementing Early Head Start with the Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up Program: Implications for implementation. Infant Mental Health Journal, 38(4), 514-522.
Aparicio, E. M. (2017). “I want to be better than you”: Lived experiences of intergenerational child maltreatment prevention among teenage mothers in and beyond foster care. Child and Family Social Work, 22, 607-616.
Stephens, T. & Aparicio, E. M. (2017). “It’s just broken branches:” Child welfare-affected mothers’ dual experiences of insecurity and striving for resilience in the aftermath of complex trauma and familial substance abuse. Children and Youth Services Review, 37, 248-256.
Aparicio, E. M., Denmark, N., Berlin, L., & Jones Harden, B. (2016). First generation Latina mothers’ experiences of supplementing home-based Early Head Start with the Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up program. Infant Mental Health Journal, 37(5), 537-548.
*Aparicio, E. M., Vanidestine, T., Zhou, K., & Pecukonis, E. V. (2016). Teen pregnancy in Latino communities: Young adult perspectives and experiences of sociocultural context. Families in Society, 97(1), 50-57.
Aparicio, E., Pecukonis, E. V., & O’Neale, S. (2015). “The love that I was missing:” Exploring the lived experience of motherhood among teen mothers in foster care. Children and Youth Services Review, 51, 44-54.
*Aparicio, E., Pecukonis, E. V., & Carper, K. (2014). Sociocultural factors of teenage pregnancy in Latino communities: Preparing social workers for culturally-responsive practice. Health and Social Work, 39(4), 238-243.
Aquavita, S., Gibbons, M., Aparicio, E., & Pecukonis, E. V. (2014). Student perspectives on interprofessional education: Overcoming barriers and increasing effectiveness of interdisciplinary experiences. Journal of Allied Health, 23(2).
Pecukonis, E., Doyle, O., Acquavita, S., Aparicio, E., Gibbons, M., & Vanidestine, T. (2013). Interprofessional leadership training in MCH social work. Social Work in Health Care, 52(7). doi: 10.1080/00981389.2013.792913
Aparicio, E., Michalopoulos, L. M., & Unick, G. J. (2013). An examination of the psychometric properties of the vicarious trauma scale in a sample of licensed social workers. Health and Social Work, 38(4), 199-206.
Bellin, M. H., Osteen, P., Zabel, T. A., Dosa, N, Aparicio, E., Braun, P., & Dicianno, B. (2013). Family satisfaction, pain, and quality of life in emerging adults with spina bifida: A longitudinal analysis. American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 92(8), 641-655.
Bellin, M. H., Dosa, N., Zabel, T. A., Aparicio, E., Dicianno, B., & Osteen, P. (2012) Family functioning, self-management and the trajectory of psychological symptoms in emerging adults with spina bifida. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, advance access September 12, 2012, 1-13.
Michalopoulos, L. M., & Aparicio, E. (2012) Vicarious trauma in social workers: The role of trauma history, social support, and years of experience. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, and Trauma, 21(6), 646-664.