Judith McFarlane, Dr.P.H., M.N. profile photo

Judith McFarlane, Dr.P.H., M.N.

Professor & Parry Nursing Chair in Health Promotion, College of Nursing & Parry Chair in Health Promotion & Disease Prevention


International expert on abused women and children, abuse during pregnancy, and interventions to treat depression and prevent abuse.


Image for publication on Community as Partner: Theory and Practice in NursingImage for publication on Community As Client: Application of the Nursing ProcessImage for publication on Abuse During Pregnancy: A Protocol for Prevention and Intervention (March of Dimes Nursing Module)



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Dr. Judith McFarlane is the Parry Chair in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at Texas Woman’s University in Houston, Texas in USA. Dr. McFarlane has her bachelors and masters degrees from the University of Florida and her doctorate from the University of Texas. Dr. McFarlane conducts research on the health effects of violence against women and children and the effectiveness of interventions to prevent further violence.

Dr. McFarlane’s research has been funded by the National Centre for Injury Prevention, Agency for Health Research & Quality, The National Institute of Justice, and National Institutes of Health in the US and international agencies, such as UNICEF and UKAID. Her research findings have been presented to congressional committees, cited on Cable News Network, and used globally to set standards of care for women and children. Her research findings are chronicled in more than 200 peer-reviewed publications.

Dr. McFarlane works internationally to design and evaluate community based programs to prevent violence against poor women in Pakistan where she is testing economic skill building as an intervention to interrupt abuse. Dr. McFarlane works with UNICEF in Zimbabwe to measure the impact of micro-finance, and was recently selected as a consultant to the UKAID, DIFD 5-year initiative in Africa and Asia to determine what works to prevent gender based violence. Dr. McFarlane has been a Visiting Scholar to capacity build research and guide community based research at Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan for over 10 years and was selected as the Benjamin Meaker Visiting Professor at the School for Community Medicine at the University of Bristol, England in 2015. Dr. McFarlane was a Fulbright Senior Specialist to Bangladesh and South Africa in 2009 and 2013 respectively.

In 2011 Dr. McFarlane was funded with $2.6 million dollars to complete a 7-year study on abused women and children. The safety, work, health, and functioning of the women and their children is chronicled along with intergenerational impact of violence to offer evidence for global policy and practice standards. At year five of the study, 94% of this high-risk population is retained and over 30 peer-reviewed articles have been published on the findings, which are presented regularly to international audiences and used in many countries to promote the health and well-being of marginalized women and children.

Industry Expertise

  • Education/Learning
  • Research

Areas of Expertise

Abuse of WomenPregnancy and AbuseDepression and AbuseInterventions to Stop AbusePartner ViolenceBiobehavioural ResearchTranslational ResearchAccess Redesign


Award for Excellence | professional

Awarded by the Southern Research Association.


Chancellor's Research Award | professional

Awarded by Texas Woman's University.


Chancellor's Research Award | professional

Awarded by Texas Woman's University.


Coronaro Outstanding Professor Award | professional

Awarded for Distinguished Teaching and Outstanding Scholarship at Texas Woman’s University.


Ruth B. Freeman Award | professional

Awarded for Excellence in Public Health by the American Public Health Association.



University of Texas, School of Public Health

Dr.P.H., Community Health


University of Florida, College of Nursing

M.N., Pediatric Nursing


University of Florida, College of Nursing

B.S.N., Nursing



  • American Academy of Nursing : Member
  • American Nurses Association : Member
  • American Public Health Association : Member
  • Association of Community Heath Nursing Educators : Member
  • Council for Association of Nurse Scientists : Member
  • National Council of International Health : Member
  • Nursing Network on Violence Against Women : Member
  • Nursing Research Consortium on Violence and Abuse : Member
  • Sigma Theta Tau Beta Beta Chapter : Member
  • Southern Nursing Research Association : Member
  • Mother Child Study To Inform Practice & Policy : Principal Investigator (2011 - 2018)
  • UKAid funded Violence Prevention in Pakistan : Co Principal Investigator
  • Fulbright Specialist to Bangladesh 2009 & South Africa 2013
  • Consultant to UNICEF in Zimbabwe 2014
  • Meaker Visiting Professor Univ. Bristol England 2015

Event Appearances

Closing the gap between what we know and need to know about gender-based violence: new knowledge for evidence-based practice and effective policy

Invited Lecture  Bristol, United Kingdom


Keynote Speaker

Founders' Awards Scholarship Luncheon  Denton, TX.



Risk factors for femicide in abusive relationships: Results from a multisite case control study | American Journal of Public Health


OBJECTIVES: This 11-city study sought to identify risk factors for femicide in abusive relationships...

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Abuse during pregnancy: associations with maternal health and infant birth weight | Nursing Research


A stratified, prospective cohort analysis was completed on 1,203 African American, Hispanic, and White women. All women were assessed for abuse at the first prenatal visit and twice more during pregnancy. They were also assessed for risk factors of low birth ...

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Abuse during pregnancy: effects on maternal complications and birth weight in adult and teenage women | Obstetrics and Gynecology



OBJECTIVE: To determine the incidence of physical and sexual abuse in a sample of adult and teen pregnant women and to determine the effect of abuse on birth weight...

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Assessing for abuse during pregnancy: severity and frequency of injuries and associated entry into prenatal care | JAMA


OBJECTIVE: To assess the occurrence, frequency, and severity of physical abuse during pregnancy and associated initiation of prenatal care...

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Battered and pregnant: a prevalence study | American Journal of Public Health


ABSTRACT: We interviewed 290 pregnant women randomly selected from public and private prenatal clinics, 80 per cent of whom were at least five months pregnant (ages 18-43, 42 per cent Latino, 22 per cent Black). Twenty-four women reported physical battering during this ...

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