The Pregnant Moms' Empowerment Program in Mexico:
A Culturally Adapted Intervention to Address the Intergenerational Effects of Intimate Partner Violence
According to national statistics, more than 40% of women in Mexico have experienced intimate partner violence. However, culturally appropriate evidence-based treatment is rarely available. To address this need and in partnership with the State Women's Institute of Nuevo León, we culturally adapted the Pregnant Moms’ Empowerment Program (PMEP), gathering input from key stakeholders. PMEP is a manualized group intervention that incorporates psychoeducation, cognitive behavioral skills, and social support to enhance mothers' wellbeing and promote their children's development. Initial pilot implementation and evaluation are ongoing, with 58 women enrolled in a randomized controlled trial to evaluate program satisfaction and effectiveness post-intervention and 3 months postpartum. The participant sample is characterized by multiple risk factors: 67% identify as single mothers, 67% are economically vulnerable, and 38% are first-time mothers. Qualitative and quantitative data will be discussed to highlight the intervention elements that women found most helpful, as well as changes in women's violence experiences, mental health symptoms, resilience, and parenting attitudes.
The series is intended for a general audience and can be viewed via Zoom. Pre-registration for the session is requested and the Zoom link will be made available once registration is received.
PLEASE NOTE: Indicated event times are Eastern Daylight Time (11:00 - 12:30pm CDT).
Dr. Laura Miller-Graff
Dr. Laura Miller-Graff's research examines the developmental effects of exposure to violence in childhood. With a focus on children who have multiple traumatic exposures, she investigates resulting patterns of resilience and psychopathology, including the development of posttraumatic stress symptoms. Working within an ecological framework, Dr. Miller-Graff's research seeks to understand how various systems (i.e., individual, family, and community) interact to promote or inhibit healthful development following violence exposure. Dr. Miller-Graff has a particular interest in the adaptation and evaluation of trauma assessment and treatment in LMIC and conflict-affected settings. Current research projects include the effects of intimate partner violence (IPV) on women and children’s health and adjustment in the perinatal period factors contributing and the adaptation, development and evaluation of psychological interventions for violence-exposed pregnant women and for families living in settings of chronic violence.
Dr. Cecilia Martinez-Torteya
Dr. Cecilia Martinez-Torteya received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Michigan State University. She is an Associate Professor at Universidad de Monterrey, in Mexico, and is part of the National System of Investigators. Her research addresses the mental health impacts of interpersonal violence on women and their children, as well as individual, family, and environmental factors that amplify risk or promote resilience. Currently, she also collaborates with the Nuevo León Women’s Institute, researchers at the University of Notre Dame, and the University of Memphis to adapt and evaluate an intervention for women exposed to partner violence during pregnancy.
The Mexico Virtual Lecture Series is a recurring online event intended to highlight the deep connections between Notre Dame and Mexico. Each lecture focuses on the current work of a Notre Dame faculty member or researcher, covering topics that vary widely from medical research to the social sciences and arts and culture.