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Dr Catherine L. Ward

Ph.D. (South Carolina)

Research interests

Violence prevention (especially from the perspective of children’s development, and public health approaches to evidence-based intervention)

Child maltreatment

Youth violence


Current research projects

Developing evidence-based parenting programmes to prevent child maltreatment and later youth violence

The Evidence for Better Lives Study (see https://www.vrc.crim.cam.ac.uk/vrcresearch/EBLS)


Teaching interests / responsibilities

PSY1004F: Introduction to Psychology, Part 1 (psychological treatments)

PSY1005S: Introduction to Psychology, Part 2 (quantitative research methods, community psychology)

PSY3007S: Research Methods in Psychology 2 (quantitative research methods)

PSY4000W: Quantitative research methods (semester module in Honours course)


Selected publications

Follow me on ResearchGate:


Meinck, F., Boyes, M., Cluver, L., Ward, C.L., Schmidt, P., DeStone, S., & Dunne, M.P. (2018).  Development and psychometric properties of the ISPCAN Child Abuse Screening Tool for use in Trials (ICAST-TRIAL) among South African adolescents and their primary caregivers.  Child Abuse and Neglect. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2018.05.022.

Ward, C.L., Artz, L., Leoschut, L., Kassanjee, R., & Burton, P. (2018). Sexual violence against children in South Africa: A nationally representative cross-sectional study of prevalence and correlates.  The Lancet Global Health, 6, e460-e468.  doi: 10.1016/S2214-109X(18)30060-3

Hsiao, C., Fry, D., Ward, C.L., Ganz, G., Casey, T., Zheng, X., & Fang, X. (2018). Violence against children in South Africa: The cost of inaction to society and the economy.  BMJ Global Health, 3:e000573. doi:10.1136/ bmjgh-2017-000573.

Fang, X., Zheng, X., Fry, D., Ganz, G., Casey, T., & Ward, C.L. (2017). The economic burden of violence against children in South Africa.  The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 14, 1431-1444. doi: 10.3390/ijerph14111431

Lachman, J., Cluver, L., Ward, C.L., Hutchings, J., Mlotshwa, S., Wessels, I.M., & Gardner, F. (2017).  Randomized controlled trial of a parenting program to reduce the risk of child maltreatment in South Africa.  Child Abuse and Neglect, 72, 338-351.  doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2017.08.014

Cluver, L., Meinck, F., Steinert, J.I., Shenderovich, U., Doubt, J., Herrero Romero, R., Lombard, C.J., Redfern, A.A., Ward, C.L., Tsoanyane, S., Nzima, D., Sibanda, N., Wittesaele, C., de Stone, S., Boyes, M., Catanho, R., Lachman, J.M., Salah, N., Nocuza, M., & Gardner, F.  (2017).  Parenting for Lifelong Health: A pragmatic cluster randomised controlled trial of a non-commercialised parenting programme for adolescents and their families in South Africa.  BMJ Global Health, 3:e000539. doi:10.1136/ bmjgh-2017-000539​​​​​​​

Lester, S., Lawrence, C., & Ward, C.L.  (2017).  What do we know about preventing school violence?  A systematic review of systematic reviews.  Psychology, Health and Medicine. doi: 10.1080/13548506.2017.1282616

Souverein, F., Ward, C.L., Visser, I., & Burton, P. (2016).  Serious violent offenders in South Africa: Are they life-course persistent offenders?  Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 31(10), 1859-1882. doi: 10.1177/0886260515570748

Ward, C.L., Sanders, M.R., Gardner, F., Mikton, C., & Dawes, A. (2015). Preventing child maltreatment in low- and middle-income countries: What is needed to build the evidence base for effective implementation of parent support programmes?  Child Abuse and Neglect, 54, 97-107. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2015.11.002

Ward, C.L., Artz, L., Berg, J., Boonzaier, F., Crawford-Browne, S., Dawes, A., Foster,D., Matzopoulos, R., Nicol, A., Seekings, J., Van As, A.B., & Van der Spuy, E.  (2012).  Violence, violence prevention, and safety: A research agenda for South Africa.  South African Medical Journal, 102, 215-218.

Ward, C.L., Van der Merwe, A., & Dawes, A. (Eds.). (2012).  Youth violence in South Africa: Sources and solutions.  Cape Town: UCT Press.


Ward, C.L., and Cooper, A. (2012).  Gangs and child safety.  In A. van Niekerk, S. Suffla, & M. Seedat (Eds.), Crime, violence and injury in South Africa: 21st century solutions for child safety (pp.148-161).  Tygerberg: MRC-University of South Africa Safety & Peace Promotion Research Unit.

Ward, C.L., & Bakhuis, K. (2009).  Indigenous theories of children’s involvement in gangs: Cape Town’s young people speak out.  Children & Society, 24, 50-62.

Dawes, A., & Ward, C.L. (2008).  Levels, trends, and determinants of child maltreatment in the Western Cape Province.  In R. Marindo, Groenewald, C., & Gaisie, S. (Eds), The State of the Western Cape Population (pp.97-125).  Cape Town: HSRC Press

Ward, C.L., Martin, E., Theron, C. & Distiller, G.B.  (2007).  Factors affecting resilience in children exposed to violence.  South African Journal of Psychology, 37(1), 165-187.

Ward, C.L. (2007).  Neighbourhood indicators: Monitoring child rights and well-being at small area level.  In A. Dawes, R. Bray, & A. van der Merwe (Eds), Monitoring child rights and wellbeing: A South African approach (pp.73-90). Cape Town, South Africa: HSRC Press

Flisher, A.J., Ward, C.L., Liang, H., Onya, H., Mlisa, N., Terblanche, S., Bhana, A., Parry, C.D.H., & Lombard, C.  (2006).  Injury-related behaviour among South African high-school students at six sites.  South African Medical Journal, 96(9), 825-830.

Brandt, R., Ward, C.L., Dawes, A., & Flisher, A.J. (2005).  Epidemiological measurement of children’s and adolescents’ exposure to community violence:  Working with the current state of the science. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 8(4), 327-342.

Ward, C.L., Flisher, A.J., Zissis, C., Muller, M., & Lombard, C.  (2004).  Measuring adolescents’ exposure to violence and related PTSD symptoms: Reliability of an adaptation of the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire.  Journal of Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 16, 31-37.

Ward, C.L., Flisher, A.J., Zissis, C., Muller, M., & Lombard, C.  (2003).  Reliability of the Beck Depression Inventory and the Self-Rating Anxiety Scale in a sample of South African adolescents.  Journal of Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 15, 73-75.

Ward, C.L., & Laughlin, J.E. (2003).  Social contexts, age, and juvenile delinquency: A community perspective.  Journal of Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 15, 13-26.

Ward, C.L., Flisher, A.J., Zissis, C., Muller, M., & Lombard, C.  (2001).  Adolescents’ exposure to violence: relationships between exposure and symptoms.  Injury Prevention, 7, 297-301.


Catherine L. Ward

Ph.D. (South Carolina)

Contact details:

Tel. No.: (27) (0)21 650 3422

Room Number 2.09

Email address: Catherine.Ward@uct.ac.za