Christina Newhill

  • Professor and Doctoral Program Director

Christina E. Newhill earned a PhD in social welfare from the University of California, Berkeley; a master’s degree in social work from Syracuse University; and a BA in sociology from the State University of New York, Binghamton. Dr. Newhill is Professor of Social Work with a joint appointment with the Clinical and Translational Science Institute, and teaches in the MSW and Ph.D. programs. In 2008, she received the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award, Pitt’s highest teaching honor.

Professor Newhill’s primary research interests are community mental health services, psychosocial interventions for individuals with serious and persistent mental illness and their families, and improving the assessment and management of violent behavior. Her “Families as Partners in Reducing Violence” project, recently funded by the National Institute of Mental Health lays the groundwork for the development of an innovative refinement of existing family psychoeducation interventions that will assist family members/caretakers in coping successfully with potentially violent situations involving their ill relative.

Newhill has more than 10 years of community mental health practice experience, primarily in psychiatric emergency and inpatient settings. She has conducted training workshops on client violence and social worker safety at the local, state, and national levels for many years and authored “Client violence in social work practice: Prevention, intervention and research”, published in 2003 by Guilford Press which has been translated into Chinese and Korean. Her most recent book entitled “Dynamics of Family and Intimate Partner Violence” was published by Springer in 2020.

Research Interests

  • Violence risk markers and psychopathology

  • Risk assessment of violent clients and social worker safety

  • Evidence-based treatments for individuals with serious mental illness and their families

  • Emotion regulation problems and borderline personality disorder

  • Psychiatric emergency services

  • Racial disparities in mental health services

  • Social science theory

  • IPV

  • Personality disorders

  • SMI

Current Grant Support

Principal Investigator (Edward Mulvey, Co-PI). “Families as Partners in Reducing Violence”; This project proposes to develop a novel psychoeducation intervention to reduce violence in individuals with mental illness by employing families and clinicians as partners. R21 MH11180301 A1 NIMH  $403,433  (2017-2019)

Co-Investigator (Shaun Eack, PI) “Cognitive Enhancement Therapy for Adult Autism Spectrum Disorder”; This project will conduct the first adequately-powered randomized-controlled trial of cognitive rehabilitation in adults with autism spectrum disorder. R01 MH106450  1.8 calendar NIH/NIMH   $3,692,097 (2015-2020)

Representative Publications

Newhill, C.E., Yuan, Y., Wojtalik, J.A. & Eack, S.M. (in press). A transdiagnostic comparison of emotion dysregulation in schizophrenia and cluster-B personality disorders. JSSWR.

Frieze, I.H., Newhill, C.E. & Fusco, R.A. (2020). Dynamics of Family and Intimate Partner Violence. New York, N.Y.: Springer.

Newhill, C.E., Mulvaney, E.A. & Simmons, B.F. (2020). Skill development for generalist practice: Exercises for real-world application. Los Angeles, CA: Sage.

Newhill, C. E. (2014). Interventions for severe mental disorders: Working with individuals and their families. Boston, MA: Pearson/Allyn & Bacon.

Newhill, C.E., Eack, S.M. & Mulvey, E.P. (2012). A growth curve analysis of emotion dysregulation as a mediator for violence in borderline personality disorder. Journal of Personality Disorders, 26(3), 452-461.

Newhill, C.E., Bell, M.M., Eack, S.M. & Mulvey, E.P. (2010). Confirmatory factor analysis of the emotion dysregulation measure. Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, 1(32), 159-168.

Newhill, C.E., Eack, S.M. & Mulvey, E.P. (2009). Violent behavior in individuals with borderline personality disorder. Journal of Personality Disorders, 23, 541-554.

Newhill, C.E., Eack, S.M. & Conner, K.O. (2009). Racial differences between African and White Americans in the presentation of borderline personality disorder. Race and Social Problems, 1, 87-96.

Newhill, C.E. & Harris, D. (2007). African-American consumers’ perceptions of racial disparities in mental health services. Social Work in Public Health, 23, 107-124.

Newhill, C.E., Mulvey, E.P. & Pilkonis, P.A. (2004). Initial development of a measure of emotional dysregulation for individuals with Cluster B personality disorders. Research on Social Work Practice, 14, 443-449.

Newhill, C.E. & Korr, W.S. (2004). Practice with persons with severe mental illness: Rewards, challenges and burdens. Health and Social Work, 29, 297-305

Newhill, C.E. (2003). Client Violence in Social Work Practice: Prevention, Intervention and Research. Guilford Press, New York, N.Y.


Areas of Expertise