People

Richard James Gelles, PhD

  • Joanne and Raymond Welsh Chair of Child Welfare and Family Violence

  • Managing Faculty Director, Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice, & Research

3815 Walnut Street, Room 201
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6179
  • office: 215.370.7944
  • fax: 215.573.2099

Research Interests

Intimate Partner Violence

Child Abuse & Neglect

Child Welfare Policy & Practice

Richard J. Gelles holds The Joanne and Raymond Welsh Chair of Child Welfare and Family Violence in the School of Social Policy & Practice at the University of Pennsylvania.

His book, The Violent Home was the first systematic empirical investigation of family violence and continues to be highly influential.  He is the author or coauthor of 26 books and more than 200 articles and chapters on family violence.  His latest books are Current Controversies on Family Violence, 2nd Edition (with Donilene Loseke and Mary Cavanaugh—Sage Publications, 2005) and The Third Lie:  Why Government Programs Don’t Work and a Blueprint for Change (Left Coast Press, 2011).

Gelles received his A.B. degree from Bates College (1968), an M.A. in Sociology from the University of Rochester (1971), and a Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of New Hampshire (1973).  He edited the journal, TEACHING SOCIOLOGY from 1973 to 1981 and received the American Sociological Association, Section on Undergraduate Education, and “Outstanding Contributions to Teaching Award” in 1979. In 1999 Gelles received the “Award for Career Achievement in Research” from the American Professional Science on the Abuse of Children. Gelles has presented innumerable lectures to policy-making groups and media groups, including THE TODAY SHOW, CBS MORNING NEWS, GOOD MORNING AMERICA, THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW, DATELINE, and ALL THINGS CONSIDERED.  In 1984 ESQUIRE named him to one of the men and women who are “changing America.”

SP2 News

Faculty & Research, Global Engagement

International Experts Assemble to Examine, Investigate Public Health and Epidemics

On May 13 and 14, Jennifer Prah Ruger, PhD, and other international scholars and public health experts will assemble in...

Students from the MSSP 797 course in Havana, with instructor Azahara Palomeque

Student Life, Global Engagement

Social Issues Through a Global Lens: SP2 Students Reflect on Their Immersion Experience in Cuba

For students in the Master of Science in Social Policy (MSSP) program at Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2), having both a...

Faculty & Research

National Survey Examines Emergency Department Management of Deliberate Self-Harm

How routinely do emergency room staff members properly provide help to individuals who present for self-harm? Do they appropriately assess...

SP2 Student Emily Berkowitz presents at the APPAM Student Conference

Student Life

Students Present Policy Research on Housing, Immigration, Harassment

Four students from the Penn School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) shared their research across a wide range of...

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