Jennifer O'Brien

Jennifer O'Brien

Associate Professor
Research Affiliate
Associate Professor
Phone: (603) 862-2818
Office: Social Work, Pettee Hall, Durham, NH 03824

Jennifer O'Brien is an Associate Professor (with tenure) in the Department of Social Work and affiliated with the Crimes against Children Research Center (CCRC) at the University of New Hampshire. Her areas of research include childhood sexual abuse, the commercialized sexual exploitation of children (CSEC), and Internet victimization. Dr. O’Brien received her Ph.D. in Social Work in 2017 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her MSW from Smith College School of Social Work in 2010. A licensed clinician, Dr. O’Brien’s research interests stem from her practice experiences both domestically and abroad with survivors of sexual abuse and trauma. Currently, Dr. O’Brien is working on several projects including: the role of technology in the lives of youth who trade sex, law enforcement’s response to victims (and survivors) of CSEC, and CSEC survivor’s treatment needs and preferences. Her work is published in a variety of peer-reviewed journals, and has been presented at conferences world-wide.

Courses Taught

  • SW 797/897: Special Topics
  • SW 830: Social Work Practice I
  • SW 831: Social Work Practice II
  • SW 850: Human Behavior & Soc Environ I
  • SW 870: Intimate Partner Violence
  • SW 952: HBSE III
  • SW 992: Special Projects & Ind Study


  • Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • M.S.W., Smith College
  • B.A., University of Texas at Austin
  • B.S., University of Texas at Austin

Research Interests

  • Adolescent Sexual Behavior
  • At-Risk Children/Youth
  • Child Abuse/Neglect

Selected Publications

  • O'Brien, J. E., Brewer, K. B., Jones, L. M., Corkhum, J., & Rizo, C. F. (2022). Rigor and Respect: Recruitment Strategies for Engaging Vulnerable Populations in Research. JOURNAL OF INTERPERSONAL VIOLENCE, 37(17-18), NP17052-NP17072. doi:10.1177/08862605211023497

  • O'Brien, J., Finkelhor, D., & Jones, L. (2022). Improving services for youth survivors of commercial sexual exploitation: Insights from interventions with other high-risk youth. CHILDREN AND YOUTH SERVICES REVIEW, 132. doi:10.1016/j.childyouth.2021.106313

  • Williamson, E., O'Brien, J., Jones, L., Mitchell, K., & Dunford, L. (2020). Featured counter-trafficking program: Love146. CHILD ABUSE & NEGLECT, 100. doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2019.104131