Gillings School Directory

Anna Austin, PhD

Anna Austin

Anna Austin, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Maternal and Child Health
Research Scientist
UNC Injury Prevention Research Center
  • 414 Rosenau Hall, CB #7445
  • 135 Dauer Drive
  • Chapel Hill, NC 27599

Dr. Austin is an assistant professor in the Department of Maternal and Child Health and a research scientist at the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center. She is trained in epidemiology and maternal and child health with a research focus on risk and protective factors in child health and development and population-level strategies to promote child and family wellbeing. Her current research centers on the primary prevention of child abuse and neglect and substance use among pregnant and parenting women. She has experience and interest in applying advanced statistical methods, linking existing survey and administrative data sources and partnering with state and local agencies to advance the maternal and child health research and practice agenda.

Dr. Austin has partnered with the Injury and Violence Prevention Branch, Women's and Children's Health Section and State Center for Health Statistics at the North Carolina Division of Public Health as well as the Wake County Division of Child Welfare on research and practice related to child abuse and neglect and substance use disorders.

Honors and Awards

Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health

2019, Gillings School of Global Public Health

Dissertation Completion Fellowship

2018-2019, UNC Graduate School

Maternal and Child Health Section Outstanding Student Author

2018, American Public Health Association

Reproductive, Perinatal, and Pediatric Epidemiology T32 trainee

2017-2018, Gillings School of Global Public Health

Hillary B. Foulkes “Fellow of the Year” Award

2015, CDC/CSTE

Service Activities

- Member, Safe Kids North Carolina Advisory Board (2019-present)

- Member, Editorial Board for the Journal of Family Violence (2019-present)

- Mentor, UNC Injury and Violence Prevention Fellowship (2019-2020)

Practice Activities

Plans of Safe Care: Intersection of Child Welfare with the Opioid Epidemic. 2019. North Carolina Opioid Misuse and Overdose Prevention Summit.

North Carolina Opioid Action Plan, ACEs and Opioid Misuse Work Group. 2019. North Carolina Division of Public Health.

An Introduction to Latent Class Analysis. 2018. Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.

The Prescription Opioid Epidemic: Potential Impacts on Children. 2017 Safe Kids North Carolina Injury Prevention Conference.

Key Publications

Heterogeneity in risk and protection among Alaska Native/American Indian and non- Native children. Austin AE, Gottfredson NC, Marshall SW, Halpern CT, Zolotor AJ, Parrish JW, Shanahan ME (2019). Prevention Science.

Trajectories of child protective services contact among Alaska Native/American Indian and non-Native children. Austin AE, Gottfredson NC, Zolotor AJ, Halpern CT, Marshall SW, Naumann RB,Shanahan ME (2019). Child Abuse & Neglect, 95.

Directed acyclic graphs: An under-utilized tool for child maltreatment research. Austin AE, Desrosiers TD, Shanahan ME (2019). Child Abuse & Neglect, 91.

Screening children for social determinants of health: A systematic review. Sokol RL, Austin AE, Chandler C, Byrum E, Bosquette J, Lancaster C, Doss G, Dotson A, Urbaeva V, Singichetti B. Brevard K, Wright S, Lanier P, Shanahan ME (2019). Pediatrics, 144(4), 1-17.

Association of childhood abuse and neglect with prescription opioid misuse: Examination of mediation by adolescent depressive symptoms and pain. Austin AE, Shanahan ME (2018). Children and Youth Services Review, 86.

Prescription opioid use among young parents in the United States: Results from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. Austin AE, Shanahan ME (2017). Pain Medicine, 18(12), 2361-2368.

Association of adverse childhood experiences with life course health and development. Austin AE (2018). North Carolina Medical Journal, 79(2), 99-103.

Improved ascertainment of pregnancy-associated suicides and homicides in North Carolina. Austin AE, Vladuitu C, Jones-Vessey K, Proescholdbell SK, Norwood T, Menard MK (2016). American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 51(5), 234-240.

Adverse childhood experiences related to poor adult health among lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals. Austin AE, Herrick HWB, Proescholdbell SK (2016). American Journal of Public Health, 106(2), 314-20.


PhD, Maternal and Child Health, Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health, 2019

MPH, Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Yale University School of Public Health, 2013

BS, BA, Statistics, Psychology, University of Missouri-Columbia, 2011

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