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Meghan Shanahan, PhD
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Meghan Shanahan, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Maternal and Child Health
Research Scientist
Injury Prevention Research Center
  • 137 E. Franklin St, Ste. 500, Rm. 500-F, Chapel Hill NC 27599-7505

Dr. Shanahan is a research assistant professor in the Department of Maternal and Child Health and a research scientist at the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center. 

The underlying motivation for Dr. Shanahan’s research is to improve the health and developmental trajectories of children. Her research focuses on adverse events that potentially influence these trajectories and prevent children from realizing their full potential. Child maltreatment is one obvious insult to the health and development of children and, therefore, documenting the magnitude, etiology, and impact of child maltreatment has been a focus of Dr. Shanahan’s work. Examining prevention strategies to reduce child abuse and neglect has become another main focal point of her research. She has evaluated prevention strategies at both the family and the policy level in North Carolina. Dr. Shanahan is also interested in examining the impact of prescription and illicit opioid use on parenting and, subsequently, child development, as well as the effects of experiencing intimate partner violence. She is also committed to translating research into tangible products and policies that have an impact on children and families. 

Honors and Awards

Teaching Excellence and Innovation Award Gillings School of Global Public Health, UNC-CH

2018, UNC-CH

Delta Omega

2015, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Gillings School of Global Public Health

Representative Courses

MHCH 625 - Injury and Violence as a Public Health Problem

Research Activities

Principal Investigator, Prescription Drug Overdose: Prevention for States.

Principal Investigator, Implementation of the Essentials for Childhood: Safe, Stable, Nurturing Relationships and Environments.


Service Activities

2018  Department of Maternal and Child Health Doctoral Comprehensive Exam

2017-present  Department of Maternal and Child Health, Master’s Committee

2016-present  Department of Maternal and Child Health, Alumni Committee

2015-present  Project NO REST

Practice Activities

Infant abandonment and maltreatment. Child Fatality Task Force Intentional Death Committee. November 8th, 2017. Raleigh, NC.

Child maltreatment and opioids. Child Fatality Task Force Intentional Death Committee. October 10th, 2017. Raleigh, NC.

Overdose risk among justice involved individuals. NC DHHS Opioid and Prescription Drug Advisory Committee. September 29th, 2017. Raleigh, NC.

Prescription Drug Overdose: Prevention for States evaluation and surveillance projects. Tracking and Measuring the Opioid Epidemic as a Prevention Tool Webinar. August 17th, 2017.


Key Publications

Prescription opioid use among young parents in the United States. Results from the National Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. Austin A, Shanahan ME (1970). Pain Medicine.

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

Association of childhood abuse and prescription opioid use in early adulthood. A Austin, M Shanahan, B Zvara (2018). Addictive behaviors, 76.

Child Maltreatment Surveillance Improvement Opportunities: A Wake County, North Carolina Pilot Project. M Shanahan, M Fliss, S Proescholdbell (2018). North Carolina medical journal, 79(2), 88-93.

Quantifying sources of bias in longitudinal data linkage studies of child abuse and neglect: measuring impact of outcome specification, linkage error, and partial cohort follow-up. J Parrish, M Shanahan, P Schnitzer, P Lanier, J Daniels, S Marshall (2017). Injury epidemiology, 4(1), 23.

Education

PhD, Maternal and Child Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Gillings School of Global Public Health, 2010

MPH, Maternal and Child Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Gillings School of Global Public Health, 2006

BA, Biology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2001

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