Gillings School Directory

Meghan Shanahan, PhD

Dr. Meghan Shanahan

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 an 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

Sensitive periods for the association between childhood maltreatment and BMI. Sokol RL, Gottfredson NC, Poti JM, Shanahan ME, Halpern CT, Fisher EB, Ennett ST. (2020). American Journal of Preventative Medicine, 57(4), 495-502.

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. (2020).

The Mortality After Release from Incarceration Consortium (MARIC): Protocol for a multi-national, individual participant data meta-analysis. Borschmann R, Tibble H, Spittal MJ, Preen D, Pirkis J, Larney S, Rosen DL, Young J, Love A, Altice FL, Binswanger IA, Bukten A, Butler T, Chang Z, Chen CY, Clausen T, Christensen P, Culbert, G, Degengardt L, Dirkzwager AJE, Dolan K, Fazel S, Fischbacher C, Giles M, Graham L, Harding D, Huang YF, Huber F, Karaminia A, Kouyoumdjian FG, Lim S, Møller L, Moniruzzaman A, Morenoff J, O’Moore E, Pizzicato LN, Pratt D, Proescholdbell SK, Ranapurwala SI, Shanahan ME, Shaw J, Somers J, Spaulding A, Stern MF, Viner KM, Wang N, Willoughby M, Kinner SA. (2020). Journal of Population Data Science, 5(1), 6-13.

Patterns of risk and protective factors among Alaska children and differential associations with indicators of maternal and child wellbeing. Austin AE, Gottfredson NC, Halpern CT, Zolotor AJ, Marshall SW, Parrish JW, Shanahan ME. (2020). Child Development.

Patterns of Adverse Childhood Experiences and subsequent risk of interpersonal violence perpetration among men in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Zietz S, Kajula L, Reyes HLM, Moracco B, Shanahan M, Martin S, Maman S. (2019). Child Abuse & Neglect, 99(104256).

Impact of a community-based naloxone distribution program on opioid overdose death rates. Naumann RB, Durrance CP, Ranapurwala SI, Austin AE, Proescholdbell S, Childs R, Marshall SW, Kansagra S, Shanahan ME. (2019). Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 204.

Preconception and prenatal predictors of early experiences of risk and protection among Alaska children. Austin AE, Gottfredson NC, Marshall SW, Halpern CT, Zolotor AJ, Parrish JW, Shanahan ME. (2019). Maternal and Child Health Journal, 24.

Restrictive housing during incarceration is associated with increased post-release mortality. Brinkley-Rubinstein L, Sivaraman JC, Rosen DL, Cloud DH, Junker G, Proescholdbell S, Shanahan ME, Ranapurwala S. (2019). JAMA Network Open, 2(10).

A quasi-experimental effectiveness study of Triple P on Child Maltreatment. Schilling S, Lanier P, Rose RA, Shanahan M, Zolotor AJ. (2019). Journal of Family Violence.

Implementing the Essentials for Childhood Initiative: Establishing Safe, Stable, Nurturing Relationships and Environments in North Carolina. Shanahan ME, Ries M, Joyner C, Zolotor AJ.  (2019). International Journal of Child Maltreatment, 1(2), 179–193.

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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