Yale Child Study Center, Yale University
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network
Department of Psychology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Dr. Jones and his team have studied the influence of major technological and natural disasters on children's functioning for the past 30 years. His research team completed a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) grant assessing the impact of residential fire on children and their parents. Two recent grants from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) enabled his group to study both injured and non-injured children following fire-related trauma. The ascertainment of mediators and moderators of distress, including coping and social support, is also an important target area.
Dr. Jones is interested in studying the impact of traumatic events on children and their parents. On January 19, 2006, Dr. Jones served as one of three speakers at an American Psychological Association sponsored educational congressional briefing entitled "The Public Health Response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita -- Applying Lessons Learned". His presentation focused on the range of mental health and substance abuse needs identified during his onsite visits to Louisiana and Mississippi in the weeks following Katrina. Highlighting problems in pediatric populations, Dr. Jones discussed the activities of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and the need to take corrective actions to restore the eroded infrastructure for administering mental health services.
Russell T. Jones (right), professor of psychology in the College of Science, greets First Lady Laura Bush and Pastor R. Dennis Watson in Baton Rouge, La. recently. Jones, an expert on the psychological effects of trauma and natural disasters on children, and a member of the Terrorism and Disaster Branch of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, was called upon by the White House to help prepare the first lady prior to her visit with children displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Jones has made numerous trips to the Gulf Coast to assist in disaster relief efforts since Katrina struck last August. He led the first crisis counseling team of its kind to the hardest hit regions of Mississippi.