Carol Cleaveland, PhD

Carol Cleaveland, PhD

Associate Professor, Social Work

Faculty Directory

Research Focus

My research explores the life trajectories of Latinos who have been forced by violence and/or economic inequality/poverty to migrate to the United States. My recent work has focused primarily on factors contributing to the development of disorders such as PTSD among Latina immigrants from Central America, with particular focus on human smuggling. I am interested in a sustainability projects because scholars of global migration predict further displacement of low-income workers by virtue of climate change and the rendering of some areas as inhospitable by these processes. Factors such as larger and more frequent hurricanes could compel future migrant trajectories from Central America and Mexico in the future.

Current Projects

■ Examination of social determinants of Latina health outcomes through a multi-modality exploration of past traumatic experiences and current psychosocial stressors.

■ A study of Central American asylum seekers that examines their experiences in their countries of origin as well as experiences in the asylum legal process in the United States.

Select Publications

■ Cleaveland, C., & Frankenfeld, C. (2019). “They Kill People Over Nothing”: An Exploratory Study of Latina Immigrant Trauma. Journal of Social Service Research, 1-17.

■ Cleaveland, C., & Kirsch, V. (2019). “They took all my clothes and made me walk naked for two days so I couldn’t escape”: Latina immigrant experiences of human smuggling in Mexico. Qualitative Social Work.

■ Goodman, R.D., et al. (2017). Trauma and resilience among refugee and undocumented immigrant women. Journal of Counseling & Development, 95(3), 309-321.

■ Cleaveland, C., & Shutika, D.L. (2018). “Wouldn’t You Walk Away?” Foreclosures and Homeowner Understandings. Families in Society.



Phone: 703-993-2597



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