Arlene Weisz

Arlene Weisz


(313) 577-4420

Arlene Weisz


Professor Arlene Weisz joined the faculty in 1995 after working as a psychotherapist in several different settings in Chicago. Dr. Weisz has recently co-authored a book that gathers and disseminates practice wisdom and research from respected youth dating violence and sexual assault prevention programs across North America. She has collaborated with colleagues to develop sexual assault and dating violence prevention programs for middle schools and Wayne State University students. Her research interests include youth dating violence, sexual assault prevention, and family/domestic violence. She is currently preparing manuscripts on several aspects of teen dating violence and domestic violence.

Click here to view Curriculum Vitae

Degrees and Certifications

  • Ph.D., Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • M.S.W., Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • A.B., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Teaching Interests

  • Family Systems Theory and Practice
  • Social Research
  • Dynamics and INtervention in Families Violence
  • Interpersonal Practice in Substance Abuse
  • Social Work Practice Methods
  • Human Behavior and the Social Environment
  • Theories of Addiction

Areas of Expertise


  • Dating violence
  • Sexual assault prevention
  • Family/domestic violence


  • Mixed methods

Research Project

Evaluation of Victim's Experiences with the Detroit Police Department

Role: Co-Principle Investigator. An evaluation of victims' experiences with the Detroit Police Department, funded by the Office of Justice Programs. As part of a 12-year collaboration with the Detroit Police Department Domestic Violence Unit, Dr. Weisz and Neva Nahan assisted in evaluating services provided to women seeking police assistance. We collaborated with WSU's Center for Urban Studies to conduct 187 victim interviews. The interviews have a special focus on the women's experiences with getting and using Personal Protection Orders (PPOs), because information about urban battered women's experiences with PPOs is scarce. These interviews allowed us to update our knowledge of the needs and views of battered women in Detroit.

Focus groups on youth views on dating violence, especially technological abuse.

For further details on other research, see Center for Social Work Research:

Office Location

5447 Woodward Avenue, Rm 251

Courses Taught

SW 9220 Theories for Practice and Research with Groups and Families

SW 9430 Dissertation Seminar

SW 9500 Advanced Clinical Social Work Theory

Grand Challenges Project

Teen Dating Violence Prevention in Schools
Weisz has written extensively on research and evidence-based best practices from youth dating violence and sexual assault prevention programs across North America and contributed to the development of programs for middle schools and Wayne State University students. With colleagues from Tulane University and the University of Washington, she authored a brief entitled “Preventing Teen Dating Violence” to suggest research and practice priorities under AASWSW’s “Stop Family Violence” challenge. Weisz and her colleagues call for increased research on “upstream” risk and protective factors within macro and mezzo systems that may influence prevention, noting these have been under-investigated compared to individual-level correlates. School-based programming and policy should also be shored up and states should mandate teen dating programs while guarding against one-size-fits-all protocols, the authors say. Prevention programming must also be tailored to the diverse experiential realities of adolescents. Learn more

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