Center for Applied and Community Research (CACR)

Our mission is to advance excellence in social science research, training, knowledge transfer and exchange at the School of Social Work and to extend this work to the broader Simmons research community. We integrate research, teaching, and practice using an interdisciplinary approach, thereby building a bridge between academic science and community science.

CACR Events

2014-2015 Colloquium Series

In our efforts to highlight ongoing community research in the Simmons College community, the CACR hosts a montly colloquium featuring Simmons faculty and community partners. All colloquia will take place in the Brackett Room, P304-E, on the third floor of the Palace Road Building, Simmons College.

Thursday, November 13th, 11:00-12:00pm

Exploring Activity Patterns and Portfolios of Older Adults in Later Life
  • Michelle Putnam, PhD, Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Research, Simmons College School of Social Work

This presentation reports on the findings of an NIA R21 award investigating activity patterns and portfolios of older adults in later life. The study developed a measurement approach for statistically modeling participation in multiple activities as predictors of global health and wellness outcomes. The measurement approach and statistical modeling was replicated across three large public use longitudinal data sets: Panel Study on Income Dynamics, Health and Retirement Study, and the Mid-Life in the United States survey. Initial activity variables and measures were derived through content analysis procedures and exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. Statistical modeling procedures included latent class analysis and variants of regression analysis. Findings to date have been reported in The Gerontologist and The Journals of Gerontology, Social Sciences with additional publications in preparation. Next steps include preparation of an R01 application to NIA to investigate longitudinal patterns in activity engagement in later life.

Thursday, Januray 29th, 2:30-4:00pm

Crisis Care: A Smartphone Application Intervention for Suicidal Adolescents
  • Kimberly O'Brien, PhD, LICSW, Simmons College School of Social Work
  • Mary LeCloux, LICSW, PhD Candidate, Simmons College School of Social Work
  • Christina Gironda, MSW Candidate, Simmons College School of Social Work
  • Elizabeth Wharff, PhD, MSW, LICSW, Boston Children's Hospital

This presentation reports on the findings of a study testing the acceptability and usability of a web-based prototype of a smartphone application (app) intervention for suicidal adolescents and their parents/caregivers. The app contains an adolescent mode and an adult mode, and is designed for use at the time of discharge from acute care settings that treat suicidal adolescents. The goal of the app is to provide direct assistance to the adolescent and parent/caregiver when the adolescent is experiencing a suicidal crisis. The study was conducted in accordance with Stage 1a behavioral intervention research guidelines. The findings will inform the development of a Stage 1b pilot trial to establish initial efficacy, to be followed by a Stage II clinical trial pending favorable results.

Thursday, February 26th, 2:30-4:00pm

Single Subject Design: Evaluating Interventions One Session at a Time
  • Judah B. Axe, PhD, BCBA-D, Simmons College School of Social Work
  • Brandon Herscovitch, PhD, BCBA-D, ABACS, LLC
  • Meghan Clausen, MS, BCBA, ABACS, LLC, Simmons College School of Social Work

Single subject design is a research methodology useful for tracking the improvement in an individual's behavior before and after an intervention is applied. It is a rigorous methodology where experimental control is demonstrated through replications of changes in the dependent variable when, and only when, the independent variable is introduced. The presenters will share applications of single subject design in their research and practice with students with autism and other developmental disabilities who are learning communication, academic, and social skills. We hope to generate discussion on how single subject design can be applied in other contexts and with other populations.


  • David S. Robinson, Ed.D.