DORIAN TRAUBE is an associate professor at the USC School of Social Work. Her research agenda focuses on the behavioral health of high-risk adolescents. Traube's research is theory-driven and results in strategies for promoting behavioral and social functioning for high-risk populations of youth between the ages of 13 and 24.
She has made scholarly contributions in three topic areas that assist in translating models of behavioral risk across high-risk adolescent populations. These areas are behavioral health of adolescents affected by AIDS, behavioral health of young men who have sex with men, and behavioral health of child welfare-involved adolescents. In establishing that models of behavioral risk can be translated across various high-risk adolescent populations, Traube hopes to create adolescent behavioral health prevention interventions that can be delivered to multiple at-risk populations. She is currently the principal investigator of a National Institute on Drug Abuse-funded R01 to determine the prevalence and impact of substance use, predictors of substance abuse over the course of adolescent development, and the role that current child welfare services play in ameliorating substance use and abuse. She is also funded by the Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute to validate two mental health screening tools currently used by the Los Angeles County departments of Mental Health and Children and Family Services to screen children in foster care for mental health needs.
Traube teaches the classes “Foundation of Social Work Practice with Individuals” and “Foundation of Social Work Practice with Families, Groups, and Complex Cases.” She is also co-chair of the Mental Health concentration at the USC School of Social Work. In 2006, she was awarded the University of Southern California’s Mellon Mentoring Award in recognition of her efforts to build a supportive environment for graduate student mentoring.
Traube received her doctorate and master's degree in social work from Columbia University, where she was awarded the National Institute of Mental Health pre-doctoral fellowship in mental health services research. Before pursuing her doctorate degree, she was a clinical social worker in a pediatric HIV clinic at New York Presbyterian Hospital and a research analyst at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, Division of Health Services Research.
Despite spending much of her youth preparing for a career in professional dance, it took only six months as part of Columbia University’s MSW program for Dr. Dorian Traube to realize she wanted a career in social work. She was working with blind and developmentally disabled children when it suddenly dawned on her—not everyone could do this, but she could. After finishing her master’s degree, Traube worked with children and adolescents infected or affected by HIV at New York Presbyterian Hospital, where she grew increasingly frustrated by the dearth of evidence-based models for treatment and decided to go back to school to become a researcher.
As a doctoral student at Columbia, Traube continued her work on HIV, spending time in sub-Saharan Africa researching the impact of HIV on orphaned and vulnerable children, focusing her dissertation on the mental health needs of girls with HIV-positive mothers. When Traube joined the USC School of Social Work in 2006, she had to make a slight adjustment to her research focus due to the advent of antiretroviral drugs, which significantly lowered the population of perinatally infected children in Los Angeles.
Traube shifted her attention to the behaviorally infected—specifically, young men who have sex with other men, a population with a high risk of infection. Partnering with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, she began exploring the risks and needs of these young men, and her first federal grant supported a study of the environmental and psychological factors that lead them to engage in high-risk drug and sexual behavior. Traube’s research focuses on methods that can be used immediately to support gay youth, a community that has few social venues or mentors. She is developing a group intervention that will encourage these young men to have a positive, goal-oriented, attainable view of the future.
During the course of her HIV research, she found a common overlap with the child welfare system, prompting her to explore behavioral risks among teens involved with the system. As a consultant for the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare, she began working with state-level child welfare organizations on efforts to integrate substance abuse treatment and child welfare. Traube, who considers social justice the underpinning of social work, has also worked with the African Millennium Foundation to develop and evaluate a village for vulnerable orphans in Mozambique.
As one of the only faculty members at the School of Social Work who does research with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, Traube mentors many students who are interested in pursuing research related to those populations. Students help her conceptualize studies, collect and analyze data, and prepare manuscripts. “If there’s a facet I can put them in, I do,” Traube says, “because I want them to have the most robust research experience they can get.”
Traube, D.E. & McKay, M.M. (in press). Helping Children in Foster Care and Other Residential Placements Succeed in School. The School Services Sourcebook: A Guide for Social Workers, Counselors, and Mental Health Professionals. New York: Oxford University Press.
Traube, D.E., Schrager, S.M., Holloway, I.W., Weiss, G. & Kipke, M. (in press). Effects of contextual risk factors on social cognitive processes related to drug use by young men who have sex with men: A longitudinal study of health disparities related to sexual minority status. Drug and Alcohol Dependence.
Holloway, I.W., Traube, D.E., Kubicek, K., Supan, J., Weiss, G. & Kipke, M.D. (2012). HIV Prevention Service Utilization in the Los Angeles House and Ball Communities: Past Experiences and Recommendations for the Future.AIDS Education and Prevention, 24(5), 431-444.
Traube, D.E. (2012). The Missing Link to Child Safety, Permanency, and Well-Being: Addressing Substance Abuse within the Child Welfare System.Social Work Research, 36(2), 83-87.
Traube, D.E., Kerkorian, D., Cederbaum, J., Bhupali, C. & McKay, M.M. (2012). African American Children’s Perceptions of Participating in Research.Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics.
Traube, D.E., James, S., Zhang, J. & Landsverk, J. (2012). A National Study of Risk and Protective Factors for Substance Use Among Youth in the Child Welfare System. Addictive Behaviors, 37(5), 641-650.
Holloway, I.W., Traube, D.E., Rice, E., Schrager, S.M., Palinkas, L., Richardson, J. & Kipke, M. (2012). Cigarette Smoking Among Young Men Who Have Sex with Men: Exploring Roles of Environmental and Individual Factors. Journal Research on Adolescence, 22(2), 199-205.
Traube, D.E., Pohle, C.E. & Barley, M. (2012). Teaching Evidence-Based Social Work in Foundation Practice Courses. Journal of Evidence Based Social Work, 9(3), 215-231.
Holloway, I.W., Traube, D.E., Levine, B., Alicea, S., Watson, J., Miranda, A. & McKay, M. (2012). Factor analysis and behavioral associations of a short sexual expectancy scale for minority young adolescents. Journal of Society for Social Work and Research, 3(1), 1-12.
Traube, D.E., Holloway, I.W., Schrager, S.M. & Kipke, M. (2012). A test of social action theory for correlates of drug use among young men who have sex with men. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 26(1), 78-88.
Schneiderman, J.U., Traube, D.E. & McDaniel, D. (2011). Improving Access to Pediatric Care: Views of caregivers who receive child welfare services.Public Child Welfare, 5(5), 546-543.
Smith, L., Holloway, I.W. & Traube, D.E. (2011). Theory Development for Behavioral Health Science: Can Excavating Archived Health Promotion Theories Move the Field into the 21st Century?. AIDS Care, 23(6), 663-670.
Bellamy, J.V., Gopalan, G. & Traube, D.E. (2010). A National Study of the Impact of Mental Health Services for Children in Long Term Foster Care.Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 15(4), 467-479.
Traube, D., Mellins, C.A., Dukay, V., Kaaya, S., Wallace, A., Larson, C. & Reyes, H. (2010). Cross-Cultural Validation of the Child Depression Inventory for Use in Tanzanian. Vulnerable Children & Youth Studies , 5(2), 174-187.
Traube, D.E. (2008). A Review of Social Work Practice with Families: A Resiliency Based Approach. Social Development Issues. (pp. 89-91).
McKay, M., Block, M., Mellins, C.A., Traube, D.E., Brackis-Cott, E., Minott, D., Miranda, C., Petterson, J. & Abrams, E. (2007). Adapting a Family-based Prevention Program for HIV-positive Preadolescent and their Families: Youth, Families and Health Care Providers Coming Together to Address Complex Needs. Social Work and Mental Health/ Community Collaborative Partnerships and Empirical Findings: The Foundation for Youth HIV Prevention ( M. McKay (Ed.)), 5(3/4).
Traube, D. & McKay, M.M. (2008). Helping Children in Foster Care and Other Residential Placements Succeed in School. In C. Franklin, M.B. Harris, & P. Allen-Mears (Eds.) The School Practitioner’s Concise Companion to Preventing Dropout and Attendance Problems. New York: Oxford University Press.
McKay, M.M., Traube, D.E., Block, M., Madison-Boyd, S., Baptiste, D., McBride, C., Paikoff, R., Coleman, D., Bell, C.C. & Coleman, I. (2007). Adapting a Family-based HIV Preventive Intervention: Child Level Results from the CHAMP Family Program. Social Work and Mental Health/Community Collaborative Partnerships and Empirical Findings: The Foundation for Youth HIV Prevention (M. McKay (Ed.)), 5(1/2).
Paikoff, R.L., Traube, D.E. & McKay, M.M. (2007). Overview of Community Collaborative Partnerships and Empirical Findings: The Foundation for Youth HIV Prevention. Social Work and Mental Health/Community Collaborative Partnerships and Empirical Findings: The Foundation for Youth HIV Prevention (M. McKay (Ed.)), 5(1/2).
Kerkorian, D. & Traube, D.E. (2007). Understanding the African American Research Experience (KAARE): Implications for HIV Prevention. Social Work and Mental Health/ Community Collaborative Partnerships and Empirical Findings: The Foundation for Youth HIV Prevention ( M. McKay (Ed.)), 5(3/4).
Traube, D.E., Taber-Chasse, K., Bhorade, A., Sewell, S., McKay, M., Paikoff, R. & CHAMP Collaborative Board (2007). Urban African American Pre-adolescent Social Problem Solving Skills: Family Influences and Association with Exposure to Situations of Sexual Possibility. Social Work and Mental Health/Community Collaborative Partnerships and Empirical Findings: The Foundation for Youth HIV Prevention (M. McKay (Ed.)), 5(1/2).
Traube, D.E. & McKay, M.M. (2006). Helping Children in Foster Care and Other Residential Placements Succeed in School. In C. Franklin, M.B. Harris, & P. Allen-Mears (Eds.) The School Services Sourcebook: A Guide for Social Workers, Counselors, and Mental Health Professionals. New York: Oxford University Press.
Bellamy, J., Bledsoe, S.E., Traube, D.E. & Kaaya, S. (2006). The Current State of Evidence Based Practice in Social Work: A Review of the Literature and Qualitative Analysis of Expert Interviews. Journal of Evidence Based Social Work, 6(1), 23-48.
Dean, K., Devoe, E.R., Traube, D.E., Kaaya, S., Larson, C., Mellins, C., Thompson, J., Wallis, A. & Larson, L. (2005). The SURVIVE Community Project: A Family-Based Intervention to Reduce the Impact of Violence Exposures in Urban Youth. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, and Trauma, 11(4), 95-116.