• McMahon-Cannizzo, Sarah
  • Associate Director and Associate Professor
  • Department: The Center on Violence Against Women and Children at the School of Social Work School of Social Work
  • Tel: : 848-932-4393
  • Office: SSW -390 George Street
  • Webpage: Visit Website


Ph.D., Rutgers University, 2005

Research Interests

Professor McMahon's interests include the etiology, prevention, and measurement of violence against women and children.

Biographical Notes

Using quantitative and qualitative methods, Dr. McMahon's research has explored the role of gender, subculture membership, sense of community, and individual perceptions and behaviors related to violence. She is currently pursuing research on the effectiveness of community-level prevention efforts such as bystander intervention that are aimed at changing the social norms that support relationship abuse and sexual violence. Her work includes an emphasis on developing culturally appropriate measurement tools and research methodologies. In addition to her role as Assistant Professor, Dr. McMahon serves as Associate Director of the Center on Violence Against Women & Children at the School of Social Work where she oversees community-based research projects and the development of a specialized Master's certificate.

Selected Publications

  • McMahon, S. & Armstrong, D. A. (2012). Domestic violence during pregnancy: Best practices for social workers. Health and Social Work, 37 (1), 9 – 17.
  • Postmus, J., Plummer, S., McMahon, S., Murshid, S, & Kim, M. S. (2012). Understanding economic abuse in the lives of survivors. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 27 (3), 411-430.
  • McMahon, S. & Banyard, V.L. (2012). When can I help? A conceptual framework for preventing violence through bystander intervention. Trauma, Violence & Abuse, 13 (1), 3 - 14.
  • McMahon, S., & Schwartz, R. (2011). A Review of Rape in the Social Work Literature: A Call to Action. Affilia: Journal Of Women & Social Work, 26(3), 250-263.
  • McMahon, S. (2011). Changes in perceptions of sexual violence over time. Invited paper for Applied Research project, VAWnet.org, National Online Resource Center on Violence Against Women. Peer reviewed by panel of researchers and practitioners.
  • McMahon, S., Huang, C., Boxer, P., & Postmus, J.L. The impact of emotional and physical violence during pregnancy on maternal and child health at one year post-partum. Children and Youth Services Review. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2011.06.001 (published June 13, 2011).
  • Postmus, J.L., McMahon, S., Warrener, C. & Macri, L.(2011). Factors that influence attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors of MSW students towards survivors of violence. Journal of Social Work Education, 47 (2), 303-319
  • McMahon, S. & Farmer, G.L. (2011). An updated measure of subtle rape myths. Social Work Research, 35 (2), 71 – 80.
  • McMahon, S. & Dick, A. (2011). "Being in a room with like-minded men": An exploratory study of men's participation in a bystander intervention program to prevent Intimate Partner Violence. The Journal of Men's Studies, 19 (1), 3 – 18.
  • McMahon, S., Postmus, J., & Koenick, R.A. (2011). Engaging Bystanders: A primary prevention approach to sexual violence on campus. Journal of College Student Development, 15 (1), 115 – 130.
  • McMahon, S. (2010). Rape myth beliefs and bystander attitudes among incoming college students. Journal of American College Health, 59 (1), 1 – 11.
  • McMahon, S., & Farmer, G.L. (2009). The bystander approach: Strengths-based sexual assault prevention with at-risk groups. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment. 19 (8), 1042- 1065.
  • McMahon, S. (2009). Hearing from student-athlete peer educators: A qualitative study of the impact of participation in an interpersonal violence peer education group. Academic Athletic Journal, 20 (1), 1 -28.
  • McMahon, S. (2007). Understanding community specific rape myths: Exploring student-athlete culture. Affilia, 22 (4), 357-370.
  • Farmer, G. L. & McMahon, S. (2005). Scale for the identification of acquaintance rape attitudes: Reliability and factorial invariance. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 11(3/4), 213 - 235.

Courses Offered

  • Methods in Social Work Research I
  • Methods in Social Work Research II
  • Family Violence/ Violence & Abuse in Adulthood
  • Women's Issues
  • Social Welfare & Policies II- Violence Against Women & Children
  • Public Child Welfare Intensive Weekend Program- Family Violence & Research Methods