About the MAKE IT Lab

Welcome to the Moms’ and Kids’ Experiences in Transition (MAKE IT) Lab!

Led by Dr. Jen Hardesty in collaboration with Dr. Brian Ogolsky, the MAKE IT lab addresses the problem of intimate partner violence (IPV), especially after parental separation and divorce. Although women are encouraged to leave abusive partners to protect themselves and their children, they often face heightened risks after separation. Violence and coercive control may continue, sometimes escalating, and women experience harassment and fears for their own and their children’s safety. It is against this backdrop that mothers and children enter into court systems seeking safety and relief. Our research team seeks to understand these intersecting experiences.

We investigate a number of interrelated research questions using quantitative, qualitative, and experimental methods, including:

  1. Are there meaningful differences in women’s experiences with IPV and parenting after separation with an abusive former partner?
  2. Do different types of IPV in relationships predict post separation coparenting and relationship trajectories?
  3. How do family court professionals factor IPV and post separation risk into decisions about child custody and parenting plans?

As a whole, the MAKE IT lab’s research challenges one-size-fits-all approaches to IPV and post separation parenting with implications for family court professionals and family policy.