Dr. Caitlin Elsaesser is a licensed clinical social worker who completed her MSW and PhD from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. The overall aim of Dr. Elsaesser’s work is to work in partnership with communities to create health promotion efforts that are empowering and accessible for youth living in disinvested urban neighborhoods. Dr. Elsaesser’s work is guided by close attention to adolescent development, critical feminist theories, and an intersectional lens. Her career as a researcher is built on a decade of direct experience working with Black and Latino adolescents, first as a high school teacher and later as a social worker social worker in Chicago.
Recently, one area of Dr. Elsaesser’s work has focused on cyberbanging, an emerging form of youth violence occurring on social media, also implicated in other forms of youth violence. In partnership with Hartford violence prevention agencies, she launched a study to develop a measure of cyberbanging, critical to understanding the connection between cyberbanging and youth violence, as well as to identifying mechanisms for intervention.
Dr. Elsaesser has two young children, who are her greatest teachers. She is also a longtime Buddhist mindfulness practitioner, having attended many silent retreats. Her perspective as a mother and mindfulness practitioner inform all parts of her work.