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Michael Hurlburt - USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. Los Angeles, CA, US

Michael Hurlburt Michael Hurlburt

Associate Professor, Director of Doctoral Programs and Chair of PhD Program | USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work


Dr. Hurlburt focuses on behavioral health interventions for improving the relationships and emotional health of children and families


Michael Hurlburt is an associate professor. His career is devoted to scholarship that advances research and conceptually guided strategies for improving the reach and impact of behavioral health interventions designed to improve the relationships and emotional health of children and families, with an emphasis on maltreatment prevention.

With support from a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) career development award, his initial work in clinical epidemiology helped to provide a uniquely detailed understanding of services that families receive in mental health and child welfare settings. That work moved the dialogue about empirically supported interventions beyond a focus only on the use of specific, fully-packaged intervention models and into a space where it is possible to communicate about common elements (content and techniques) of such programs and the degree to which existing services match with such elements. Hurlburt currently conducts research examining processes for implementing practice innovations in mental health and child welfare settings and has written theoretical articles that provide a framework for understanding forces that influence dissemination, implementation and sustainment of practice innovations. His current R01 tests a theory-guided process for implementation of a maltreatment prevention program.

With support from a social innovations grant from the USC Price School of Public Policy, Hurlburt chairs a research-practice collaborative in San Diego County focused on local community-based primary maltreatment prevention, building on his expertise in parenting interventions and strategies for community-based implementation. He reviews for more than a dozen leading journals in social work, psychology, psychiatry, pediatrics and health services research. He regularly serves as an expert for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and national scientific organizations in Europe. In 2012, he was recognized as Public Citizen of the Year by the California Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers for his research, service and mentorship of students and other faculty.

To reference the work of Michael Hurlburt online, we ask that you directly quote their work where possible and attribute it to "Michael Hurlburt, a faculty at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work” (LINK: https://dworakpeck.usc.edu)

Education (3)

University of California, San Diego: PhD 1997

University of California, San Diego: MA 1993

University of California, Santa Barbara: BA 1990

Areas of Expertise (5)

Emotional Health

Children & Families

Social Work

Social Work Education

Behavioral Interventions

Industry Expertise (4)

Health and Wellness



Social Services

Accomplishments (2)

State Public Citizen of the Year Award, National Association of Social Workers - California Chapter (professional)


Public Citizen of the Year Award, National Association of Social Workers - San Diego and Imperial Counties Chapter (professional)



Research Articles & Publications (3)

Advancing a Conceptual Model of Evidence-Based Practice Implementation in Public Service Sectors

Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research

Aarons, G. A., Hurlburt, M., & Horwitz, S. M.

2011 Implementation science is a quickly growing discipline. Lessons learned from business and medical settings are being applied but it is unclear how well they translate to settings with different historical origins and customs (e.g., public mental health, social service, alcohol/drug sectors). The purpose of this paper is to propose a multi-level, four phase model of the implementation process (i.e., Exploration, Adoption/Preparation, Implementation, Sustainment), derived from extant literature, and apply it to public sector services...

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Mixed Method Designs in Implementation Research

Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research

Palinkas, Lawrence A., Gregory A. Aarons, Sarah Horwitz, Patricia Chamberlain, Michael Hurlburt, and John Landsverk

2010 This paper describes the application of mixed method designs in implementation research in 22 mental health services research studies published in peer-reviewed journals over the last 5 years. Our analyses revealed 7 different structural arrangements of qualitative and quantitative methods, 5 different functions of mixed methods, and 3 different ways of linking quantitative and qualitative data together. Complexity of design was associated with number of aims or objectives, study context, and phase of implementation examined...

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Mental Health Care for Children With Disruptive Behavior Problems: A View Inside Therapists' Offices

Psychiatric Services

Garland, Ann F., Lauren Brookman-Frazee, Michael S. Hurlburt, Erin C. Accurso, Rachel J. Zoffness, Rachel Haine-Schlagel, and William Ganger

2010 More money is spent on treatment for mental illness among children in the United States than for any other childhood medical condition ( 1 ). Unfortunately, outcome data on the effectiveness of community-based psychotherapeutic care are discouraging ( 2 , 3 , 4 ), and virtually nothing is known about what types of psychotherapeutic care are delivered in usual care settings, making it difficult to know how to target care improvement ( 5 , 6 , 7 ). National research and policy initiatives call for dissemination and implementation of evidence-based practices in usual care ( 8 )...

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