School of Public Health

Kernic, Mary

Mary A. Kernic

Research Associate Professor, Epidemiology


PhD Epidemiology, University of Washington, 2000
MPH Epidemiology, University of Washington, 1996

Contact Info

Office F-161B, Health Sciences Building
Box 357236
Department of Epidemiology
Seattle, WA 98105
Tel: 206-685-1716

Dr. Kernic specializes in family violence research, with interest areas on the antecedents and consequences of intimate partner violence (IPV) on victims and their children; and empirical research on the civil, criminal and family law processes and interventions involving families with a history of intimate partner violence and child maltreatment. She has interest and expertise in advanced research methods including time-dependent survival analyses, propensity score matching procedures, multiple imputation procedures, and the use of extensive and diverse administrative databases (often in conjunction with research-driven data collection methods) and has served as epidemiologic lead on a number of injury epidemiology research grants.

Dr. Kernic has served as Principal Investigator (PI) on a number of National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Justice (NIJ), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) research grants. Currently, she is PI on an NIJ study examining the impact of parenting evaluators on the legal protections awarded in custody and visitation agreements between parents with a history of intimate partner violence and the degree to which those legal protections are associated with post-divorce IPV and child maltreatment.

She is also PI on a National Institute of Child Health and Human Development study examining post-divorce IPV and child maltreatment associated with attorney representation of the IPV victim and secondary to the legal protections awarded in divorce cases involving children in common with an IPV abusive spouse.

Beginning in January 2018, Dr. Kernic will also serve as Research PI in an NIJ-sponsored cooperative research study with the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office Domestic Violence Unit’s Prosecuting Attorney and PI, David Martin, JD. This study will examine the factors and resource needs of victims involved in IPV criminal cases and civil domestic violence protection order filings and the subsequent prosecutorial and recidivistic outcomes of these civil and criminal cases.

Dr. Kernic has a primary appointment in the Department of Epidemiology; serves as Interim Chair of the Epidemiology Department’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee; and is an Affiliate faculty member with the UWSPH Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health.


  • Impact of Legal Representation on Child Custody Decisions among Families with a History of Intimate Partner Violence Study (National Institute of Justice sponsored study, PI: Kernic)
  • Interdisciplinary Evaluation of Child Custody Decision-making among IPV Families (National Institute of Justice sponsored study, PI: Kernic)
  • Child Custody Protections and Post-Dissolution Occurrences of Intimate Partner Violence and Child Abuse: Long Term Effects of Legal Representation for Victims (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development sponsored study, PI: Kernic)
  • #WhyIStayed: A Study of IPV Victim Recantation and Non-Cooperation in the Criminal Justice System (National Institute of Justice sponsored study, King County Prosecuting Attorney Office PI: Martin; UW Research PI: Kernic)

Research Interests

  • Intimate partner violence and child maltreatment
  • Public health law research
  • Social disparities of health
  • Epidemiological methods
  • Injury epidemiology
  • Psychiatric epidemiology

Teaching Interests

Dr. Kernic is interested in working with master's and doctoral level students with an interest in violence research, advanced methods and use of large administrative databases, empirical research at the intersection of law/legal-public health research, social disparities of health research and psychiatric epidemiology. Dr. Kernic has available data affording opportunities for master's and doctoral level students for a variety of IPV and child maltreatment focused areas, including an 11 year cohort of extensive data of divorcing couples with a history of IPV and children in common.


In The News

Repeat Domestic Violence More Likely When Weapons Used, Study Finds
SPH News, 02/27/2014

Repeat Domestic Violence More Likely When Weapons Used
Violence Against Women, 02/23/2014