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School of Social and Political Science: Staff profiles


Franziska Meinck

Franziska Meinck
Dr Franziska Meinck
2.02 Chrystal Macmillan Building 15a George Square Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
+44 (0) 131 651 1785
Research Interests
Violence against Children, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, Intervention Research, Violence Prevention, Child Abuse, Families and HIV, HIV/AIDS, Violence Measurement, Parenting Programmes, Social Determinants of Health, adverse childhood experiences, sexual risk behaviour, Mental Health

About me

Franziska is a Lecturer in the School of Social and Political Science and  Extraordinary Professor at Optentia Research Unit, North-West University, South Africa. She is currently funded by an ERC Starting Grant and a GCRF Hub Grant investigating intergenerational violence transmission, its predictors, mechanisms and prevention in South Africa. Her research also focuses on prevalence, risk and protective factors of child maltreatment in vulnerable populations in sub-Saharan Africa, health outcomes of violence exposure in childhood, childhood violence prevention and on the development and testing of global child abuse measures.  In 2016 she won the ISPCAN C. Henry Kempe Award for outstanding young professional in the field of child abuse and neglect. 

Prior to coming to Edinburgh, Franziska was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Centre for Evidence-Based Interventions at the University of Oxford funded by an ESRC Future Research Leader Award. Franziska holds a DPhil in Social Interventions (University of Oxford) , an MSc in Evidence-Based Social Interventions (University of Oxford) and a BA in Social Work (Free University of Bolzano-Bozen). Franziska is on the Board of the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN). 

Current research projects include:

ERC Starting Grant 2019 (2020-2025): Interrupting intergenerational violence transmission: a mixed-methods three-generational longitudinal study in South Africa (INTERRUPT_VIOLENCE). Principal Investigator, collaboration with colleagues at University of the Witwatersrand School of Public Health.

ESRC Rapid COVID-19 Grant (2020-2021). Domestic Abuse: Harnessing Learning InternationAlly under COVID19 (DAHLIA-19). Co-investigator with Claire Houghton, led by the CONNECT Centre.

Global Challenges Research Fund (2019-2024): Accelerating Achievement for Africa's Adolescents Hub. Co-Investigator with colleagues at  North-West University, led by University of Oxford.

Australian National health and Medical Research Council (2019-2023): The first national study of child abuse and neglect in Australia: prevalence, health outcomes, and burden of disease. Co-Investigator with colleagues at Queensland University of Technology

ESRC Future Research Leaders Award (2017-2019): Evidence-based child abuse prevention: Developing measures for observation and evaluation in a global context.  Principal Investigator.

Selected publications:

Meinck, F, Schmidt, P, Murray, A, Nikolaidis, G & Dunne, M (2020). Measuring child maltreatment: The adequacy of the ISPCAN Child Abuse Screening Tool in 9 countries. Child Abuse and Neglect.

Dunne, MP & Meinck, F (2020). Commentary: Childhood adversity and death of young adults in an affluent society. The Lancet.

Fluke, J, Tonmyr, L, Gray, J, Bettencourt-Roriguques, L, Bolter, F, Cash, S, Jud, A, Meinck, F, Cas Munoz, A, O’Donnell, M, Pilkington, R & Weaver, L (2020). Child Maltreatment Data: A summary of progress, prospects and challenges. Child Abuse and Neglect

Cluver, L,  Steinert, J, Meinck, F et al. (2020). Parenting, mental health and economic pathways to prevention of violence against children in South Africa. Social Science & Medicine.

Dunne, MP & Meinck, F. (2020). Childhood adversity and death of young adults in an affluent society. Commentary. The Lancet.

Steinert, J, Cluver, L, Meinck, F, Nzima, D & Doubt, J. (2020). Opening the black box: A mixed-methods investigation of social and psychological mechanisms underlying changes in financial behaviour. Journal of Development Studies.

Meinck, F, Picker, V, Nittas, V, Pantelic, M, Orza, L, Spreckelsen, T, Bustamam, A, Little, M & Stoeckl, H. (2019) A systematic review of interventions to prevent and reduce intimate partner violence among adolescents and youth vulnerable to HIV. AIDS.

Meinck, F, Orkin, F & Cluver, L. (2019) Does free schooling affect pathways from adverse childhood experiences via mental health distress to HIV risk among adolescent girls in South Africa: a moderated pathway model. Journal of the International AIDS Society.

Steinert, J, Cluver, L, Meinck, F, Doubt, J & Vollmer, S. (2018) Household Economic Strengthening through Saving and Budgeting: Evidence from a Field Experiment in South Africa. Journal of Development Economics, 134: 443-466.

Liel, C, Meinck, F, Steinert, J, Kindler, H, Eickhorst, A & Lang, K. (2018) The German short form of the Child Abuse Potential Inventory (BCAPI): Psychometric properties and gender differences in parents of young children. Child Abuse & Neglect.

Meinck, F, Boyes, M, Cluver, L, Ward, CL, DeStone, S, Schmidt, P & Dunne, MP (2018). Development and Psychometric Properties of the ISPCAN Child Abuse Screening Tool for Use in Trials (ICAST-TRIAL) among South African Adolescents and their Primary Caregivers. Child Abuse & Neglect.

Cluver, L, Meinck, F, Toska, E, Orkin, M, Hodes, R & Sherr, L. (2018) Multi-type violence exposure and adolescent antiretroviral non-adherence in South Africa. AIDS, 32(8):975-983.

Cluver, L, Meinck, F, Steinert, J, Shenderovich, Y, Doubt, j, Herrero Romero, R, Lombard, C, Redfern, A, Ward, C, Tsoanyane, S, Nzima, D, Sibanda, N, Wittesaele, C, De Stone, S, Boyes, M, Catanho, R, Lachman, J, Salah, N, Ncuza, M, & Gardner, F. (2018) Parenting for Lifelong Health: A pragmatic cluster randomised controlled trial of a non-commercialised parenting programme for adolescents and their families in South Africa. BMJ Global Health, 3:e000539

Meinck, F, Fry, D, Ginindza, C, Wazny, K, Elizade, A, Spreckelsen, T, Maternowska, MC & Dunne, M. (2017) Emotional abuse of girls in Swaziland: Prevalence, perpetrators, risk and protective factors and health outcomes. Journal of Global Health 7(1):010410.

Toska, E, Pantelic, M, Meinck, F, Keck, K, Haghighat, R & Cluver, L. (2017) Sex in the shadow of HIV: A systematic review of prevalence rates, risk factors, and interventions to reduce sexual risk-taking among HIV-positive adolescents and youth in sub-Saharan Africa. PLoS One 12(6):e0178106.

Meinck, F, Cluver, L, Bray, R, Loening, H, Casale, M, Doubt, J & Sherr, L. (2017). Access to health and child protection services for victims of child abuse in three provinces in South Africa. Psychology, Health & Medicine 22, Supl1:94-106.

Meinck, F, Cluver, L, Orkin, M, Kuo, C, Dhar Sharma, A, Hensels, I & Sherr, L (2017). Pathways from family disadvantage via harsh parenting and caregiver mental health distress to adolescent health risks in South Africa. Journal of Adolescent Health 60(1):57-64

Cluver, L, Meinck, F, Yakubovich, A, et al. (2016). Reducing child abuse amongst adolescents in low- and middle-income countries: A pre-post trial in South Africa. BMC Public Health 16:567.

Cluver, L, Orkin, M, Meinck, F, Boyes, M, Yakubovich A & Sherr, L. (2016) Can Social Protection improve Sustainable Development Goals for adolescent health? PLoS ONE 11(10):e0164808.

Meinck, F, Cluver, L, Boyes, M. & Loening, H (2016). Physical, emotional, and sexual abuse of children in South Africa: Incidence, prevalence, perpetrators, and locations. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 70(9):910-916.

Meinck, F, Cluver, L & Boyes, M. (2015). Household illness, disability, poverty and child abuse victimisation: Findings from South Africa’s first prospective study. BMC Public Health 15(1):444.

Meinck, F, Cluver, L & Boyes, M. (2015). Longitudinal predictors of child sexual abuse in a large community-based sample of South African youth. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 32(18):2804-2836.

Meinck, F, Cluver, L, Boyes, M. & Mhlongo, E. (2014). Risk and Protective Factors for Physical and Sexual Child Abuse Victimization in Africa: A review and implications for practice. Trauma, Violence & Abuse 16(1):81-107.

Cluver, L, Hodes, R, Toska, E, Kidia, K, Sherr, L, Meinck, F & Orkin, M (2015). ‘HIV is like a tsotsi. ARVs are your guns’: Associations between HIV-disclosure and adherence to antiretroviral treatment among adolescents in South Africa. AIDS Suppl1:S57-65.

Current PhD students:

Former PhD students:

Topics interested in supervising

I am particularly interested in supervising students who are keen to conduct quantitative research on child, adolescent and young people populations on the topics: violence, HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive health, mental health, violence/HIV prevention. There is also scope to conduct a PhD using my data from South Africa on any health/inequality/relationship focused question.

If you are interested in being supervised by Franziska Meinck, please see the links below for more information:

PhD In African Studies; PhD in International Public Health Policy; PhD in Social Policy; PhD in Social Work; PhD in Sociology; MSc (R) Public Health Policy; MSc (R) Social Policy; MSc (R) Social Work