Dr. Deborah Padgett has a doctoral degree in anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and post-doctoral training in public health and psychiatric epidemiology at Columbia University and Duke University, respectively. She is nationally known for her advocacy and practice of qualitative and mixed methods in research. She is the editor of The Handbook of Ethnicity, Aging, and Mental Health (1995) and The Qualitative Research Experience (2004), author ofQualitative Methods in Social Work Research (2008, 2nd ed.) and Qualitative and Mixed Methods in Public Health (2012), and co-author of Program Evaluation (5th ed., 2009). Dr. Padgett has published extensively on mental health needs and service use of homeless mentally ill adults, older women, ethnic groups, and children/adolescents.
Before 2004, Dr. Padgett was co-principal investigator on two NIMH-funded grants and an NCI-funded mixed methods study of African-American women and breast cancer screening; she was also national co-director of the Screening Adherence Follow-up (SAFe) project funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (1997-2001). Beginning in 2004, she became principal investigator of two R01 qualitative methods studies funded by NIMH. The first, The New York Services Study (2004-2008), was a $1.4 million study of service engagement among dual diagnosed homeless adults in New York City. The NYSS was designed to elicit consumer perspectives on recovery and services for homelessness, mental illness, and substance abuse. The second, The New York Recovery Study (2010-2015; $1.9 million) uses ethnographic methods and in-depth interviews to examine the role of housing in mental health recovery among formerly homeless adults.
Dr. Padgett’s international expertise in qualitative methods has led to invitations to speak at NIH-sponsored training institutes as well as to audiences in England, Germany, and India. Dr. Padgett has also been an active mentor of other researchers and has served on numerous journal editorial boards. Since 2006, she has taught courses on socio-behavioral health and qualitative/field methods in NYU’s Master’s of Public Health program, where she received the Excellence in Teaching Award (2010) and was interim director (2011-2012).
Dr. Padgett has been active in the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) since its inception and served as a board member (2002-2007) and president (2004-2006). She received an unprecedented honor in 2006 when SSWR announced the Deborah K. Padgett Early Career Fellowship in recognition of her contributions. In 2012, she received the Distinguished Teaching Award from the Silver School.
List of publications from the New York Services Study
Padgett, D.K., Hawkins, R.L., Abrams, C., & Davis, A. (2006). In their own words: Trauma and substance abuse in the lives of formerly homeless women with serious mental illness. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 76, 461-467.
Padgett, D.K. (2007). There’s no place like (a) home: Ontological security in the third decade of the ‘homelessness crisis’ in the United States. Social Science & Medicine, 64, 1925-1936.
Henwood, B. & Padgett, D.K. (2007). The self-medication hypothesis revisited. American Journal on Addictions, 16 (3), 160-165.
Hawkins, R.L. & Abrams, C. (2007). Disappearing acts: social networks of homeless individuals with co-occurring disorders. Social Science & Medicine, 65, 2031-2042.
Padgett, D.K., Henwood, B., Abrams, C. & Davis, A. (2008). Engagement and retention in care among formerly homeless adults with serious mental illness: Voices from the margins. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 31(3), 226-233.
Padgett, D.K., Henwood, B.F, Abrams, C., Drake, R.E. (2008). Social relationships among persons who have experienced serious mental illness, substance abuse and homelessness: Implications for recovery. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 78, 333-339.
Padgett, D.K., Henwood, B.F., & Stanhope, V. (2008). New approaches in the third decade of the homelessness ‘crisis in America: Innovation inspired by practice and supported by research. Issues and Actions in Social Work, 1 (3), NYU Silver School of Social Work.
Stanhope, V., Henwood, B.F. & Padgett, D.K. (2009). Understanding service disengagement from the perspective of case managers. Psychiatric Services, 60, 459-464.
Padgett, D.K. & Henwood, B.F. (2009). Obtaining large-scale funding for empowerment-oriented qualitative research: A report from personal experience. Qualitative Health Research, 19, 868-874.
Shibusawa, T. & Padgett, D.K. (2009). Out of sync: A life course perspective on aging among formerly homeless adults with serious mental illness. Journal of Aging Studies, 23(3), 188-196.
Padgett, D.K., Stanhope, V. & Henwood, B.F. (2010). Housing First services for homeless adults with co-occurring serious mental illness and substance problems: A growing body of evidence. In: M. Roberts-DeGennaro & S.J. Fogel (Eds.), Empirically-supported interventions for community and organization change. Chicago, IL: Lyceum Press.
Henwood, B.F. & Padgett, D.K. (2010). Social networks and isolation: The role of trauma among women with histories of substance abuse, mental illness and homelessness. In K.S. Eggar & L.H. Moser (Eds.). Women and addictions: New research. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Publishers. Stanhope, V, Padgett, D.K & Henwood, B. (2010). Housing First approaches to addressing homelessness. In S. Fitzpatrick, L. Fox & S. Smith (Eds.), International encyclopedia of housing and home. Oxford, UK: Elsevier.
Padgett, D.K., Stanhope, V., Stefancic, A., Henwood, B.F., Davis, A. (2011). Substance use outcomes in ‘housing first’ and ‘treatment first’ consumers after one year. Community Mental Health Journal. 47, 227-232.
Henwood, B.F., Stanhope, V. & Padgett, D.K. (online first). The role of housing: A comparison of front-line provider views in Housing First and Traditional programs. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research.
Dr. Deborah Padgett’s research has focused on the lives and service needs of homeless adults with serious mental illness and co-occurring substance abuse problems. Often referred to as “dually diagnosed,” these men and women are among the hardest-to-reach and least understood of clients served by the vast system of mental health and homeless services. Building upon a collaborative relationship with Pathways to Housing, Inc. (PTH) in New York City, Dr. Padgett’s work centers on the innovative role of PTH in providing “housing first” to homeless adults.
Dr. Padgett has used her nationally-known expertise in qualitative methods to obtain two highly competitive R01 grants from the National Institute of Mental Health to support her research. The first of these, the New York Services Study, was a four-year project examining engagement and retention in care (2004-2008). The second, the New York Recovery Study (2010-2015), uses in-depth interviews and ethnographic observation to understand the effects of housing and other services on mental health, substance use, and other indicators of mental health recovery. Along with doctoral students working on these projects, Dr. Padgett has published extensively in high-impact journals, including articles about gender and trauma, social networks, and use of drugs/alcohol. All feature the experiences of study participants—formerly homeless adults and their case managers—expressed in their own words.