Sonja K. Schoenwald, Ph.D.

Senior Research Scientist
Oregon Social Learning Center

Primary Research and Clinical Interests

Dr. Schoenwald is a clinical services and implementation researcher who joined the OSLC in March of 2018. Her dedication to using science to improve practice was sparked by her early professional experiences as a master’s level therapist in community mental health agencies that served clients referred by juvenile justice, child welfare, and refugee placement agencies. After obtaining a doctorate in clinical psychology at Duke University, she focused her research on clinical and practice context issues related to the transportability, implementation, and dissemination of effective family and community based treatment for youth with serious clinical problems.

Prior to joining the OSLC, Dr. Schoenwald was a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina, where she served as the Associate Director of the Family Services Research Center from 1994-2004. As PI of NIMH and NIDA funded studies, she led the development, refinement, and evaluation of the quality assurance protocols used to implement Multisystemic Therapy (MST) for juvenile offenders and their families in diverse communities nationally and internationally. As Co-I of several programs of NIH and foundation funded research, she collaborated in the development and testing of novel approaches to the design, re-design, and deployment of evidence-based treatment for children in community clinics and in schools in urban poverty. She has collaborated with OSLC scientists for over a decade on research focused on implementation issues, including an NIMH-funded advanced center (Implementation Methods Research Group) led by Dr. John Landsverk, and Stages of Implementation Completion (SIC) for Evidence-Based Practice, led by Dr. Lisa Saldana. She was Co-PI with Dr. Jason E. Chapman on a recently completed NIMH-funded R21/R33, a pair of Supervisor Audit-and-Feedback (SAF) studies that aimed to measure and improve adherence and competence of clinical supervisors of evidence-based treatment in community practice settings.

Across all of these programs of research, Dr. Schoenwald has included a focus on identifying and testing methods to support the capacity of the relevant community-based workforce to implement effective treatment; and, on the development of effective and efficient methods to measure key aspects of implementation, including treatment fidelity.

Recent Publications

  • Schoenwald, S. K., Sheidow, A. J., & Chapman, J. E. (2009). Clinical supervision in treatment transport: Effects on adherence and outcomes. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 77, 410-421. doi:10.1037/a0013788

  • Schoenwald, S. K. (in press). What are we even trying to implement: A commentary.  In S. W. Stirman & J. S. Comer (Guest Eds.), Special Section: What are we even trying to implement? Considering the relative merits of promoting evidence-based protocols, principles, practices, and policy. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice.

  • Hanson, R., Schoenwald, S. K., Saunders, B., Chapman, J. E., Palinkas, L., Moreland, A., & Dopp, A. (2016). Testing the community-based learning collaborative (CBLC) implementation model: A study protocol. International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 10, 52.

  • Beidas, R. S., Maclean, J. C., Fishman, J., Dorsey, S., Schoenwald, S. K., Mandell, D. S., Shea, J. A., McLeod, B. D., French, M. T., Hogue, A., Adams, D. R., Lieberman, A., Becker-Haimes, M., & Marcus, S. C. (2016). A randomized trial to identify accurate and cost-effective fidelity measurement methods for cognitive-behavioral therapy: Project FACTS study protocol. BMC Psychiatry, 16, 323. doi:1186/s12888-016-1034-z

  • Atkins, M. S., Shernoff, E. S., Frazier, S. L., Schoenwald, S. K., Capella, E., Marinez-Lora, A. Mehta, T. G., Lakind, D., Cua, G., Bhaumik, R., & Bhaumik, D. (2015). Redesigning community mental health services for urban children: Supporting schooling to promote mental health. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 83, 839-852. doi:10.1037/a0039661