COVID-19 Updates

Visit UC San Diego's Coronavirus portal for the latest information for the campus community.

Michael S. Hurlburt, Ph.D.

Michael S. Hurlburt, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, University of Southern California, School of Social Work

Contact Information

University of Southern California
School of Social Work
16870 West Bernardo Drive, Suite 200
San Diego, CA 92127


Michael Hurlburt, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at the University of Southern California, School of Social Work. 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. 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.

Research Interests

Research Focus

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.

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.

Hurlburt’s interests also extend to child welfare, and he is part of a team that conducted interviews throughout the country on the integration of child welfare and mental health services. His research has confirmed that a stronger connection between the two sectors results not only in better, more efficient treatment but also fewer health disparities between children of different racial and ethnic backgrounds. At the USC School of Social Work, Hurlburt participates in the research core on child development and children’s services, chairs the school’s research sequence, and enjoys involving students in his community-based, action-oriented work.


  • Stein, R. E., Hurlburt, M. S., Heneghan, A. M., Zhang, J., Rolls-Reutz, J., Landsverk, J., & Horwitz, S. M. (2014). Health status and type of out-of-home placement: informal kinship care in an investigated sample. Academic Pediatrics, 14(6), 559-564. 
  • Aarons, G. A., Fettes, D. L., Hurlburt, M. S., Palinkas, L. A., Gunderson, L., Willging, C. E., & Chaffin, M. J. (2014). Collaboration, negotiation, and coalescence for interagency-collaborative teams to scale-up evidence-based practice. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 43(6), 915-928.
  • Hurlburt, M.S., Aarons, G.A., Fettes, D.L., Willging, C., Palinkas, L ., & Chaffin, M. (2014). Interagency Collaborative Teams for Capacity Building to Scale-Up Evidence-Based Practice. Children & Youth Services Review, 39, 160-168.
  • Horwitz, S. M., Hurlburt, M. S., Heneghan, A., Zhang, J., Rolls-Reutz, J., Landsverk, J., & Stein, R. E., K. (2013). Persistence of mental health problems in very young Children investigated by US child welfare agencies. Academic Pediatrics, 13, 524-530.
  • Goldhaber-Fiebert, J. D., Bailey, S. L., Hurlburt, M. S., Zhang, J., Snowden, L. R., Wulczyn, F., ... & Horwitz, S. M. (2012). Evaluating child welfare policies with decision-analytic simulation models. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 39(6), 466-477.

Current Projects

R01MH092950 (NIMH) Interagency Collaborative Teams to Scale-Up Evidence-Based Practice (Multiple PIs: Michael Hurlburt & Gregory Aarons)