Dr. Fava's program of research merges the childhood maltreatment and sexuality fields via two components: 1) understanding the developmental impact of childhood maltreatment; and 2) understanding the development of sexuality. In particular, Dr. Fava explores these lines of research from a developmental, resilience-based and trauma-informed framework highlighting the importance of protective factors across various environmental contexts to support wellbeing and sexual health among those who have experienced trauma and/or childhood maltreatment. This is in opposition to the more traditional risk-framework that has dominated both fields, and serves to inform others of the strength and agency of vulnerable populations. Dr. Fava is especially interested in conducting community-based research examining individual, peer/romantic partner, family and community level factors impacting healthy development, including healthy sexual development that can be translated into effective and holistic interventions for youth and families.
Dr. Fava joined FIU Stempel College in 2015. She earned her Ph.D. from the School of Social Work, University at Buffalo, New York.