Aaron Murnan

Aaron William Murnan

Assistant Professor

Procter Hall


CON INRS - 0038


PhD: The Ohio State University Columbus, Ohio, 2019 (Human Development and Family Science; Couple and Family Therapy; Quantitative Research Methods)

Master of Science: The Ohio State University Columbus, Ohio, 2015 (Human Development and Family Science)

Bachelor of Arts: The Ohio State University Columbus, Ohio, 2013 (Psychology)

Research and Practice Interests

I conduct research that advances our understanding for how intergenerational patterns of substance use and associated co-morbidities and risk factors persist across generations. I am particularly interested in developing and testing family-based and ecologically-based interventions to better meet the needs of populations disproportionately affected by substance use, specifically women involved in the sex trade. Given the challenges associated with successfully identifying this population, I have also develop interest in the development of novel identifcation strategies to better engage vulnerable populations in beneficial service and research efforts. 

Positions and Work Experience

01-01-2014 -05-01-2019 Couple and Family Therapist, Couple and Family Therapy Clinic at Ohio State, Columbus, Ohio

08-01-2019 -01-01-2021 Couple and Family Therapy Resident, Couple and Family Therapy Clinic at Ohio State, Columbus, Ohio

Research Support

Grant: #2UL1TR001425 Investigators:Aaron Murnan; Gwen England; Beth Rapien Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTST) at UC Understanding racial disparities in access to diversion treatment programs for women charged with prostitution-related offenses. Role:PI 8,000.00 Planned/In Preparation Type:Grant

Grant: #2UL1TR001425 Investigators:Aaron Murnan; Sam Boch; Nichole Nidey 06-2022 -09-2022 Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTST) at UC PHASE I: Maternal Justice Involvement and Infant Health Data Hub Linkage Role:PI 5,000 Planned/In Preparation Type:Grant Level:University

Investigators:Aaron Murnan; Emre Sezgin; Jennifer Tscholl 09-2021 -09-2022 The Ohio State University's Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS) Testing a novel approach to identifying child victims of sex trafficking and studying the clinical presentation and healthcare utilization among this difficult to engage population. Role:Co-PI 5,000.00 Active Type:Grant

Investigators:Aaron Murnan; Natasha Slesnick The Ohio State University's College of Education and Human Ecology Treatment needs and family systems influences among treatment-seeking mothers involved in the sex trade: A Qualitative Exploration Role:PI 31,000.00 Completed Type:Grant Level:University


Peer Reviewed Publications

Carmona, J., Slesnick, N., Murnan, A., Brakenhoff, B., & Guo, X. (2015. ) Predictors of outreach meetings among substance using homeless youth. .Community Mental Health Journal, , 53 (1 ) ,62

Slesnick, N., Feng, X., Brakenhoff, B., Carmona, J., Murnan, A., Cash, S., McRee, A., & Guo, X. (2016. ) A test of outreach and drop-in linkage versus shelter-linkage for connecting homeless youth to services. .Prevention Science, , 17 (4 ) ,450

Bartle-Haring, S., Murnan, A., & Slesnick, N. (2017. ) Benefit to children who participate in family therapy with their substance using mother. .Journal of Marriage and Family Therapy, , 44 (4 ) ,671

Murnan, A., Wu, Q., & Slesnick, N. (2018. ) Effects of ecologically-based family systems therapy with substance using, prostituting mothers. Journal of Family Therapy, , 40 (4 ) ,557

Wu, Q., Slesnick, N., Murnan, A. (2018. ) Understanding parenting stress and children's behavior problems among homeless, substance-abusing mothers. Children and Youth Services Review, , 39 (4 ) ,423

Murnan, A., Wu, Q., & Slesnick, N. (2018. ) The impact of parenting on child mental health among children of prostituting mothers. .Children and Youth Services Review, , 89 ,212

Murnan, A., Bates, S., & Holowacz, E. (2020. ) Understanding the risk and protective factors among children of mothers engaged in street-level prostitution .Children and Youth Services Review, , 112 ,104899

Klebanoff, M., Fried, P., Yeates, K., Rausch, J., Wilkins, D., Blei, H., Sullivan, J., Phillips, W., Wiese, A., Jude, A., Boone, K., Murnan, A., & Keim, S. (2020. ) Lifestyle and early achievement in families (LEAF) study: Design of an ambi-directional cohort study of prenatal marijuana exposure and child development and behavior .Journal of Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, , 34 (6 ) ,744

Murnan, A., & Ferber, M. (2020. ) Familial influences on women's treatment and substance use behaviors among mothers engaged in street-level prostitution.Journal of Family Relations, , More Information

Murnan, A., & Holowacz, E. (2020. ) A qualitative exploration of mother-child relationships in mothers with histories of substance use and street-level prostitution. .Journal of Child and Family Studies, , 29 ,3225

Murnan, A., Keim, S., Li, R., & Klebanoff, M. (2021. ) Marijuana use and sleep quality during pregnancy.Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine, , More Information

Murnan, A. (2021. ) Exploring treatment needs among women who prostitute.Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, , More Information

Nidey, N., Hoyt-Austin, A., Chen, M., Bentley, B., Tabb, K., Aniygbo, C., Wilder, C., Terplan, M., McAllister, J., Wexelblatt, S., Murnan, A., & Kair, L. (2022. ) Racial Disparities in Breastfeeding Counseling among Women who use Cannabis. Obstetrics and Gynecology, ,

Murnan, A., Keim, S., & Klebanoff, M. (2022. ) Exploration of differences between women who do and do not disclose their marijuana use during pregnancy.American Journal of Perinatology, , More Information

Murnan, A., Keim, S., & Klebanoff, M. (2022. ) Understanding the relationships between Fetal Health Locus of Control (FHLC) and Maternal Marijuana Use During Pregnancy. .Clinical Nursing Research, , More Information

Murnan, A., Keim, S., Yeates, K., Boone, K., Sheppard, K., & Klebanoff, M. (2021. ) Behavioral and Cognitive Differences in Early Childhood related to Prenatal Marijuana Exposure.Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, , 77 , More Information

Book Chapter

Brakenhoff, B., Murnan, A., & Slesnick, N. (2017 ) Homelessness, and mental illness. Encyclopedia of Abnormal and Clinical Psychology .Thousand Oaks, California, Sage

Murnan, A., Zhang, J., & Slesnick, N. (2018 ) Homeless mothers with children in their care Mental Health and Addiction Interventions for Youth Experiencing Homelessness: Practical Strategies for Front-Line Providers .Toronto, Ontario, Canadian Homeless Research Network


Poster Presentations

Murnan, A., Wu, Q., Slesnick, N. (2018. ) The impact of parenting on child mental health among children of prostituting mothers. Meeting for International Family Therapy Association, Bangkok, Thailand. . Level:International

Murnan, A., Wu, Q., Cully, L., Slesnick, N. (2017. ) Effects of family systems therapy with prostituting women .International Family Therapy Association, Malaga, Spain. . Level:International

Bartle-Haring, S., Slesnick, N., Murnan, A. (2015. ) Benefits of mother's substance use treatment on children .National Council on Family Relations, Vancouver, Canada. . Level:International

Murnan, A., Slesnick, N., Guo, X., Bowers, D. (2014. ) Predictors of 12-step attendance among substance abusing mothers. College on Problem Drug Dependence, San Juan, Puerto Rico. . Level:National

Murnan, A. & Ferber, M. (2020. ) Exploring the influence of family of origin, children, and therapists on substance use treatment decisions among women engaged in prostitution. National Council on Family Relations, Virtual. . Level:National

Fu, X., Mattison, W., Morningstar, M., Murnan, A., Sullivan, J., Keim, S., Klebanoff, M. (2019. ) Prenatal Marijuana Exposure: Effects on brain morphology and executive function in young children. International Society for Developmental Psychobiology, Chicago, Illinois. . Level:International

Wu, Q., Slesnick, N., Murnan, A. (2017. ) Homeless mothers' parenting stress and child behavioral problems .National Council on Family Relations, Orlando, Florida. . Level:National

Post Graduate Training and Education

07-08-2019-07-30-2021 Post-Doctoral Fellow, Abigail Wexner Research Institute: Center for BioBehavioral Health, , Columbus, Ohio