Social work

Susan Love

(818) 677-4456
Office location:
ST 212


Professor Susan M. Love joined the CSUN faculty in the fall of 2007. Dr. Love received both her Ph.D. in Social Welfare and MSW degree from the University of Washington. She also holds a MS in Marriage, Family and Child from JFK University, and a BA in Psychology from UC Berkeley. Dr. Love has taught at California State University, Long Beach and University of Southern California. She was also a trainer at University of California, Los Angeles and the IUC Field Education Coordinator at CSU, Long Beach. Dr. Love has over 28 years of direct mental health practice experience with children, youth and family. She has 10 peer-reviewed published articles, and has presented papers at professional conferences in Antwerp, Belgium; Glasgow, Scotland; Sydney, Australia; San Francisco; and, Washington, D.C. As the principal investigator of an International team of scientists, she has completed a research grant (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, grant #69451, $1.18M) that successfully built, and tested an evidence-based parenting program delivered in social media for highly vulnerable families—shifting the developmental trajectory of at-risk children toward social/ behavioral/ physical and mental health. Her current projects are: (1) CWS Evidence Based Parenting-Online Implementation and Social Media Dissemination; (2) Improving the physical and mental health outcomes of children by integrating an evidence based parenting program (Triple P) with cutting-edge healthcare technology in the context of the Affordable Care Act; and, (3) Grandmothers Count: Empowering grandmothers to promote child nutrition, health, development and safety.


  • PhD (1987) University of Washington, Social Welfare
  • MSW (1986) University of Washington, Social Work
  • MA (1975) John F. Kennedy University, Marriage, Family & Child
  • BA (1973) University of California, Berkeley, Psychology, Child Development

Courses Taught

  • Social Welfare Policy and Services; Urban Social Policy and Advocacy
  • Human Behavior in the Social Environment: Childhood and Adulthood
  • Social Work Practice with Urban Families: Generalist, Family, and Individual
  • Research Methodology
  • Capstone Project


  • 2014 Nominee, The Wang Family Excellence Award, for outstanding faculty, California State University system of 23 campuses
  • 2014 First Place, Australian Institute of Training and Development award for Triple P Online Community program
  • 2013 First Place, Australian iAward for Triple P Online Community program 

Selected Publications and Presentations


Day, J., Baker, S., Dittman, C., Franke, N., Hinton, S., Love, S. Sanders, S., Turner, K. (2021). Predicting positive outcomes and successful completion in an online parenting program for parents of children with disruptive behavior: An integrated data analysis, Behaviour Research and Therapy (in press).

Love, Susan & Knott, Theresa (2018). Social Support and Relationships with Family and Friends in M. R. Sanders, A. Morawska (eds.), Handbook of Parenting and Child Development Across the Lifespan, Springer International Publishing.

Love, S., DeBonis, J., Maurange, M. & Knott, T. (2017). Grandmothers Count: The silent             contribution of grandmothers in promoting child development. London Journal of      Research in Humanities and Social Sciences, 17(1), 57-72.

Love, S.M., Sanders, M.R., Turner, K., Maurange, M., Knott, T., Prinz, R., Metzler, C. &    Ainsworth, A. T. (2016). Social media and      gamification: Engaging vulnerable parents in an online evidence-based parenting program. Child Abuse and           Neglect, 53, 95-107.

Love, S.M., Levin, A., & Park, H.-S. (2015). Exploring student service members/veterans        social support and campus climate in the context of recovery. Social Science, 4, 909- 924.

White, T.R., Love, S.M., DeBose, H.L. & Loprieno, D. M. (2015). The Changing Landscape of     Race, Culture, and Family Life: Interracial Couples’ Contributions to the         Conversation. World Journal of Social Science Research, 2 (1), 24-46.

Maurange, M. L. & Love, S. M. (October 31, 2014). Building an online health program: A          practical e-guide.  A national report funded by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Love, S., Sanders, M., Metzler, C., Prinz, R. & Kast, E. (2013). Enhancing accessibility and         engagement in evidence-based parenting programs to reduce maltreatment:            Conversations with vulnerable parents. Journal of Public Child Welfare, 7(1), 20–38.

Love, S., Park, H-S., DeBose, (2011). Moving from knowledge to understanding: YouTube in the classroom. National Social Science Technology Journal, 1(4), 1-5.

Koob, J. & Love, S. (2010). The implementation of Solution-Focused Therapy to increase       foster care placement stability.  Children and Youth Service Review, 32, 1346-1351.

Love, S., Koob, J. & Hill, L. (2008). The effects of using community mental health          practitioners to treat foster     children: Implications for child welfare planners.             Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice, 6(1), 31-39.

Love, S., Suarez, A. & Love, M. (2008). Young Mothers & Babies Wellness Project: Los             Angeles County, Department of Mental Health. Children and Youth Service Review,        30, 1437-1446.

Love, S., Koob, J. & Hill, L. (2007). Meeting the Challenges of Evidence-Based Practice: Can     Mental Health Therapists Evaluate their Practice? Brief Treatment and Crisis    Intervention, 7(3), 184-193.

Love, S. & Campbell, V. (2007).  Shaping attitudes in public child welfare: An innovative        MSW training program. Family Preservation Journal, 10, 76-89.

Presentation (Juried selected)

San Diego International Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment, January 25 2016 (invited). Feasibility of Implementing an Evidence Based Parenting Program in Social networking with Highly Vulnerable parents.

Helping Families Change Conference (HFCC), Amsterdam February 2015.  Love & Prinz, Triple P Online Community: Engaging vulnerable families with evidence-based parenting.

Society for Prevention Research (SPR), Washington DC, May 29, 2014. Feasibility of Delivering an Evidence-Based Parenting Program on a Social Media Platform: Lessons Learned.

Helping Families Change Conference (HFCC), Sydney, Australia February 2014.  Plenary Session: Enhancing Impact & Reach with Vulnerable Families.

Helping Families Change Conference (HFCC), Sydney, Australia February 2014.  Implementing evidence-based practices in public child welfare: Positive parenting going viral.

Society for Prevention Research (SPR), San Francisco, CA May 31, 2013. Triple P Online Community: Exploiting the Power of Social Media to Promote Child Development with Vulnerable Families.

Helping Families Change Conference (HFCC), Los Angeles, CA, February 2013. Love, Metzler & Turner: Media- and Technology-Based Approaches to Delivering Parenting Interventions.                                                                     

Scientific Retreat, Helping Families Change Conference (HFCC), Los Angeles, CA, February 12 2013. Love & Knott: The Importance of consumer based research in promoting Parent Engagement and Informing Intervention Design.        

Helping Families Change Conference (HFCC), Glasgow, Scotland, February 2012. Triple P in the Community: Innovative Approaches to Reaching Families and Responding to Need.

Helping Families Change Conference (HFCC), Antwerp Belgium, February 2011.The Power of Social Media to Engage Young Parents across the World.

End Abuse Long Beach Annual Awards, Long Beach California, April 8 2010. Child Abuse Prevention: The Scientific Case for Parent Education. [Key note speaker].


External Research Support

  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Amount: $1,179,141.00

Purpose: Developing and beta testing the Positive Parenting Program in a social-network community in Los Angeles County

Project: Grant #69451, January 1, 2012 to September 30, 2014

  • Children and Families Research Consortium, 2007, awarded $8000 to understand influences that shape perceptions in public child welfare  

Research and Interests

I. Developing and beta testing Triple P-- Positive Parenting Program in a social network community (TPOL) to improve the developmental outcomes of vulnerable children

Secured a 1.18 million dollar grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to test the efficacy of delivering evidence based parenting program in an online learning community (social media). Currently head an international research team: three Principal Investigators: Dr. Susan M. Love, Dr. Matthew R. Sanders, University of Queensland (Australia), and Dr. Theresa Knott, CSUN; and two Co-Investigators: Dr. Ronald Prinz, University of South Carolina, and, Dr. Carol Metzler, Oregon Research Institute.

Future goals of this project is to integrate TPOL into the child welfare system—both of families in the system and families investigated but not detained.

II. The second line of research is to develop and test strategies to support adolescents that have been adversely affected by COVID-19; specifically social isolation, food and housing insecurity, family losses, school closures, and health anxieties. This global project is based on Positive Youth Development's forty plus research to promote a fully able adolescent eager to explore the world, gain competence, and acquire the capacity to contribute importantly to the world. This global project is in an active phase.