Susan J. Kelley

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Susan J. Kelley, Ph.D.
ResidenceGeorgia, United States
Alma materBoston College
Boston University
Known forFells Acres Day Care Center preschool trial
AwardsICSA's John G. Clark Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Cultic Studies
American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Award
Scientific career
Fieldspsychology, child abuse, nursing
InstitutionsGeorgia State University

Susan J. Kelley is the former Dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences at Georgia State University. She is also currently a Professor of Nursing and the Director of the National Center on Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, and founder and director of Project Healthy Grandparents, at Georgia State University.[1]


Kelley received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Boston University, 1977, followed by a Master of Science in Nursing in 1982. She was awarded a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Boston College in 1988.[2]


Prior to her current positions, Kelley had previously served as Chairperson and Professor, Department of Maternal-Child Health Nursing at Boston College. She was also the Director of Nursing education at Massachusetts Emergency Medical Services and a pediatric nurse at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, and Boston City Hospital.[2] She has also served as a guest lecturer at George Mason University.[3]

In 2000, Kelley served on the Task Force for International Child Health Nursing Alliance.[4] She is a reviewer for the academic journal Nursing Research, as part of their peer review process.[5]

Child abuse prevention[edit]

Kelley has specialized in the field of child abuse, since 1979 and has appeared as a featured expert on child abuse on national programs including the Today Show, NBC Evening News and CBS Morning News.[1]

Child abuse unethical interviews[edit]

As a pediatric nurse in the 1980s, Kelley interviewed many of the children involved in the Fells Acres Day Care Center sexual abuse case in Malden, Massachusetts.[6] Kelley’s interview techniques in that case later came under criticism [6] and were called “improper” and “biased” by a Massachusetts appellate judge[7] after video tapes of her questioning of the children were played in court during the appeal of one of the defendants.[8][9]

Awards and honors[edit]

Professional associations[edit]

  • Former President, Georgia Professional Society on the Abuse of Children[citation needed]
  • Member, Advisory Board, American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC)[citation needed]
  • Member, Board of Directors, Georgia Council on Child Abuse[citation needed]
  • Member, Board of Directors, Pediatric Services of America, Inc. (Nasdaq: PSAI)[11]
  • Member, editorial boards:[2]
    • Child Maltreatment
    • Journal of Child Sexual Abuse
    • Trauma, Violence and Abuse: A Review Journal



  • Pediatric Emergency Nursing, published by Appleton & Lange, April 2, 1995, ISBN 0-8385-7705-9, ISBN 978-0-8385-7705-9
  • Recovery from Cults: Help for Victims of Psychological and Spiritual Abuse, Contributor,[10] 1995


  • Ritualistic Abuse of Children: Dynamics and Impact, Cultic Studies Journal, Vol. 5, No. 2
  • "Grandmothers raising grandchildren: Are they at increased risk of health problems?", Health & Social Work , Volume: 26 Issue: 2 Page: 105-114, May 31, 2001
  • "A multimodal intervention for grandparents raising grandchildren: Results of an exploratory study", Child Welfare , Volume: 80 Issue: 1 Page: 27-50, February 28, 2001

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Our Faculty & Staff Archived 2005-07-17 at, National Center on Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, Georgia State University, retrieved 1/9/07.
  2. ^ a b c d e Susan J. Kelley, PhD, RN, FAAN Archived 2004-08-08 at, Faculty Profiles, Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing
  3. ^ Sexual Victimization of Young Innocents: An Epidemic Archived 2006-12-21 at the Wayback Machine, Susan J. Kelley, PhD, RN, FAAN, George Mason University
  4. ^ Steering Committee and Participants of Child Health 2000 Archived 2007-02-03 at the Wayback Machine, Task Force for International Child Health Nursing Alliance (ICHNA), Dr. Susan J. Kelley.
  5. ^ Current reviewers Archived 2006-12-26 at the Wayback Machine, Nursing Research, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, retrieved 1/9/06.
  6. ^ a b Rabinowitz, D (1995-03-14). "A Darkness in Massachusetts--II". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2009-02-21.
  7. ^ Transcript of June 12, 1998 Archived September 4, 2008, at the Wayback Machine Judge Isaac Borenstein
  8. ^ Hayward, E (1998-02-18). "Prof: Therapist Swayed Kids against Amiraults". Boston Herald.
  9. ^ Goldberg, C (1998-06-13). "Youths' "Tainted" Testimony Is Barred in Day Care Retrial. One police officer, John Rivers, said at a seminar that interviewing the children was "like getting blood from a stone." This comment was made in reference to her almost forcing children to admit to false experiences". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-02-21.
  10. ^ a b c Recovery from Cults (book), Michael Langone, Ph.D., ed., p. xii
    Susan J. Kelley, Ph.D., R.N. is Associate Professor of Nursing at Boston College. Dr. Kelley is editor of Pediatric Emergency Nursing (Appleton & Lange), for which she received the American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Award. Dr. Kelley also received the John G. Clark Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Cultic Studies for her research comparing ritually abused and sexually abused children in day care.
  11. ^ "Pediatric Services of America, Inc. Announces Appointment..", Business Wire, July 29, 2003.