Dr. Tolman's work focuses on prevention and intervention to end gender-based violence (GBV). His contributions to this literature include the development of a widely used measure of psychological maltreatment of women, demonstrating the accuracy of survivors’ predictions of future abuse, how intimate partner violence impacts low-income women’s economic, physical and psychological well-being, and adolescent intimate partner violence. Dr. Tolman founded and co-leads a research team that has conducted a series of studies on men’s involvement in prevention of GBV.
His current projects include research on the prevention of abuse during pregnancy, and relatedly, on understanding men’s transition to fatherhood. His work in this area includes qualitative studies of men attending ultrasound, a quantitative longitudinal study of couples expecting their first child, and a nationally representative survey of men. In related work, he helped to create a paradigm for examining men’s responses to infant cries and how they may be implicated in subsequent aggression. He is leading a statewide effort in Michigan to promote policy changes that can increase men’s positive involvement with their children.