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Cynthia Sanders, Ph.D., MSW

Cynthia Sanders, Social Work, Studio Portrait

(208) 426-1780
Office: Education Building, 716E
Office Hours: By appointment


Ph.D., George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri
MSW, University of Utah
B.S., University of Utah (Economics and Political Science)

Areas of Research

Community Practice and Social Policy
Social and Economic Development
Microenterprise in the United States
Financial Education and Savings/Asset Building Initiatives
Economic Empowerment and Development with Low-Income Women
Poverty and Inequality
Domestic Violence
Women’s issues

Courses Taught

Foundation Social Work Practice III:  Organizations and Communities (MSW)
Foundations of Research II:  Statistics (MSW)
Advanced Research:  Program and Practice Evaluation (MSW)
Advanced Policy and Legislation:  Individuals and Families (MSW)
Advanced Social Work Practicum Seminar I and II (MSW)
Generalist Social Work III:  Organizations and Communities (BSW)
Introduction to Social Welfare (BSW)

Selected Publications


Sherraden, Margaret S., Sanders, Cynthia K., Sherraden, Michael (2004).  Kitchen Capitalism:  Microenterprise in Low-Income Households.  State University of New York (SUNY) Press. Link to Suny Press Book Page

Book Chapters

Sanders, Cynthia K. (2013).  Financial capability among survivors of domestic violence.  In Birkenmaier, J.M., Sherraden, M., & Curley, J.C. Eds.  Financial Capability and Asset Development:  Research, Education, Policy, and Practice.  Oxford University Press.  Peer-reviewed.

Scanlon, Edward and Sanders, Cynthia K. (under contract).  Poverty.  In Kapp, S. Ed.  Introduction to Social Work.  Sage Publications, Inc.
Peer Reviewed Journal Publications

Sanders, Cynthia K. (accepted). Promoting Financial Capability of Incarcerated Women for Community Reentry: A Call to Social Workers. Journal of Community Practice.

Sanders, Cynthia K. (2015). Economic abuse in the lives of women abused by an intimate partner: A qualitative study. Violence Against Women, 21(1), 3-29.

Sanders, Cynthia K. (2014). Savings for survivors: An Individual Development Account program for survivors of intimate partner violence. Journal of Social Service Research, 40(3), 297-312.

Sanders, Cynthia K. and Porterfield, Shirley (2010). The ‘ownership society’ and women: Exploring female householders’ ability to accumulate assets. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 31(1), 90-106.

Weaver, Terri L., Sanders, Cynthia K., Schnabel, Meg & Campbell, Carole L (2009). Development and preliminary psychometric evaluation of the domestic violence-related financial issues scale. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 24(4), 569-585.

Sanders, Cynthia K., Weaver, Terri & Schnabel, Meg (2007). Economic Education for Battered Women: An Evaluation of Outcomes. AFFILIA: Journal of Women and Social Work, 22(3), 240-254.

Sanders, Cynthia K. and Schnabel, Meg (2006). Organizing for economic empowerment of battered women: Women’s Savings Accounts. Journal of Community Practice, 14(3), 47-68.

Porterfield, Shirley, Sanders, Cynthia K. and Rainford, William (2006). The wealth holdings of married-couple households with children with disabilities. Journal of Policy Practice, 5(4), 19-39.

Sanders, Cynthia K. (2004). Employment options for low-income women: Microenterprise versus the labor market. Social Work Research, 28(2), 83-92.

Sherraden, Margaret S., Ssewamala, Fred, and Sanders, Cynthia K. (2003). Microenterprise performance: A comparison of experiences in the United States and Uganda. Social Development Issues, 25(1/2), 219-234.

Sanders, Cynthia K. (2002). The impact of microenterprise assistance programs: A comparative study of program participants, non-participants and other low wage workers. Social Service Review, 76(2), 321-340.

Sanders, Cynthia K. and Scanlon, Edward (2000). Mortgage lending and gender. AFFILIA: Journal of Women and Social Work, 15(1), 9-30.

Invited Publications

Sanders, Cynthia K. (2011).  Asset Building Programs for Domestic Violence Survivors.  Harrisburg, PA:  VAWnet, a project of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence/Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Link to Asset Building Programs for Domestic Violence Survivors

Sanders, Cynthia K. (2011).  Facilitating Savings and Asset Ownership among Domestic Violence Survivors.  Center for Financial Security Issue Brief, University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Available: Link to Facilitating Savings and Asset Ownership among Domestic Violence Survivors


Sanders, Cynthia K. (2010).  Savings outcomes of an IDA program for survivors of domestic violence (CSD Research Report 10-42)St. Louis, MO:  Washington University, Center for Social Development.  Available:

Sanders, Cynthia K. (2007). Domestic violence, economic abuse, and implications of a program for building economic resources for low-income women:  Findings from interviews with participants in a women’s economic action program (research report pp. 1-97). St. Louis:  Washington University, Center for Social Development.  Available:

Curriculum Vitae

Research Spotlight