Christina Topolewski

A photo of Christina Topolewski

Associate Professor

Social Work

206 H Marshall


[email protected]


  • Ph.D., Social Work, Wayne State University, Dual Title in Gerontology
  • MSW, Social Work, University of Michigan, Aging Fellow, Concentrations: Interpersonal Practice
  • BS, Special Education, Wayne State University


Christina Marsack-Topolewski's CV


  • Visit my Google Scholar Profile to view my publications.
  • Marsack-Topolewski, C. N. (2020). A snapshot of social support networks among parental caregivers of adults with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
  • Marsack-Topolewski, C. N., & Weisz, A. (2020). Parents’ perceptions of service needs and access of adult children with autism spectrum disorder. Families in Society.
  • Marsack-Topolewski, C. N. (2020). Quality of life among compound caregivers and noncompound caregivers of adults with autism. Journal of Gerontological Social Work.
  • Marsack-Topolewski, C. N. & Wilson, K. (2020- In Press). Coping strategies used by aging parental caregivers of adults with autism spectrum disorder. Families in Society.
  • Whitney, D. G., Caird, M. S., Jepsen, K. J., Ng, S., Kamdar, N. S., Marsack-Topolewski, C. N., Hurvitz, E.A., Peterson, M.D. (2020). Increased fracture fracture risk for adults with neurodevelopmental disabilities. Bone, 130.
  • Lee, J. M., Kim, J., Hong, J. S., & Marsack-Topolewski, C. (2020). From bully victimization to aggressive behavior: Applying the problem behavior theory, theory of stress and coping, and general strain theory to explore potential pathways. Journal of Interpersonal Violence.
  • Chan, K. T., Marsack-Topolewski, C. N. (2020). Gender differences in adolescent opioid misuse and major depressive episodes. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 1-13.
  • Graves, J., Marsack-Topolewski, C. N., & Shapiro, J. (2020). Emerging adult siblings of people with schizophrenia: Experiences with family crisis. The Journal of Family Issues.
  • Chan, K. T., Moller, M., Marsack-Topolewski, C. N., Winston, P., & Jennings, R. (2020). Age differences in the relationship of opioid misuse and serious mental illness across the lifespan. Substance Use and Misuse.
  • Hershey, L., Kelly, A. M., & Marsack-Topolewski, C. N. (2020- In Press). Five potential positives for implementing guardianship policies in special needs planning. Journal of Financial Service Professionals.
  • Kelly, A. M., Hershey, L., & Marsack-Topolewski, C. N. (2020- In Press). Five possible pitfalls for implementing guardianship policies in special needs planning. Journal of Financial Service Professionals.
  • Kelly, A. M., Hershey, L., & Marsack-Topolewski, C. N. (2020- In Press). A 50-state review of guardianship laws: Specific concerns for special needs planning. Journal of Financial Service Professionals.
  • Janicki, M., Johnson, N., Marsack-Topolewksi, C. N., & Keller, S. (2019). Toward a Research Agenda on the Impact of Dementia Upon Caregivers of Adults with Intellectual Disability. Journal for ReAttach Therapy and Developmental Diversities.
  • Marsack-Topolewski, C. N. & Graves, J.  (2019).  "I Worry about his Future!": The Delay in Future Planning for Adult Children with ASD.  Journal of Family Work.  doi: 10.1080/10522158.2019.1578714
  • Marsack-Topolewski, C. N. & Church, H. L. (2019). Impact of Caregiver Burden on Quality of Life for Parents of Adult Children with ASD. The American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 124(2), 145-156. doi: 10.1352/1944-7558-124.2.145
  • Marsack, C.N., and Perry, T.E. (2017) Aging in place in every community: Social exclusion experiences of parents of adult children with autism spectrum disorder. Research on Aging. doi:10.1177/0164027517717044
  • Marsack, C.N., and Samuel, P.S. (2017). Mediating effects of social support on quality of life for parents of adults with autism. Journal of Autism and Development Disorders, 47(8), 2378–2389. doi:10.1007/s10803-017-3157-6
  • Samuel, P.S., Tarraf, W., and Marsack, C.N. (2017). Family quality of life survey (FQOLS- 2006): Evaluation of internal consistency, construct and criterion validity for socioeconomically disadvantaged families. Physical and Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics, 31(1), 1–18. doi:10.1080/01942638.2017.1311393
  • Samuel, P.S., Marsack, C.N., Johnson, L.A., and Lichtenberg, P.A. (2017). Grandchild caregiving impact on African American grandparents. Occupational Therapy in Health Care, 31(1), 1–19. doi:10.1080/07380577.2016.1243821
  • Brisebois, K., Trzcinski, E. and, Marsack, C. (2015). The relationship between caseworker assessments of clients’ social networks and child welfare placement outcomes. Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services, 18(2), 90–105. 
    doi: 10.1606/1044-3894.2015.96.4
  • Hopp, F.P., Marsack, C., Camp, J.K., and Thomas, S. (2014). Go to the hospital or stay at home? A qualitative study of expected hospital decision making among African Americans with advanced heart failure. The Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 57, 4–23. doi: 10.1080/01634372.2013.848966


  • SWRK 450 Social Work Practice with Women and Girls
  • SWRK 478/591 Social Work Practice with Persons Living with Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • SWRK 488L4 Field Experience I
  • SWRK 489L4 Field Experience II
  • IHHS 260 Aging to Infancy: A Life Course


Areas of Interest

  • Disability and aging
  • Quality of life and caregiving
  • School-based services for students with disabilities
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder

Positions and Affiliations

Practice Experience

  • Special Education teacher consultant and teacher in the public school system (18 years)
  • Counseling for kids, adolescents, and families

Scholarly Activities

  • Dissertation Title: An Examination of Quality of Life of Parents of Adult Children Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Conducted a national follow-up qualitative study using one-on-one interviews with parents of adult children diagnosed with autism


  • Current research is focused on parents and grandparents of children and adults with disabilities.


  • LMSW
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Michigan
  • Teacher Consultant Approval, State of Michigan
  • Professional Teaching Certificate - Michigan (K-5 Elementary; K-8; All Subjects Self-Contained; SA Endorsement; K-12 Cognitive Impairments)

Professional Association Memberships

  • AGESW chapter member
  • Gerontological Society of America chapter member
  • International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities