Geoff Greif

Geoff Greif‌Geoffrey L. Greif, Professor, Co-Chair, Clinical Concentration

Dr. Geoffrey Greif is Professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work where he has worked since 1984.  He was Associate Dean from 1996 to 2007.  He received his MSW from the University of Pennsylvania and his PhD from the Columbia University School of Social Work.  He is the author of more than 135 journal articles and book chapters and fourteen books including four that are co-edited.  These include: When Parents Kidnap (co-authored with Dr. Rebecca Hegar); Single Fathers; Beating the Odds: Raising academically successful African American males (written with Drs. Freeman Hrabowski and Ken Maton); Overcoming the Odds: Raising academically successful African American young women (written with Hrabowski, Maton, and Monica Greene); and Group work with populations at risk (co-edited with Dr. Carolyn Knight). 

Within the past few years, Dr. Greif has explored horizontal relationships with the publications of Buddy System: Understanding male friendships and Two Plus Two: Couples and their couple friendships (with Dr. Katherine Holtz Deal). Adult Sibling Relationships, written with Dr. Michael Woolley, came out in 2016. A new book on in-law relationships is under contract. In 2001, he chaired Governor Parris Glendening’s Commission to study sexual orientation discrimination in Maryland. Between 2011 and 2016, Dr. Greif co-led a fathering group for federal detainees at the Chesapeake Detention Center in Baltimore and now co-leads a group at Christopher Place. 

He is a member of various community-based boards, including the Open Society Institute Leadership Council and the Shriver Hall Concert Series, where he chaired the board.  He also served on the Board of Social Work Examiners in Maryland and the board of WYPR, the local National Public Radio Station.  His current research, teaching, and practice interests include child abduction, family therapy, parenting issues,  adult friendships, and adult siblings.  In 2007, he received the Educator of the Year award from the Maryland Chapter of NASW and in 2010 he received the University of Maryland Board of Regents Excellence in Teaching Award. In 2018 he received the UMB teacher of the year award. He has appeared on numerous television and radio programs and his research has been cited in major news outlets throughout the world.


Read Dr. Greif's Blog at Psychology Today

Contact Information:
Phone: (410) 706.3567
Room: 3W01
Greif CV

Mailing Information:
UM School of Social Work
525 West Redwood Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201


MSW, University of Pennsylvania 
PhD, Columbia University

Expertise and Research Interests

Family Therapy
Group Work
Child Abduction
Single Parents


Board Member of WYPR, the Baltimore NPR radio station
Open Society Leadership Council
Kansas City Jammers
Shriver Hall Concert Series

Honors and Awards

University of Maryland Board of Regents Excellence in Teaching Award for 2009-2010
Educator of the Year, Maryland Chapter, NASW 2007
Student Government Association Exemplary Faculty Member, UMB SSW 2005
Who's Who in America, 2006
Who's Who Among America's Teachers (8th Edition), 2006.

Recent Publications

Greif, G. L. & Deal, K. H. (2012). (Eds). Two plus two: Couples and their couple friendships. Routledge
Greif, G. L. and Ephross, P. (2011) Group Work with Populations at Risk. Third Edition. Oxford University Press (OUP)

Greif, G. L. (2010). Family reunification after a lengthy abduction. Alexandria, VA: National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
Greif, G. L. (2009) Buddy System: Understanding Male Friendships. OUP

Hrabowski, Maton, Greene, and Greif (2002) Overcoming the Odds: Raising Academically Successful African American Young Women. OUP

Hrabowski, Maton, and Greif (1997) Beating the Odds: Raising Academically Successful African American Males. OUP

Greif, G. L. (1997) Out of Touch: When Parents and Children lose Contact after Divorce. OUP

Greif and Hegar (1993) When Parents Kidnap. Free Press

Greif, G. L. (1990) The Daddy Track and the Single Father. Lexington Books

Greif, G. L. (1988) Mothers Without Custody. Lexington

Greif, G. L. (1985) Single Fathers. Lexington

Greif, G. L. (2012). Ambiguous reunification: A way for social workers to conceptualize the return of children after abduction and other separations.  Families in Society, 93, 204-211.

Greif, G. L. & Deal, K. H.  (2012).  The impact of divorce on couples and their couple friendships. The Journal of Divorce and Remarriage. 53, 421–435.

Bright, C. L., Osborne, V. A., & Greif, G. L. (2011). One dozen considerations when working with women in substance abuse groups. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 43(1), 64-68. 

Greif, G. L., Jones, J. T., Worthy, J., White, E., Davis, W., & Pitchford, E.  (2011).  Working with urban, African-American fathers: The importance of service provision, joining, accountability,  the  father-child relationship and couples work.  Journal of Family Social Work, 14, 247-261.

Greif, G. L. (2009). One dozen considerations when working with men in substance abuse groups. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs.

Gantt, A. & Greif, G. L. (2009) African American Single Mothers Raising Sons," Journal of Family Social Work.

"Dual Degree Social Work Programs: Where are the Programs and Where are the Graduates?" Advances in Social Work, vol. 9(1), 2008. Co-authored with Drs. Shari Miller and Karen Hopkins.

Greif, G. L. (2009). Understanding older men and their male friendships: A comparison of African American and White men. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 52, 618-632.

Greif, G. L. (2009). The long-term aftermath of child abduction: Two case studies and implications for family therapy. American Journal of Family Therapy. 37, 273-286.

“Miller, S. E., Hopkins, K., & Greif, G. L. (2008). Dual degree social work programs: Where are the programs and where are the graduates?” Advances in Social Work, 9, 29-43.

Greif, G. L., Finney, C., Greene-Joyner, R., Minor, S., & Stitt, S. (2007). “Fathers who are court-mandated to attend parenting education groups at a child abuse prevention agency: Implications for family therapy. Family Therapy, 34, 13-26.

Greif, G. L. & Bowers, D. T. (2007). “Unresolved loss: Issues in working with adults whose sibling Was kidnapped years ago.” American Journal of Family Therapy, 35, 203-219.

Dubowitz, H., Lane, W, Greif, G. L., Lamb, M.E., & Jensen, T. (2006). “Low income African American fathers’ involvement in children’s live: Implications for practitioners. Journal of Family Social Work, 10, 25-41.

Greif, G. L. (2006). “Male friendships: Implications from research for family therapy.” Family Therapy, 33, 1-15.

Cornelius, L. J. & Greif, G. L. (2005). “Schools of social work and the nature of their foreign collaborations.” International Social Work, 48, 823-833.