Current Research

We conduct interdisciplinary research that aligns with the clinical goals of the program – namely, to promote optimal long-term developmental, behavioral, and medical outcomes of the baby and to address the challenges that parents face when having a baby with medical complications.

The populations that our research focuses on include women with high-risk pregnancies who have an unborn baby with (or at high risk of being born with) medical complications, parents of newborn babies with medical complications including babies with a prolonged stay in the NICU, parents coping with the loss of a baby, and babies as well as young children born with medical complications. 

3-D Model to Explain Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS)
PI: Dr. Allison Dempsey
Twin-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) is a complication in which twins receive a disproportionate blood supply resulting in one twin having too much and the other too little. Because parents often have difficulty understanding TTTS, anatomically accurate 3-D models could be an effective education tool to assist health care providers in explaining TTTS. Currently, our research team is testing the effectiveness of this intervention in improving patient understanding.   

C-Section Desensitization 
PI: Dr. Allison Dempsey
Women with high-risk pregnancies are more likely to experience stress and anxiety in anticipation of a c-section. In order to address this, our research team is conducting a clinical trial on the use of a brief, single-session behavioral exposure intervention (c-section walk-through) to test whether it improves the birth experience and reduces stress and anxiety among women with fetal anomalies. 

Counseling Tool Families with Fetal Anomalies
PI: Dr. Allison Dempsey
Families who have an infant born with a high-risk medical condition need special support. This study tests the feasibility, acceptability, and limited efficacy of a counseling tool to promote conversations about coping and quality of life among these families.



For questions about our research, please send an email to Allison Dempsey, PhD, at


Selected Recent Publications from Team Members


2020/In Press

Arnold, C., Tyson, J.E., Pedroza, C., Carlo, W.F., Stevenson, D.K., Wong, R., Dempsey, A., Khan, A., Fonseca, R., Wyckoff, M. & Moreira, A. (2020). Cycled phototherapy dose-finding study for extremely low-birth-weight infants: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Pediatrics, Online First. DOI: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.0559

Dempsey, A. G., Chavis, L., Willis, T., Zuk, J., & Cole, J.C.M. (2020). Addressing perinatal mental health risk within a fetal care center. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings. DOI:  10.1007/s10880-020-09728-2

Dempsey, A. G., Goode, R. H., Coloron, M. T., Holubeck, P., Nsier, H., Zopatti, K. & Needelman, H. (2020). Variations in criteria for eligibility determination for early intervention services with a focus on eligibility for children with neonatal complications. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. In Press.

Dempsey, A. G. & Keller-Margulis, M. A. (2020). Developmental and medical factors associated with parenting stress in mothers of toddlers born very preterm in a neonatal follow-up clinic. Infant Mental Health Journal. In Press.

Dempsey, A.G. & Saxton, S.N. (2020). Mental health in pregnancy and child development: implications for mental health service delivery. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Online First.

Givrad, S., St. John-Larkin, C., Paul, J. J., Whitmann, C., & Nadal-Vincens, M. (2020). Parent-infant relationships in the perinatal setting: Basics of assessment and treatment for the perinatal psychiatrist. In L. A. Hutner, L. Catapano, S. Nagle-Yang, K. E. Williams, & L. M. Osborne (Eds). Textbook of Women’s Reproductive Mental Health. American Psychiatric Association Publishing. In Press

Keller-Margulis, M. A., & Dempsey, A. G. (2020). Children born preterm at preschool age: performance on measures of early academic skills performance and cognitive functioning. Early Childhood Education Journal 48(2), 203-211. DOI:  10.1007/s10643-019-00998-6


Dempsey, A. G. (Ed.). (2019). Pediatric health conditions in schools: a clinician's guide for working with children, families, and educators. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Dempsey, J., Barton, A., Dempsey, A.G. & Chapman, S. (2019). Neurodevelopmental disorders presenting in early childhood. In A. G. Dempsey (Ed.), Pediatric health conditions in schools: a clinician’s guide for working with children, families, and educators. (pp. 245-260).  New York, NY: Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/med-psych/9780190687281.003.0014

Duncan, A. F., Bann, C. M., Dempsey, A.G., Peralta-Carcelen, M., & Hintz, S. (2019). Behavioral deficits at 18-22 months of age are associated with early cerebellar injury and cognitive and language performance in extremely preterm children. The Journal of Pediatrics, 204(4), 148-56. 

Duncan, A. F., Bann, C. M., Dempsey, A. G., Adams-Chapman, I., Heyne, R., & Hintz,S. (2019). Neuroimaging and Bayley-III correlates of early hand function in extremely preterm children. Journal of Perinatology, 39(3), 488-96. DOI: 10.1038/s41372-019-0314-0

Stotts, A. L., Villarreal, Y. R., Klawans, M. R., Suchting, R., Dindo, L., Dempsey, A., Spellman, M., Green, C., & Northrup, T. F. (2019). Psychological flexibility and depression in new mothers of medically vulnerable infants: a mediational analysis. Maternal and Child Health Journal 23(6), 821-9. DOI:  10.1007/s10995-018-02699-9

Hatters Friedman, S, Prakash C, Nagle-Yang S. (2019).  “Postpartum Psychosis:  Protecting mother and infant.”  Current Psychiatry, 18(4), 12-21.

Saxton, S. N., Dempsey, A. G., Willis, T., Baughcum, A. E., Chavis, L, Hoffman, C. & Steinberg, Z. (2019). Essential knowledge and competencies for psychologists working in Neonatal Intensive Care Units. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings 1-12. Retrieved from:


Dempsey, A.G.,  Barton, A. & Duncan, A. F. (2018). Differences in performance on developmental tasks in young children across digital and paper-based modalities: a feasibility trial. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 39(9), 726-35.

Serrano, V.J., Hasbrouck, S., Alfonso, A. M., Ashby, B., Paul, J. J. (co-anchor), & Buchholz, M. (2018). Focusing on Fathers: Recognizing the role of paternal mental health in family well-being during the postpartum period. Zero to Three Journal, 38(6), 13-19.

Albaugh, A. S., Friedman, S. H., Nagle-Yang, S, & Rosenthal, M. (2018). Attendance at Mental Health Appointments by Women Who Were Referred During Pregnancy or the Postpartum Period. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing, 47(1), 3-11.


Bekman, S., St. John-Larkin, C., Paul, J.J., Millar, A. & Frankel, K. (2017). Update on Screening, Referring and Treating the Behavioral, Social, and Mental Health Problems of Very Young Children. Current Treatment Options in Pediatrics, 3(1), 15-31. DOI:10.1007/s40746-017-0076

Osborne, L. M., MacLean, J. V., Barzilay, E. M., Meltzer-Brody, S., Miller, L., & Nagle-Yang, S.  (2017). Reproductive Psychiatry Residency Training: A Survey of Psychiatric Residency Program Directors. Academic Psychiatry, 1-5.

Nagle-Yang, S., Miller, L., & Osborne, L. M. (2017). Reproductive Psychiatry Fellowship Training: Identification and Characterization of Current Programs. Academic Psychiatry, 1-5.