Kimberly Yolton, PhD

Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

Phone: 513-636-2815


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Infant and child development and behavior
Environmental exposures


Kimberly Yolton, PhD, was formerly the director of a follow-up clinic serving high-risk infants and young children. She has extensive experience with infants and children who were prenatally exposed to substances of abuse, were born prematurely or at low birth weight, or who come from disadvantaged home environments. She was involved in the initial development of the NICU Network Neurobehavioral Scale (NNNS), a neurobehavioral assessment tool used with healthy and high-risk newborns. She is certified to train others in the proper administration, scoring, and interpretation of the NNNS and has used the tool for clinical, research, and teaching purposes locally, nationally, and internationally. She is currently using the NNNS to study subtle differences in the neurobehavior of newborns who have been prenatally exposed to environmental toxicants such as tobacco smoke, plastics (phthalates and bisphenol A), insecticides, and mercury.

Dr. Yolton’s current research focuses on the impact of exposure to common environmental toxicants on developmental and behavioral outcomes from infancy through childhood. Her research has demonstrated associations between exposure to tobacco smoke during pregnancy and in childhood and cognitive deficits, behavior problems, and sleep difficulties in infants and children. She has also published findings regarding associations between plastics, and organophosphate pesticides and early infant neurobehavior. Work in progress includes examination of the impact of methyl mercury, air pollution, flame retardants (PBDEs), and perfluoroalkyl chemicals (PFCs) on neurobehavioral outcomes. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute (FAMRI).

Dr. Yolton came to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center as a postdoctoral fellow in pediatric environmental health in 2000 and joined the faculty in 2003. She earned her master's degree in family and child development from Virginia Tech, and her doctoral degree in child development and developmental psychology from The Ohio State University.

Education and Training

PhD: Family Relations & Human Development, Developmental Psychology, The Ohio State University, 1992.

Fellowship: Pediatric Environmental Health, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, 2000-2003.


View PubMed Publications


Bone mineral accretion in young children. Co-Investigator. NICHD. Dec 2013-Nov 2018. R01 HD076321-01.

Traffic Exposure, Childhood Allergy and Neurobehavioral and Neuroimaging Effects. Co- Investigator. NIEHS. Jul 2012-Mar 2016. R01 ES019890.

Longitudinal Study of Exposure to PBDEs and PFCs and child neurobehavior. Co-Principal Investigator. NIEHS. Jul 2011-Jun 2015. R01 ES020349. 

NICHD Cooperative Multi-Center Neonatal Research Network. Co-Investigator and Principal Investigator of Follow-Up Studies. NICHD. Apr 2011-Mar 2016. 2U10 HD027853-16. 

Translational Studies on the Role of Developmental Pyrethroid Exposure in ADHD. Co-Investigator and Principal Investigator of subcontract. NIEHS. Jul 2010–Jun 2014. 3R01 ES015991-04S1.