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 has completed research showing associations between exposure to second hand smoke and cognitive deficits, behavior problems, and sleep difficulties in children. She has also demonstrated associations between prenatal tobacco smoke and plastics and early infant neurobehavior. She is continuing her study of the effects of tobacco smoke and industrial chemicals like plastics and insecticides on infant and child development and behavior. 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, Cincinnati, OH, 2000-2003.


View PubMed Publications


National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Cooperative Multi-Center Neonatal Research Network. Principal Investigator of Follow-Up Studies. National Institutes of Health. Apr 2006 - Mar 2016.

Longitudinal Study of Exposure to PBDEs and PFCs and Child Neurobehavior. Co-Principal Investigator. National Institutes of Health. Aug 2011 - Apr 2016.