A photo of Robert Ammerman.

Pediatric Psychologist, Research, Behavioral Medicine & Clinical Psychology

Scientific Director, Every Child Succeeds

Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics



Board Certified

"I’m committed to using psychological science to ensure that all children reach their full potential. My goal is to foster healthy behavioral and emotional development for children. I believe this can only be done by also engaging parents and caregivers."

Biography & Affiliation


As a pediatric psychologist, I’m committed to using psychological science to ensure that all children reach their full potential. My goal is to foster healthy behavioral and emotional development for children. I believe this can only be done by also engaging parents and caregivers.

My research is focused on early childhood abuse prevention programs, as well as the impact of parental mental health and traumatic experiences on parenting and child development. We seek to develop effective interventions that will support parents so that they can foster healthy behavioral and emotional development in their children.

My colleagues and I have developed an in-home psychological treatment for postpartum depression. This highly effective and accessible approach supports mothers with their recovery from depression, ultimately helping both mothers and their children. Our research has demonstrated that even when mothers are at their lowest point, they have tremendous potential to thrive and provide a nurturing environment for their children. We are all capable of change and growth.

For my contributions to the field, I was named a fellow of both the American Psychological Association and the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. I’m also a Diplomate in Behavioral and Cognitive Psychology with the American Board of Professional Psychology.

Clinical Interests

Maternal depression; anxiety disorders.

Research Interests

Early childhood prevention programs and interventions to optimize the development of young children; enhancements of home visiting programs that improve outcomes for mothers and children; development of in-home treatment for postpartum depression; use of motivational interviewing to improve retention in home visiting; strategies to help new mothers and fathers co-parent to foster healthy child development.

Academic Affiliation

Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

Research Divisions

Clinical Psychology


PhD: University of Pittsburgh; Pittsburgh, PA, 1986.

Internship: Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; Pittsburgh, PA, 1986.

Certification: American Board of Professional Psychology, Diplomate in Cognitive and Behavioral Psychology, 1995; Ohio State Board of Psychology, 1999.


Maternal depression is associated with altered functional connectivity between neural circuits related to visual, auditory, and cognitive processing during stories listening in preschoolers. Farah, R; Greenwood, P; Dudley, J; Hutton, J; Ammerman, RT; Phelan, K; Holland, S; Horowitz-Kraus, T. Behavioral and Brain Functions. 2020; 16.

Combinations of adverse childhood events and risk of postpartum depression among mothers enrolled in a home visiting program. Nidey, N; Bowers, K; Ammerman, RT; Shah, AN; Phelan, KJ; Clark, MJ; Van Ginkel, JB; Folger, AT. Annals of Epidemiology. 2020; 52:26-34.

A parental smoking cessation intervention in the pediatric emergency setting: A randomized trial. Mahabee-Gittens, EM; Ammerman, RT; Khoury, JC; Tabangin, ME; Ding, L; Merianos, AL; Stone, L; Gordon, JS. International journal of environmental research and public health. 2020; 17:8151-8151.

Adherence to Well-Child Care and Home Visiting Enrollment Associated with Increased Emergency Department Utilization. Goyal, NK; Brown, CM; Folger, AT; Hall, ES; Van Ginkel, JB; Ammerman, RT. Maternal and Child Health Journal. 2020; 24:73-81.

Effect of a Motivational Interviewing-Based Intervention on Initiation of Mental Health Treatment and Mental Health After an Emergency Department Visit Among Suicidal Adolescents: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Grupp-Phelan, J; Stevens, J; Boyd, S; Cohen, DM; Ammerman, RT; Liddy-Hicks, S; Heck, K; Marcus, SC; Stone, L; Campo, JV; et al. JAMA Network Open. 2019; 2:e1917941-e1917941.

Treatment of Maternal Depression in Pediatric Primary Care. Herbst, RB; Ammerman, RT; Perry, SP; Zion, CE; Rummel, MK; McClure, JM; Stark, LJ. Clinical Pediatrics. 2019; 58:1436-1439.

Interpersonal trauma and suicide attempts in low-income depressed mothers in home visiting. Ammerman, RT; Scheiber, FA; Peugh, JL; Messer, EP; Van Ginkel, JB; Putnam, FW. Child Abuse and Neglect. 2019; 97:104126-104126.

Intergenerational effects of maternal early life adversity on infant DNA methylation of NR3C1. Bowers, K; Ji, H; Ding, L; Ammerman, R; Van Ginkel, J; Yolton, K; Folger, AT. Annals of Epidemiology. 2019; 28:656-656.

Parents’ PTSD symptoms and child abuse potential during the perinatal period: Direct associations and mediation via relationship conflict. Fredman, SJ; Le, Y; Marshall, AD; Garcia Hernandez, W; Feinberg, ME; Ammerman, RT. Child Abuse and Neglect. 2019; 90:66-75.

Neonatal NR3C1 Methylation and Social-Emotional Development at 6 and 18 Months of Age. Folger, AT; Ding, L; Ji, H; Yolton, K; Ammerman, RT; Van Ginkel, JB; Bowers, K. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. 2019; 13.