A photo of Alonzo (Ted) Folger, PhD.

Director of Evaluation and Epidemiologic Research, Every Child Succeeds

Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

513-803-9228

Biography & Affiliation

Biography

My research interests evolved from a career in public health that transformed into a passion for understanding and interrupting the intergenerational effects of poverty, trauma and other psychosocial adversities.

My research has included quasi-experimental studies to estimate home visiting effectiveness as a strategy to improve early recognition and treatment of developmental delays, to reduce pediatric unintentional injury and increase utilization of pediatric primary care.

My main focus is the epidemiology of early adversity and in particular, social and behavioral epigenomics. My research objectives are to elucidate the psychosocial and biological mechanisms that mediate the effects of early adversity on child development and behavior. Long-term, my goal is to translate this knowledge into new tools and strategies to better stratify risk and to optimize the impact of prevention programs, such as early childhood home visiting.

I have demonstrated the intergenerational effects of parental trauma on child development across multiple domains. This led to the discovery of epidemiologic associations between the early environment and offspring epigenetic differences associated with child social-emotional functioning. Next steps are to identify and characterize epigenomic predictors of elevated developmental and behavioral risk in vulnerable populations.

My research is supported by several sources, including:

  • National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (R01-MD013006)
  • Cincinnati Children's Trustee and ARC awards
  • The Mayerson Center for Safe and Healthy Children
  • Every Child Succeeds

I’m the director of evaluation and epidemiologic research for the Every Child Succeeds program, based at Cincinnati Children's. I’ve been a researcher for more than 14 years and began my work at Cincinnati Children's in 2012.

Clinical Interests

Prevention programs; trauma; child development

Research Interests

Quasi-experimental evaluation of early childhood home visiting; data linkage; intergenerational effects of psychological trauma; epigenetics (DNA methylation)

Academic Affiliation

Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

Research Divisions

Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Child Abuse Prevention

Education

PhD: Epidemiology, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, 2012.

MS: Epidemiology, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, 2006.

BS: Health Science, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, 2002.

Publications

Association of Age of Enrollment in Early Intervention with Emergent Literacy in Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. Meinzen-Derr, J; Altaye, M; Grove, W; Folger, AT; Wiley, S. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. 2021.

Substance Use and Utilization of Prenatal and Postpartum Care. Nidey, N; Kair, LR; Wilder, C; Froehlich, TE; Weber, S; Folger, A; Marcotte, M; Tabb, K; Bowers, K. Journal of Addiction Medicine. 2021.

Mental Health Epigenetics: A Primer With Implications for Counselors. Jones, DE; Park, JS; Gamby, K; Bigelow, TM; Mersha, TB; Folger, AT. Professional counselor. 2021; 11:102-121.

Co-located Parent Coaching Services Within Pediatric Primary Care: Feasibility and Acceptability. Eismann, EA; Folger, AT; Shapiro, RA; Sivertson, S; Brown, K; Wesseler, SA; Huynh, J. Journal of Pediatric Health Care. 2021; 35:53-63.

Kindergarten Readiness in Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing Who Received Early Intervention. Meinzen-Derr, J; Wiley, S; Grove, W; Altaye, M; Gaffney, M; Satterfield-Nash, A; Folger, AT; Peacock, G; Boyle, C. Pediatrics. 2020; 146.

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.

Associations Between Maternal Community Deprivation and Infant DNA Methylation of the SLC6A4 Gene. DeLano, K; Folger, AT; Ding, L; Ji, H; Yolton, K; Ammerman, RT; Van Ginkel, JB; Bowers, KA. Frontiers in Public Health. 2020; 8.

Objectively Diagnosed Diffuse White Matter Abnormality at Term Is an Independent Predictor of Cognitive and Language Outcomes in Infants Born Very Preterm. Parikh, NA; He, L; Illapani, VS P; Altaye, M; Folger, AT; Yeates, KO. Journal of Pediatrics. 2020; 220:56-63.

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.

Parental Adverse Childhood Experiences and Pediatric Healthcare Use by 2 Years of Age. Eismann, EA; Folger, AT; Stephenson, NB; Brownrigg, ME; Shapiro, RA; Macaluso, M; Gillespie, RJ. Journal of Pediatrics. 2019; 211:146-151.