A photo of Alonzo (Ted) Folger, PhD.

Director of Evaluation and Epidemiologic Research, Every Child Succeeds

Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics


Biography & Affiliation


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, Child Abuse Prevention


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

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

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


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.

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:e2020010611-e2020010611.

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:e20200557-e20200557.

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. The 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. The Journal of Pediatrics. 2019; 211:146-151.

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.

Development of a State-Wide Database of Early Intervention and Educational Outcomes for Children who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing. Folger, AT; Wiley, S; Van Horn, A; Grove, W; DeDino, N; Minter-Mohr, M; Sa, T; Meinzen-Derr, J. 2019; 4:28-35.

Feasibility study of the calm baby gently program: An educational baby book intervention on safe practices related to infant crying. Eismann, EA; Pearl, ES; Theuerling, J; Folger, AT; Hutton, JS; Makoroff, K. Child Abuse and Neglect. 2019; 89:135-142.

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.