A photo of Kimberly Yolton.

Director of Research Section, General and Community Pediatrics

Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics


Biography & Affiliation


Kimberly Yolton, PhD, is a developmental psychologist and epidemiologist with over 25 years of experience studying the impact of prenatal and early life exposures on neurobehavior in infancy and throughout childhood. She was formerly the director of a follow-up clinic serving high-risk infants and young children and 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 specialized 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.

In addition to her extensive research experience, she has over 30 years of experience as a teacher, trainer, and mentor. She regularly conducts training for single and multi-site research studies. She is a member of the training faculty within three T32 training programs, and she has been a mentor to students at educational stages ranging from high school to postdoctoral. She is also associate director of a NRSA Fellowship program and is committed to fostering the development of the next generation of researchers.

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.

Research Interests

Infant and child development and behavior; environmental exposures

Academic Affiliation

Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics


General and Community Pediatrics

Cincinnati Children's Blog

Pregnant Women Should Eat Fish

BlogHealthy Living

Pregnant Women Should Eat Fish

By Kimberly Yolton, PhD5/23/2016

Science Blog

Plastics and Pesticides: Tracking Down the Real Risks

Community Health

Plastics and Pesticides: Tracking Down the Real Risks

Kimberly Yolton, PhD6/25/2019


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

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


Selected Publication

Early infant attention as a predictor of social and communicative behavior in childhood. Bowers, K; Khoury, J; Sucharew, H; Xu, Y; Chen, A; Lanphear, B; Yolton, K. International Journal of Behavioral Development. 2019; 43:204-211.

Cohort Profile: The Health Outcomes and Measures of the Environment (HOME) study. Braun, JM; Kalloo, G; Chen, A; Dietrich, KN; Liddy-Hicks, S; Morgan, S; Xu, Y; Yolton, K; Lanphear, BP. International Journal of Epidemiology. 2017; 46:dyw006-dyw006.

Prenatal Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether Exposures and Neurodevelopment in U.S. Children through 5 Years of Age: The HOME Study. Chen, A; Yolton, K; Rauch, SA; Webster, GM; Hornung, R; Sjoedin, A; Dietrich, KN; Lanphear, BP. Environmental Health Perspectives. 2014; 122:856-862.

Exposure to neurotoxicants and the development of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and its related behaviors in childhood. Yolton, K; Cornelius, M; Ornoy, A; McGough, J; Makris, S; Schantz, S. Neurotoxicology and Teratology. 2014; 44:30-45.

Low-level prenatal exposure to nicotine and infant neurobehavior. Yolton, K; Khoury, J; Xu, Y; Succop, P; Lanphear, B; Bernert, JT; Lester, B. Neurotoxicology and Teratology. 2009; 31:356-363.

Environmental Tobacco Smoke Exposure and Child Behaviors. Yolton, K; Khoury, J; Hornung, R; Dietrich, K; Succop, P; Lanphear, B. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. 2008; 29:450-457.

Principles and practices of neurodevelopmental assessment in children: Lessons learned from the Centers for Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research. Dietrich, KN; Eskenazi, B; Schantz, S; Yolton, K; Rauh, VA; Johnson, CB; Alkon, A; Canfield, RL; Pessah, IN; Berman, RF. Environmental Health Perspectives. 2005; 113:1437-1446.

Low-level environmental lead exposure and children's intellectual function: An international pooled analysis. Lanphear, BP; Hornung, R; Khoury, J; Yolton, K; Baghurstl, P; Bellinger, DC; Canfield, RL; Dietrich, KN; Bornschein, R; Greene, T; et al. Environmental Health Perspectives. 2005; 113:894-899.

Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke and cognitive abilities among US children and adolescents. Yolton, K; Dietrich, K; Auinger, P; Lanphear, BP; Hornung, R. Environmental Health Perspectives. 2005; 113:98-103.

The role of fluid reasoning in word recognition. Guerin, JM; Sylvia, AM; Yolton, K; Mano, QR. Journal of Research in Reading. 2020; 43:19-40.