Megan Veenema Smith, DrPH, MPH

Associate Professor of Psychiatry and in the Child Study Center; Director, Mental health Outreach for MotherS (MOMS) Partnership ; Co-Director, Yale Child Study Center Parent and Family Development Program

Research Interests

Child Psychiatry; Chronic Disease; Mental Health; Stress, Psychological; Urban Health; Women's Health; Substance-Related Disorders; Healthcare Disparities; Psychiatry and Psychology

Public Health Interests

Mental Health; Social determinants of health; Social inequalities; Social networks; Stress; Substance abuse; Urban health; Women's Health

Research Organizations

Psychiatry: Center for Wellbeing of Women and Mothers | MOMS Partnership | Psychology Section | Psychotherapy Development Center

Faculty Research

School of Public Health

Office of Cooperative Research

Research Summary

The basis of my clinical research work is my belief that the successful prevention of poor childhood outcomes requires an alternative understanding of women’s mental and physical health problems beginning in the preconception period. Mental and physical illness, I believe, should be conceptualized as constructs in dynamic relation to the social, historical, cultural, economic, and political context in which families reside. This framework has driven my research thus far in specific projects related to the psychiatric and social epidemiology of depression in pregnancy and prevention of mental illness in women and children.

Specialized Terms: Mental health promotion and prevention in children and families; Mental illness in pregnancy and parenting; Community-based mental health research; Community-based participatory research in mental health; Gender disparities in mental illness

Extensive Research Description

Advocating for the reduction of racial, ethnic and gender disparities in health has been a driving force in my research thus far. My research is focused on low-income, racial and ethnic minority women who suffer from mood, anxiety, and substance use disorders. A major portion of this work includes investigations into the occurrence and treatment of illnesses in pregnancy, the postpartum period, and during the parenting years. I am interested in not only the impact of maternal psychopathology on a woman’s own morbidity, but also the impact on her parenting style and the long term health and developmental outcomes of her children. Current projects include determining the efficacy and effectiveness of interventions to treat perinatal mood and substance use disorders in novel community settings and investigating the impact of perinatal depressive, anxiety and substance use disorders on birth outcomes and long term parent-child interaction.

New Haven Mental health Outreach for Mothers (MOMS) Partnership

Momba Smartphone application for new mothers

Pink and Blue Kids Study (follow-up of children born to women in the Yale Stress & Pregnancy Study)

MoMba Livelong Study for Perinatal Smoking 

Gene by Environment Study of post traumatic stress disorder and preterm birth

Biomarkers of resilience and adversity in parent-child dyads 

Project LAUNCH and Circle of Security Evaluation studies 

Selected Publications

Full List of PubMed Publications

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Contact Info

Megan Veenema Smith, DrPH, MPH
Patient Care Location
Temple Medical Center
40 Temple Street, Ste 6B

New Haven, CT 06510
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Mailing Address
40 Temple Street
New Haven, CT 06511

New Haven MOMS Partnership