Nancy E Suchman PhD

Associate Professor of Psychiatry and in the Child Study Center

Biographical Info

After completing her Ph.D. in 1994, Dr. Suchman came to the Department of Psychiatry as a postdoctoral fellow in addiction treatment and research. Dr. Suchman’s interest in parenting intervention development began in 1995 when she joined the Department of Psychiatry faculty and worked with Drs. Suniya Luthar and Bruce Rounsaville to develop and evaluate the Relational Parenting Mothers’ Group. In 2002, Dr. Suchman began collaborating with Drs. Linda Mayes and Arietta Slade at the Yale Child Study Center and established a clinic-based laboratory for studying attachment in mothers with substance use disorders caring for infants and toddlers. In 2004, she received NIH funding to develop/evaluate an attachment-based intervention for mothers on site at a substance use treatment clinic. In 2008, she received NIH funding to study the impact of parenting stress on maternal addiction and caregiving sensitivity. She is also a collaborator with Dr. Mayes in the study of the neural circuitry of parent attachment and substance abuse.

Dr. Suchman’s research integrates perspectives from attachment theory, neuroscience of addiction and developmental psychopathology. She has published in the developmental, pediatric, family, adult psychiatry and addiction literature. Her work focuses on the development and evaluation of parenting interventions that aim to enhance representations of children, reflective functioning and caregiving sensitivity in mothers with substance use disorders. She has also evaluated treatment integrity and mechanisms of change in her intervention research. She has applied attachment, developmental and ecological perspectives to the study of substance using mothers’ parenting. She is also developing a program of research examining the role of infant and toddler distress cues in substance-using mothers’ affect dysregulation and relapse to drug use.

Education & Training

Cornell University (1979)
Syracuse University (1986)
Colorado State University (1994)

Honors & Recognition

  • National Research Service Award
    National Institutes of Health (1994)
  • Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award
    National Institutes of Health (2002)
  • Independent Scientist Research Career Award
    National Institutes of Health (2008)

Professional Service

  • Regular member, National Institutes on Health (7/1/2011 - 6/30/2017)
  • Family Relations Journal (2007)

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