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Smith Lab


The Smith lab houses the New Haven Mental Health Outreach for MotherS (MOMS) Partnership, a community-academic partnership to improve maternal mental health among low-income women through a community-driven, place-based approach. The lab is currently working to transform systems of mental health care for low-income women with a particular focus on reducing mental health inequities related to race, ethnicity and poverty. The lab conducts studies ranging from the epidemiology of depressive and anxiety disorders in the perinatal period to the use of mobile health technology to reduce depression in mothers and examine the effects of maternal depression on child out-comes.

The Smith Lab is led by Megan V. Smith, DrPH, MPH, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, in the Child Study Center, and of Epidemiology.

Participant Eligibility/Benefits:

  • Pregnant women over the age of 17 with incomes below 350% of the federal poverty level
  • Mothers of children 18 and under with incomes below 350% of the federal poverty level
  • Pregnant women who are smoking.
  • Monetary compensation for attending visits (depending on study); Provision of diapers and other basic needs; Free group, psychotherapy for depressive and anxiety disorder

Research Interest

Perinatal mental health; maternal depressive and anxiety disorders among low-income women; impacts of parental psychopathology on child outcomes; community-based participatory research.

IRB Study Titles

  • Gene-environment interaction in preterm delivery (HIC #1002006364)
  • Biological biomarkers in MOMS Partnership (HIC#1410014845)
  • MOMS Partnership Workforce RCT (HIC #1409014610)
  • New Haven MOMS Project Cluster RCT (HIC#1010007484)
  • Harnessing the power of technology to reduce postpartum relapse to smoking: MoMba LiveLong (HIC#1407014326)
  • Effects of in utero exposure to opioids and other drugs in 3-6 year-old children (HIC#1603017435)
  • The MoMba study RCT (HIC#1207010574)
  • New Haven MOMS Partnership Parenting Program Pilot Study (HIC#1612018700)
  • Circle of Security Parenting Evaluation (HIC#1310012866)

Contact Information

Betsy Olivencia

Phone: (203) 764-7374