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Maureen M. Black, PhD

John A. Scholl, MD and Mary Louise Scholl, MD Professor in Pediatrics

Academic Title:

Clinical Professor

Primary Appointment:


Secondary Appointment(s):

Medicine, Epidemiology & Public Health

Additional Title:

John A. Scholl, MD and Mary Louise Scholl, MD Endowed Professor


737 W. Lombard Street, 161

Phone (Primary):

(410) 706-2136


(410) 706-5090

Education and Training

B.A.                Pennsylvania State University, Mathematics and Computer Science

M.A.                University of Southern California, Occupational Therapy and Psychology

Ph.D.               Emory University, Developmental Psychology

Fellow             Neuropsychiatric Institute, UCLA Medical Center


Maureen Black, Ph.D. is a pediatric psychologist who conducts research in strategies to promote healthy nutrition and child development and to prevent health disparities. At the University of Maryland, she is the founder and director of the Growth and Nutrition Clinic, and holds a primary appointment in the Department of Pediatrics and secondary appointments in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health and Department of Medicine.  Dr. Black has adjunct appointments in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and in the Department of Psychology at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Dr. Black's research integrating nutrition and child development has focused on modifiable factors that extend from the family to national policies. Her publications with Children’s HealthWatch, a network of public health researchers from five medical centers across the country, documented the prevalence and negative consequences of food insecurity on children’s health and development. Following the validation of a 2-item  screen for food insecurity, the Hunger Vital Sign,  by the University of Maryland Children’s HealthWatch team, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement recommending that all pediatricians implement the screen to identify children in food insecure households. Dr. Black has conducted intervention trials with children exposed to environmental threats including prenatal drug exposure, failure to thrive, nutritional deficiencies, poverty, food insecurity, HIV, poverty, and risk of obesity. She has conducted her work in low-income communities of Maryland and in low- and middle-income countries throughout the world (e.g., Bangladesh, India, Guatemala, Swaziland). She has been an author on three series of papers on Early Child Development published in The Lancet (2007, 2011, and 2016-2017), serving as the lead author for the first paper in the 2016-2017 series. That paper reviewed the scientific progress that has been made in global child development over the past 15 years, reported that 249 million children under age 5 years of age (43% of the children in the world) are at risk of not reaching their developmental potential based on stunting and severe poverty, and proposed an integrated framework of Nurturing Care beginning prior to birth to ensure children’s early health and development. Dr. Black has received funding from multiple federal agencies, including the National Institutes of Health; US Department of Agriculture; Maternal and Child Health Bureau; US Agency for International Development; and Center for Disease Control and Prevention. She has served as a regular member (4-year terms) of two NIH study sections and an ad hoc member on approximately 20 study sections. She is on the external advisory committee of NIH’s Science of Behavior Change Committee and has served on advisory committees for multiple local, national, and international organizations, including UNICEF, WHO, and the World Bank Group.

Research/Clinical Keywords

Global child development, nutrition and child development, micronutrients, failure-to-thrive, stunting, undernutrition, food insecurity, obesity prevention, intervention research, pediatric psychology

Highlighted Publications

Black MM, Walker SP, Fernald LCH, Anderson CT, DiGirolamo A, Lu, C., McCoy, D. C., Fink, G., Shawar, Y. R., Shiffman, J., Devercelli, A. E., Wodon, Q. T., Vargas-Baron, E., Grantham-McGregor S. Early child development coming of age: Science through the life-course. The Lancet. 2017;389(10064):77-90.

Yimgang D, Wang Y, Paik G, Hager E, Black MM. Civil unrest in the context of chronic community violence: Impact on maternal depressive symptoms. American Journal of Public Health 2017;107(9):1455-1462.

Black MM, Tilton N, Bento S, Cureton P, Feigelman S. (2016). Recovery in young children with weight faltering: Child and household risk factors. Journal of Pediatrics. 2016, 170:301-6.

Black MM Hager E, Le K, Anliker J, DiClemente C, Gittelsohn J, Magder L, Papas M, Snitker S, Treuth M, Wang Y. Challenge! Health promotion/obesity prevention mentorship model among urban, black adolescents. Pediatrics. 2010;126 (2), 280-288.



Additional Publication Citations


Black MM, Baqui A., Zaman K, Persson L A., el Arifeen, S, *Le K, *McNary S, Black RE. Iron and zinc supplementation promote motor development and exploratory behavior among Bangladeshi infants. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2004;80:903-910.

Black MM., Sazawal S, Black RE, Khosla S, Kumar J, Menon V. Cognitive and motor development among low-income, Indian infants: The impact of birth weight, caregiving practices, and zinc supplementation.  Pediatrics, 2004:113:1297-1305. 

Lozoff B, *Corapci F, Burden MJ, Kaciroti N, Angulo-Barroso R, Sazawal S, Black M M. Preschool-Aged children with iron deficiency anemia show altered affect and behavior. Journal of Nutrition, 2007;137: 683-689.

*Riggins T, Cacic K, *Buckingham-Howes S, *Scaletti LA, Salmeron BJ, Black MM. Memory ability and hippocampal volume in adolescents with prenatal drug exposure. Neurotoxicology and Teratology. 2012;28;34(4):434-441.

Black, M.M., Dubowitz, H., *Krishnakumar, A., Starr, R.H. Early intervention and recovery among children with failure-to-thrive: Follow-up at age 8. Pediatrics, 2012;120, 59-69.

Black MM, *Quigg AM, Cook J,et al.,WIC participation protects children from health risks associated with dual stressors of household food insecurity and caregiver depressive symptoms. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 2012;166, 444-451.

Cook JT, Black M, Chilton M, Cutts D, Ettinger de Cuba S, Heeren TC, Rose-Jacobs R, Sandel M, Casey PH, Coleman S, Weiss I, Frank DA. Are food insecurity's health impacts underestimated in the U.S. population? Adv Nutr. 2013;4(1):51-61.

*Buckingham-Howes S, *Berger SS, *Scaletti L, Black MM. A systematic review of prenatal cocaine exposure and adolescent behavior and development.  Pediatrics. 2013;131(6):e1917-36.

Wang Y, *Buckingham-Howes S, Nair P. Zhu S, Magder L, Black MM. Prenatal drug exposure, behavioral problems and drug experimentation among African American urban adolescents.  Journal of Adolescent Health. 2014:55:423-431.

*Buckingham-Howes S, Bento SB, *Scaletti L, Keonig J, Granger D, Black MM. Prenatal drug exposure moderates the association between stress reactivity and cognitive function in adolescence. Developmental Neuroscience. 2014; 36(3-4):329-337.

*Buckingham-Howes, S, Mazza D, Wang Y, Granger DA, Black MM. (2016). Stress reactivity among adolescents with prenatal drug exposure: Associations with drug experimentation, behavior problems, and body mass. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 2016;37(7):565-72

*Fernandez Rao S, Hurley KM, Madhavan Nair K, Balakrishna N, Radhakrishna KV, Ravinder P, *Tilton N, Harding KB, Reinhart GA, Black MM. Integrating nutrition and early child development interventions among infants and preschoolers in rural India. Annals of the New York Academy of Science.2014;1308:218-231.

Cutts DB, Coleman S, Black MM, Chilton MM, Cook JT, de Cuba SE, Heeren TC, Meyers A, Sandel M, Casey PH, Frank DA. Homelessness during pregnancy: A unique, time-dependent risk factor of birth outcomes. Matern Child Health J. 2015;19(6):1276-83.

*Sun J, Patel F, Rose-Jacobs R, Frank DA, Black MM, Chilton M.  Mothers’ Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and their young children’s development. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2017. Sep 14. pii: S0749-3797(17)30422-1.


Clinical Specialty Details



Guest Editor:


Journal of Pediatric Psychology. Special issue: International Child Health. 25, (4). (2000)

Clinical Psychology Review. Special issue: Prevention of Children’s Behavioral and Mental Health Problems: New Horizons for Psychology. 19, (4). (1999)

Journal of Pediatric Psychology. Special issue: Prenatal Substance Exposure: Impact on Children’s Health, Development, School Performance, and Risk Behavior (2006)

Journal of Pediatric Psychology. Special issue: Pediatric Overweight. (2007)

European Journal of Nutrition. Special issue: Nutrition and children’s cognition. (2008)

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Special issue: Maternal and child mental health: Role of nutrition. (2009)

Journal of Nutrition. Special issue. Responsive Feeding: Promoting Healthy Growth and Development for Infants and Toddlers (2011)

 Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Every Child’s Potential: Integrating Nutrition and Early Childhood Development Interventions (Vol. 1308, January, 2014)


Pediatric Psychology, Licensed Maryland 01367

Director, Growth and Nutrition Practice, interdisciplinary practice for children with growth and/or feeding problems


Awards and Affiliations


Elected President, Division of Child, Youth and Family Services, American Psychological Association (1991)

Elected Fellow, American Psychological Association, Division of Child, Youth and Family Services (1994)

Elected President, Society of Pediatric Psychology, American Psychological Association (1996)

Elected Fellow, American Psychological Society (1999)

John A. Scholl Endowed Professorship (2003)

Institute of Medicine, Committee to evaluate the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) (2003-2005)

Elected, Committee on International Relations in Psychology (CIRP), American Psychological Association (2009)

Institute of Medicine, Committee to plan the evaluation of WIC (2010)

Logan Wright Research Award, Society of Pediatric Psychology (2009)

Virginia A. Beal Lectureship, University of Massachusetts, Amherst (2009)

Clinical and Translational Science Institute Excellence in Mentoring Award (2011)

Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame (2012)

National WIC Association’s Friend of WIC Leadership Award (2013)

Foltyn Family Seminar in Health Sciences. University of Delaware, Newark, DE, (2013)

Russell Nutrition Symposium, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ (2013).

J. Tyson Tildon Excellent in Pediatric Research (2016)

Tay Gavin Erickson Lecture, University of Massachusetts Amherst (2017)

Paul Harper Lecture, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (2017)

External Scientific Panel of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)  Science of Behavior Change (SOBC) Common Fund Program.  (2016-2017)

WHO technical committee: Early Childhood Development: Review of Guidelines for Programmes to Support the Development of Young Children Affected by HIV and AIDS in Africa.  Geneva, SW, June 26-28. 2017

WHO technical committee: Nurturing Care for Early Childhood Development. Geneva, SW, July 31-Aug 2, 2017.





Grants and Contracts


2016-2020       Principal Investigator.     National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive & Kidney Disorders                                   (NIDDK). R01 DK107761-01 Building Blocks for Healthy Preschoolers: Child Care and Family Models. Randomized trial to prevent health disparities among preschoolers through wellness policies and habits in childcare and families. 

2015-2018       Co-Investigator.  USAID Evaluating Integration of Early Childhood Development Interventions into the m2m Program in Swaziland. Randomized trial of early child development in prevention of mother-to-mother transmission. PI: Andrea Ruff

2012-2018       Principal Investigator     Boston Medical Center (Kellogg, MacArthur, Eos) Children’s HealthWatchNote: Has been funded annually for 15 years

2017-2021       Co-Investigator            National Institute for Child Health and Development (NICHD) 1R01HD087407-01A1  Preventing Early Childhood Obesity in American Indian Populations PI: Allison Barlow

2016-2020       Co-Investigator              National Institute of Mental Health  (NIMH) 1R01MH110945-01 A Community based Family Navigator Intervention  to Improve Cardiometabolic health of Medicaid-insured youth identified through an antipsychotic medication preauthorization program. PI: Gloria Reeves

2016-2021       Co-Investigator             USDA AFRI Childhood Obesity Prevention Challenge Area:  Integrated Approaches to Preventing Childhood ObesityApproaches to Enhancing Wellness Policy Implementation in Schools to Promote Healthy Behaviors and Prevent Obesity. PI: Erin Hager 

Selected Past:

R01 HD054727 (PI: Black) 6/20/2008 – 12/31/2013  National Institute of Child Health and Development:  Challenge in Schools: Adolescent Overweight Prevention. Multi-level randomized controlled trial of health promotion/obesity prevention among 6th and 7th grade girls.

R01 HD056099 (PI: Black)  9/30/2009 - 8/31/2012 National Institute of Child Health and Development: Toddler Feeding Styles. Evaluation of how feeding styles are related to rapid weight gain and overweight among toddlers.

R01 DA021059 (PI: Black)  9/31/2005-7/31/2012.  National Institute of Drug Abuse. Prenatal Drug Exposure: Effects on Adolescent Brain and Behavioral Development. Examine academics, socio-emotional functioning, and drug use among prenatally exposed adolescents.

CSREES  (PI: Black)  2005 – 04808   8/1/2006 – 7/31/2012.  U.S. Department of Agriculture Toddler Overweight Prevention: Comparison of Maternal and Toddler Interventions. Randomized controlled trial conducted among WIC Clinic participants comparing: 1) maternal dietary and physical activity patterns and 2) parenting and child development with placebo (child safety) in preventing rapid weight gain and promoting healthy toddler dietary and physical activity patterns.     

Community Service


2002–2007      Regular Study Section Member: Psychosocial Risk and Disease Prevention

                         National Institute of Health (NIH)

2008-2016       Ad hoc Study Section Member, National Institute of Health, Risk Prevention and Health Behavior

2017-2021       Regular member, Psychosocial Development, Risk and Prevention Study Section, National Institutes of  Health (NIH)



Professional Activity

Professor (secondary), University of Maryland School of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health

Professor (adjunct), Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Center for Human Nutrition 

Professor (adjunct), University of Maryland Baltimore County, Department of Psychology

Distinguished Fellow, RTI International