Dr. Linda Mayes is the Arnold Gesell Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Psychology and Director of the Yale Child Study Center. She is also Special Advisor to the Dean in the Yale School of Medicine. Trained as a pediatrician, Dr. Mayes’s research focuses on stress-response and regulatory mechanisms in young children at both biological and psychosocial risk. She has especially focused on the impact of prenatal substance use on children’s long-term outcomes. She has made contributions to understanding the mechanisms of effect of prenatal stimulant exposure on the ontogeny of arousal regulatory systems and the relation between dysfunctional emotional regulation and impaired prefrontal cortical function in young children. She has published widely in the developmental psychology, pediatrics, and child psychiatry literature.
Given the nature of her work with children at significantly high-risk for developmental impairments from both biological and psychosocial etiologies, Dr. Mayes also focuses on the impact of parenting on the development of arousal and attention regulatory mechanisms in their children, and specifically on how substance abuse impacts reward and stress regulatory systems in new parents. With other colleagues in the Center, she studies how adults transition to parenthood, especially when substance abuse is involved, and the basic neural circuitry of early parent-infant attachment using both neuroimaging and electroencephalographic techniques. She and her colleagues have developed a series of interventions for parents including an intensive home-based program called Minding the Baby.
Dr. Mayes's research programs are multidisciplinary, not only in their blending basic science with clinical interventions but also in the disciplines required including adult and child psychiatry, behavioral neuroscience, obstetrics, pediatrics, and neuropsychology.
She is also a Distinguished Visiting Professor in psychology at Sewanee: The University of the South where she is working on intervention programs to enhance child and family resilience.