Deborah Winders Davis, PhD

Professor of Pediatrics

Division of Clinical and Translational Research
Director, Child and Adolescent Research Design and Support Unit
Director, Louisville Twin Study


Academic Phone Number: 502-852-9187 Email Address: deborah.davis@louisville.edu

Background

Dr. Davis is a Professor of Pediatrics and has an Associate Appointment in the Department of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences in the School of Public Health and Information Sciences. She also is a Commonwealth Scholar within the Commonwealth Institute of Kentucky. Dr. Davis has a PhD is in nursing with doctoral and post-doctoral training in developmental psychology. She has expertise in various areas of content, as well as extensive experience in planning and implementing both qualitative and quantitative studies, database development and data management, grant and manuscript preparation, and mentoring undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral trainees and junior faculty in research methods and scientific writing.


Research Interests:

  • Early childhood development
  • Promoting positive parenting
  • Prevention of behavioral and mental health problems
  • Health equity and health literacy
  • Childhood and mid-adulthood predictors of dementias (from the Louisville Twin Study)

Current Projects and Grants

  • NIH NIA, Contribution of child development, biological aging, and beta-amyloid to cognitive function of the Louisville twins at midlife, 2019-2024. This study will test various hypotheses that accelerated biological age contributes to Aβ accumulation and worse cognitive functioning in midlife and that early life developmental characteristics influence biological age, Aβ accumulation, and cognitive functioning in midlife.
  • NIH NICHD/NIGMS, The Kentucky Pediatric Clinical Trials Rural/Urban Partnership, (2020-2024). The goal is to provide medically underserved and rural populations access to state-of-the-art clinical trials, applying findings from relevant pediatric cohort studies to children in IDeA state locations, and building pediatric research capacity at a national level.
  • Kentucky Medicaid, Safeguarding medication use and improving care delivery for children receiving Kentucky Medicaid (2020-2022), The purpose of this project is to plan interventions to reduce the prescribing of various classes of medication and improve health care quality for children receiving Kentucky Medicaid.
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Studying Freedom House's Collaborative Approach to Cross-Sector Alignment in Kentucky to Improve Outcomes for Pregnant and Parenting Women in Recovery, 2020-2022.
  • Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, Caregiver Adaptation to Caring for a Child with Spinal Cord Injury Undergoing Activity-Based Therapy (ABT), 2019-2022. The purpose of this mixed-methods study is to understand the impact of ABT on the parents of children with spinal cord injuries.

Selected Publications and Manuscripts in Progress

Studies related to mental health of children and youth who were from low-income families and/or in foster care:

  1. Davis, D.W., Feygin, Y., Creel, L., et al. (2019). Longitudinal trends in ADHD diagnosis and stimulant use in preschool children on Medicaid. Journal of Pediatrics, 207, 185-191; doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2018.10.062; PMID: 30545564
  2. Lohr, W. D., Davis, D. W., Rich, C. A., …. Brothers, K. B. (2019). Addressing the mental healthcare needs of foster children: Perspectives of stakeholders from the child welfare system. Journal of Public Child Welfare, 13(1), 84-100. doi:10.1080/15548732.2018.1477651
  3. Lohr, W.D., Creel, L., Feygin, Y….. *Davis, D.W. (2018). Psychotropic polypharmacy among children and youth receiving Medicaid during 2012-2015. Journal of Managed Care and Specialty Pharmacy, 24(8), 736-744.  doi: 10.18553/jmcp.2018.24.8.736; PMID: 30058983
  4. *Dempster, R., *Davis, D.W., Jones, V.F., et al. (2015). The role of stigma in parental help-seeking for perceived child behavior problems in urban, low-income African American parents. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, 22(4), 265-278. doi: 10.1007/s10880-015-9433-8

Studies related to the cognitive developmental neuroscience of attention in at-risk populations:

  1. *Davis, D.W., Chang, F., Burns, B., et al. (2004) Lead exposure and attention regulation in children living in poverty. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 46, 825-831.
  2. Snyder, E., *Davis, D.W., Burns, B., & Robinson, J.B. (2007). Examining attention networks in preschool children born with VLBW. Journal of Early Childhood & Infant Psychology, 3, 187-206.
  3. Robinson, J.B., Burns, B., & *Davis, D.W. (2009). Maternal scaffolding and attention regulation in children living in poverty, Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 30, 82-91.
  4. *Davis, D.W., Harris, R.C., & Burns, B.M. (2009). Attention regulation in low risk very low birth weight preschoolers: The influence of child temperament and parental sensitivity. Early Child Development and Care, 179, 1-22.

Twin studies:

  1. Davis, D.W., Finkel, D., Turkheimer, W., & Dickens, W. (2015). Genetic and environmental contributions to behavioral stability and change in children 6-36 months of age using Louisville Twin Study data. Behavior Genetics, 45, 610–621. doi 10.1007/s10519-015-9759-x
  2. Finkel, D., Davis, D.W., Turkheimer, W., & Dickens, W. (2015). Applying biometric growth curve models to developmental synchronies in cognitive development: The Louisville Twin Study. Behavior Genetics, 45, 600-609.  doi: 10.1007/s10519-015-9747-1
  3. Beam, C.R., Turkheimer, W., & Dickens, W., & Davis, D.W. (2015). Twin differentiation of cognitive ability through phenotype to environment transmission: The Louisville Twin Study. Behavior Genetics, 45, 622–634. doi 10.1007/s10519-015-9756-0
  4. Turkheimer, W., Beam, C.R., Davis, D.W. (2015). The Scarr-Rowe Interaction in Complete Seven-Year WISC Data from Louisville Twin Study. Behavior Genetics, 45, 635–639. doi 10.1007/s10519-015-9760-4
  5. Giangrandea, E.J., Beam, C.R., Carroll, S., Matthews, L.J., Davis, D.W., Finkel, D., and Turkheimer, E. (Accepted). Multivariate analysis of the Scarr-Rowe interaction across middle childhood and early adolescence. Intelligence, 17, 10.1016/j.intell.2019.101400; published online ahead of print (Accepted 9/27/19).
  6. Beam, C.R., Turkheimer, E., Finkel, D., Levine, M., Zandi, E., Guterbock, T., Giangrande, E., Ryan, L., Pasquenza, N., & Davis, D.W. (2020). Midlife Study of the Louisville Twins: Connecting Cognitive Development to Biological and Cognitive Aging.  Behavior Genetics, 50, 73–83; doi: 10.1007/s10519-019-09983-6
  7. Giangrandea, E.J., Beam, C.R., Carroll, S., Davis, D.W., and Turkheimer, E. (under review). The Flynn Effect Across Four Decades and Three WISC Versions in a Single Sample of U.S. Children
  8. Womack, S., Beam, C., Finkel, D., Davis, D.W., and Turkheimer, E. (under review). Genetic and Environmental Correlates of the Nonlinear Recovery of Cognitive Ability in Twins

Selected Conference Publications and Presentations

  1. Feygin, Y., Lohr, WD., Le, J., Jones, V.F., Williams, P.G., Pasquenza, N., Creel, L., Wattles, B., Jawad, K., and Davis, D.W. (2021).Long-term Follow-up of Preschool-age Children Diagnosed with a Serious Emotional Disturbance in 2012. Poster presentation at the 2021 Pediatric Academic Society Annual Conference (virtual).
  2. Davis, D.W., Jawad, K., Feygin, Y., Lohr, W.D., Creel, L., Pasquenza, N., Jones, V.F., Williams, P.G., & Le, J. (Accepted). Differential diagnosis and treatment of severe mental health in children by health professional shortage areas and demographic characteristics. Abstract accepted for poster presentation at the 2020 Pediatric Academic Society Annual Conference, Philadelphia, PA; May 2-5, 2020 (canceled due to COVID-19).
  3. Feygin, Y., Little, B., Creel, L., Kong, M., Jawad, K., Sun, J., Lohr, WD., Smith, M., Myers, J., Duncan, S., Vu, G., Davis, D.W. (Accepted). Medication Misuse and Suicidal Behavior in Adolescents. Abstract accepted for poster presentation at the 2020 Pediatric Academic Society Annual Conference, Philadelphia, PA; May 2-5, 2020 (canceled due to COVID-19).
  4. Trace, M., Brothers, K., Calhoun, A., Craft, L., Davis, D.W., Feygin, Y., Sullivan, J., Williams, P.G. (2020). ADHD Practice Patterns: A Survey of Kentucky Pediatric Providers. Poster presentation at the annual conference at the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, October 9-12, 2020 (virtual).
  5. *Davis, D.W., Jawad, K., Feygin, Y., Lohr, W.D., Creel, L., Pasquenza, N., Jones, V.F., Williams, P.G., Trace, M., and Le, J. (2020). Differential diagnosis and treatment of severe mental health in children by mental health professional shortage areas and demographic characteristics. Poster presentation at the annual conference at the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, October 9-12, 2020 (virtual).
  6. *Davis, D.W., Lohr, W.D., Feygin, Y., Creel, L., Jawad, K., Jones, V.F., Williams, P.G., Le, J., Trace, M., and Pasquenza, P. (2020). Psychotropic polypharmacy use for children receiving Medicaid and those in foster care. Poster presentation at the annual conference at the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, October 9-12, 2020 (virtual).