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Deborah Gross, DNSc, MS, RN

Leonard and Helen Stulman Endowed Professor in Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
Deborah Gross
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Specialties and Expertise

  • Family
  • Family Health
  • Mental Health
  • Parenting
  • Pediatrics
  • Psychiatric / Mental Health
  • Social Determinants of Health/Poverty


Deborah Gross is best known for her work in promoting positive parent-child relationships and preventing behavior problems in preschool children from low-income neighborhoods. At Johns Hopkins, she holds joint appointments at the School of Nursing, the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in the School of Medicine, and the Department of Mental Health in the Bloomberg School of Public Health. Previously, as associate dean for research and a department chair at Rush University College of Nursing, Dr. Gross and colleagues developed the innovative Chicago Parent Program, which improves parenting behavior and reduces child behavior problems. The program currently is used in a number of settings, including Head Start centers in Chicago and New York City. Dr. Gross was a Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow, and among her many recognitions are the Friends of the National Institute for Nursing Research President's Award for outstanding research, the American Academy of Nursing Edge Runner award honoring developers of model programs offering solutions to healthcare challenges, and induction into the Sigma Theta Tau Researchers Hall of Fame. She has served on numerous review panels for the National Institutes of Health and the Institute of Medicine, published more than 100 articles, book chapters, and abstracts, and currently serves on the editorial board of Research in Nursing & Health and Nursing Outlook.

Additional Resources

Below are selected resources. For more information, please see full CV.

  • Videos
  • Publications/Research

    Bettencourt A, Gross D, Bower K, Francis L, Taylor K, Singleton DL, & Han H. (2020). Identifying meaningful indicators of parent engagement in early learning for low-income, urban families. Urban Education. [epub]

    Gross D, Belcher HME, Budhathoki C, Ofonedu ME, Dutrow D, Uveges MK, Slade E. (2019). Reducing preschool behavior problems in an urban mental health clinic serving low-income families: A pragmatic, randomized, noninferiority comparative effectiveness trial. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 58(6), 572-581.

    Gross D. & Bettencourt A. (2019). Financial incentives for promoting participation in a school-based parenting program in low-income communities. Prevention Science, 20, 585-597.

    Gross, D., Beeber, L., DeSocio, J., & Brennaman, L. (2016). "Toxic stress: Urgent action needed to reduce exposure to toxic stress in pregnant women and young children." Nursing Outlook, 64(5), 513-515.

    Bettencourt, A., Gross, D., & Ho, G. (March 2016). "The Costly Consequences of Not Being Socially and Behaviorally Ready by Kindergarten: Associations with Grade Retention, Receipt of Academic Support Services, and Suspensions/Expulsions." Baltimore Education Research Consortium. Available at

    Gross, D., Belcher, H., Ofonedu, M., Breitenstein, S., Frick, K., & Budhathoki, C. (2014). "Study protocol for a comparative effectiveness trial of two parent training programs in a fee-for-service mental health clinic: Can we improve mental health services to low-income families." Trials, 15:70.

    Gross, D., Garvey, C., Julion, W., Fogg, L., Tucker, S., & Mokros, H. (2009). "Efficacy of the Chicago Parent Program with low-income African-American and Latino parents of young children." Prevention Science, 10, 54-65.

  • Awards/Honors

    2020   Top Baltimore Nurses, Baltimore Magazine

    2018   Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice Award

    2017   Nursing Outlook Excellence in Practice Writing Award

    2017   AERA Division H Outstanding Publications Award for Applied Research Reports, Division on Research, Education, and Assessments in Schools

    Fellow, American Academy of Nursing

    Ambassador of the Friends of the National Institute for Nursing Research

    Sigma Theta Tau International Researcher Hall of Fame

    President's Award, Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research

    Edgerunner, American Academy of Nursing

    Fellow, Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Leaders Program