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Deborah Gross, DNSc, MS, RN

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

  • Community
  • Disparities
  • Family
  • Maternal Health
  • Mental Health
  • Parenting
  • Pediatrics
  • Social Determinants of Health


Deborah Gross is best known for her work designing and scaling behavioral health interventions that support families of young children from low-income, underserved communities and who may have experienced trauma and adversity. At Johns Hopkins, she holds joint appointments in the School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and in the Bloomberg School of Public Health Department of Mental Health. Dr. Gross and colleagues developed the innovative Chicago Parent Program (CPP), an evidence-based parenting skills and support program created in collaboration with Black/African-American and Latino parents of young children from low-income communities. Since inception, CPP has been used in schools, early childhood programs, human service agencies, and child mental health settings in 25 states and the District of Columbia. 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 health care 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 National Academies of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine), has published extensively on parenting, young children’s mental health and wellbeing, designing equitable community-based interventions and measures that leverage family strengths and resilience, and creating scalable interventions that address the needs of families and young children. She has published more than 150 articles, book chapters, and abstracts, and currently serves on the editorial board of Research in Nursing & Health.

Additional Resources

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

  • Videos
  • Publications/Research

    Chen W, Yu Z, Wang L & Gross D. (in press). Psychometric evaluation of the Simplified Chinese Version of the Adverse Childhood Experiences-International Questionnaire (SC-ACE-IQ) in Children Young Adults. Adversity and Resilience Science.

    Yu Z, Wang L, Chen W, Gross D. (2021). The mediating role of resilience in the relationship between adverse childhood experiences and mental health among young adults. Journal of Advanced Nursing; 77:4793-4804

    Plesko D, Yu Z, & Gross D. (2021). Social connectedness among parents raising children in low-income communities: An integrative review. Research in Nursing & Health, 44(6):957-969.

    Paulson R, Plesko C, Gross D, & Bettencourt A. (in press). Understanding teacher perceptions of parent engagement in the context of social determinants of health and chronic absenteeism. Journal of School Nursing.

    Ho GWK, Chan ACY, & Gross D. (in press). Measuring child-rearing goals for parents with young children: A scoping review. Family Process. DOI: 10.1111/famp.12721

    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

  • 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