Pamela Scorza, ScD, MPH

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Overview

Dr. Pamela Scorza is interested in the prevention of mental disorders and promotion of mental wellness. Her current research focuses on mechanisms of intergenerational transmission of risk for poor mental health in contexts of adversity. Specifically she is examining epigenetic and behavioral pathways of intergenerational transmission in a multi-generational longitudinal study of Puerto Rican youth. Dr. Scorza earned a Doctor of Science degree at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, where she was part of a research project adapting a family-based intervention to prevent mental disorders in children in families affected by HIV/AIDS in rural Rwanda.

See more information about Dr. Scorza's work.

Academic Appointments

  • Assistant Professor of Reproductive Sciences (in Obstetrics and Gynecology) at CUMC

Gender

  • Female

Research

We conduct research to understand how the social world gets “under the skin” during the first 1,000 days and how interventions can improve outcomes for mothers and children.

Grants

Mothers’ Childhood Trauma and Epigenetic Aging in Newborn Infants: A biomarker for Mental Disorder Risk
NARSAD Brain and Behavior Foundation Young Investigator Award 2022-2024
Role: PI

Mother’s Childhoods and the Intergenerational Transmission of Mental Health Risk in the Context of Adversity
K01 MH117443
2019-2023
Role: PI

Trauma-sensitive Obstetric Care for Perinatal Health: A Pilot RCT
Irving Implementation Science Pilot Award
2022-2023
Role: PI

Columbia Population Research Council Seed Grant
2022-2023
Role: PI

Selected Publications

Babineau, V., Fonge, Y., Miller, E., Grobman, W.A., Scorza, P.,…Monk, C., (Accepted). Associations between Maternal Prenatal Stress and Childhood Neurobehavioral Outcomes in the ECHO Cohort of the NICHD Fetal Growth Studies (ECHO-NICHD-FGS): Fetal Growth Velocity as a Potential Mediator. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

Khan, S., Scorza, P., Lovero, K.L., dos Santos, P., Fumo, W., Camara, B., Oquendo, M.A., Wainberg, M.L., Fejo, M., Duarte, C.S. (Accepted). Women’s Mental Health in Mozambique: Is Maternity a Protective Factor? Global Mental Health

Scorza, P., Merz, E.C., Spann, M., Steinberg, E., Feng, T., Lee, S., Werner, E. Peterson, B.S., Monk, C. (2021). Pregnancy-Specific Stress and Sensitive Caregiving During the Transition to Motherhood in Adolescents. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth.

Polanco-Roman, L., Álvarez, K., Corbeil, T., Scorza, P., Wall, M., Gould, M. S., ... & Duarte, C. S. (2021). Association of childhood adversities with suicide ideation and attempts in Puerto Rican young adults. JAMA psychiatry.

Berry, O. O., Babineau, V., Lee, S., Feng, T., Scorza, P., Werner, E. A., & Monk, C. (2021). Perinatal Depression Prevention Through the Mother-Infant Dyad: The Role of Maternal Childhood Maltreatment. Journal of Affective Disorders.

Scorza, P., Monk, C., Lee, S., Feng, T., Berry, O. O., & Werner, E. (2020). Preventing maternal mental health disorders in the context of poverty: pilot efficacy of a dyadic intervention. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology MFM, 2(4), 100230.

Scorza, P., Duarte, C. S., Lee, S., Wu, H., Posner, J. E., Baccarelli, A., & Monk, C. (2020). Epigenetic Intergenerational Transmission: Mothers’ Adverse Childhood Experiences and DNA Methylation. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

Scorza P., Duarte C., Lovero K., Carlson, C., Mootz, J., Johnson K., Wainberg, ML. (2019) Editorial Perspective: Reaching beyond the clinic: leveraging implementation science to improve access to child and adolescent mental health services. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

Eappen, B. S., Aguilar, M., Ramos, K., Contreras, C., Prom, M. C., Scorza, P., ... & Galea, J. T. (2018). Preparing to launch the ‘Thinking Healthy Programme’perinatal depression intervention in Urban Lima, Peru: experiences from the field. Global Mental Health, 5.

Scorza, P., Cutipe, Yl, Mendoza, M., Arellano, C., Galea JT., Wainberg, M. (2018) Lessons from Rural Peru in Integrating Mental Health into Primary Care. Psychiatric Services

Scorza, P., Masyn, K.E., Salomon, J.S., Betancourt, T.S (2018). The Impact of Measurement Differences on Cross-country Depression Prevalence Estimates: A Latent Transition Analysis. PLoS One.

Scorza, P., Duarte, Cristiane, S., Hipwell, Alison E., Posner, J., Ortin, A., Canino, G., Monk, C. (2018). Intergenerational Transmission of Disadvantage: Epigenetics and Parents’ Childhoods as the First Exposure. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

Scorza, P., Poku, O. Pike, K.M., (2018). Mental Health: Taking its Place as an Essential Element of Sustainable Global Development. British Journal of Psychiatry International.

Wainberg, M.L., Scorza, P., Shultz, J.M., Helpman, L., Mootz, J.J., Johnson, K.A., Neria, Y., Bradford, J.M.E., Oquendo, M.A. and Arbuckle, M.R., (2017). Challenges and Opportunities in Global Mental Health: a Research-to-Practice Perspective. Current psychiatry reports, 19(5), p.28.

Scorza, P., Duarte C., Stevenson, A., Mushashi C., Kanyanganzi F., Munyana M., Betancourt T.S., (2017). Individual-level Factors Associated with Mental Health in Rwandan Youth Affected by HIV/AIDS. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology.

Virginia Zalazar, V., Valdez, J.C., Mascayano, F., Vera, N. Scorza, P., Agrest, M. (2017). Feasibility and psychometric properties of the Recovery Assessment Scale (RAS) in people with mental illness for its use in Argentina. Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Mental Health.

Scorza, P, Araya, R, Wuermli, A, Betancourt TS, (2016). Towards Clarity in Research on “Non-Cognitive” Skills: Linking Executive Functions, Self-Regulation, and Economic Development to Advance Life Outcomes for Children, Adolescents and Youth Globally. Human Development. DOI: 10.1159/000443711

Scorza, P., Masyn, K. E., Salomon, J. A., & Betancourt, T. S. (2015). A Latent Transition Analysis for the Assessment of Structured Diagnostic Interviews. Psychological Assessment, 27(3), 975.

Scorza, P., Owusu-Agyei, S., Asampong, E., & Wainberg, M. L. (2015). The Expression of Perinatal Depression in Rural Ghana. International Journal of Culture and Mental Health, 8(4), 370-381.

Weissman, M. M., Hankerson, S. H., Scorza, P., Olfson, M., Verdeli, H., Shea, S., Lantigua, R., & Wainberg, M. (2014). Interpersonal Counseling (IPC) for Depression in Primary Care. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 68(4), 359.

Betancourt, T., Scorza, P., Kanyanganzi, F., Fawzi, M. C. S., Sezibera, V., Cyamatare, F., Beardslee, W., Stulac, Sl, Buzimana J., Stevenson, A., & Kayiteshonga, Y. (2014). HIV and Child Mental Health: A Case-Control Study in Rwanda. Pediatrics, 134(2), e464-e472.

Scorza, P., Stevenson, A., Canino, G., Mushashi, C., Kanyanganzi, F., Munyanah, M., & Betancourt, T. (2013). Validation of the “World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule for Children, WHODAS-Child” in Rwanda. PLoS One, 8(3), e57725.

Betancourt, T., Scorza, P., Meyers-Ohki, S., Mushashi, C., Kayiteshonga, Y., Binagwaho, A., Stulac, S., & Beardslee, W. R. (2012). Validating the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale for Children in Rwanda. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 51(12), 1284-1292.