Carolyn Dayton

Carolyn Dayton

Carolyn Dayton

Research Project Title

Singing to Babies in Motown!: The Detroit Lullaby Study    
Baby on Board!: The WSU Early Parenting Study    
The Functional Neuroanatomy of Human Parental Care    
Development and Implementation of a Fathering Program in Detroit, Michigan

CV 115035 1503321357 file


Dr. Dayton holds joint appointments at the School of Social Work and the Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute. She serves as the Associate Director of the Infant Mental Health Program at MPSI where her family laboratory is located. Her research is focused on early parenting processes with an emphasis on fathering in urban settings. She has many years of experience providing clinical interventions to the families of infants and young children in a wide range of settings including home-based, center-based and hospital programs. Dr. Dayton's program of research is fundamentally translational and transdisciplinary; it is informed by her clinical work with families and aims to identify biological and psychosocial risk and resilience factors that influence early parenting process and early child development.

Research Project Link


  • Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Michigan State University
  • Graduate Certificate in Infant Mental Health, University of Michigan
  • M.S.W., University of Michigan
  • B.A., Kalamazoo College

Office Location

School of Social Work Wayne State University Thompson Home, Room 412 4756 Cass Avenue Detroit, MI 48202


MICHR Postdoctoral Translational Scholars Fellowship. Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI. 07/2011-08/2012

Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. Department of Psychology, Developmental Area. University of Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI. 09/2010-06/2011

Postdoctoral Clinical Fellowship. Institute for Human Adjustment. University of Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI. 09/2008-08/2010

Predoctoral Clinical Internship. Psychological Clinic & University Center for the Child and Family. University of Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI. 09/2007-09/2008

International Culture & Language Training Scholar, Madrid, Spain. 09/1987-03/1988

Research Focus

  • Emotion regulation processes in parenting and early child development
  • Influence of psychosocial risk on early parenting and child development
  • Biological and psychosocial processes in early fathering
  • Paternal parenting influences on early child development
  • Functional neuroanatomy of early parental care

Courses Taught

Infant Mental Health Seminar: SW 8991

Infant Mental Health Practice: SW 7010

Social Work Theory I: Theories for Practice and Research with Individuals: SW 9210


Recent Representative Articles:

Swain, J. E., Kim, P., Spicer, J., Ho, S. S., Dayton, C. J., Elmadih, A., Abel, K. M. (2014). Approaching the Biology of Human Parental Attachment: Brain Imaging, Oxytocin and Coordinated Assessments of Mothers and Fathers. Brain Research (in press).

Conway, A., McDonough, S. C., MacKenzie, M. J., Miller, A. L., Dayton, C. J., Rosenblum, K.. Muzik, M. & Sameroff, A. J. (2014). Maternal sensitivity and latency to positive emotion following challenge: Pathways through effortful control. Infant Mental Health Journal (in press).

Martinez-Torteya, C., Dayton, C. J., Seng, J. S., McGinnin, E., Broderick, A., Rosenblum, K., Beeghly, M., & Muzik, M. (2014). Maternal parenting predicts infant biobehavioral regulation among women with a history of childhood maltreatment. Development and Psychopathology (in press).

Neugut, T., Dayton, C. J., Erwin, M., Busuito, A., Muzik, M. Rosenblum, K. (2014). Fathering after military deployment: Parenting challenges and goals of fathers of young children. Health and Social Work, 39(1).

Dayton, C. J., Levendosky, A. A., Davidson, W. S. & Bogat, G. A. (2010). The child as held in the mind of the mother: The influence of prenatal maternal representations on parenting behaviors. Infant Mental Health Journal, 31(2), 220-241.