People—Sheree L. Toth

Dr. Toth's research interests are broadly focused in the field of developmental psychopathology. She is especially interested in examining the effects of maltreatment and parental depression on child development, particularly in the domains of self development and representational capacities. Dr. Toth is also committed to the evaluation of preventive interventions for high risk populations.

Research Interests

Dr. Toth's research interests are guided by a developmental psychopathology perspective that emphasizes the interplay between normal and atypical development and addresses the transactions between ecological contexts and development. As such, she is invested in elucidating processes and mechanisms that contribute to the adaptation of children who are confronted by significant psychosocial adversity. In particular, Dr. Toth's work addresses the development of children who have experienced maltreatment or who have been reared by a depressed caregiver. Her research has examined representational development in these youngsters, specifically with regard to self-system processes and the emergence of depression.

Much of Dr. Toth's empirical work has examined factors contributing to maladjustment in children who have been physically abused, sexually abused, or neglected. She is particularly interested in examining the relation between representational development of self and caregiver and the emergence of internalizing disorders.

In addition to basic research, Dr. Toth is committed to bridging research and clinical practice.  Building upon a developmental psychopathology framework, she has received NIMH-funding to initiate and evaluate a number of randomized clinical trials of preventive interventions.  Dr. Toth has also received funding from NIMH since 1991 to conduct investigations with maltreated children and offspring of mothers with Major Depressive Disorders.  This body of work has significantly advanced the field’s understanding of the adverse consequences of negative caregiving on child development.

Courses Offered (subject to change)

  • CSP 582  Practicum in Developmental Psychopathology
  • CSP 586  Evidence Based Child Psychotherapy
  • CSP 575  Developmental Psychopathology

Selected Publications

  • Cicchetti, D. & Toth, S.L. (in press). A multilevel perspective on child maltreatment. In M.E. Lamb & C. Garcia Coll (Eds.), Handbook of Child Psychology and Developmental Science: Social and emotional development. (7th ed., vol. 3). New York, Wiley & Sons.
  • Cicchetti, D., Toth, S.L., Nilsen, W.J., & Manly, J.T. (in press). What do we know and why does it matter? The dissemination of evidence-based interventions for child maltreatment. In H. R. Schaffer & K. Durkin (Eds.), Blackwell Handbook of Developmental Psychology in Action. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • *Pickreign Stronach, E.S., Toth, S.L., Rogosch, F.A., & Cicchetti, D. (in press). Preventive interventions and sustained attachment security in maltreated children: A 12-month follow-up of a randomized controlled trial. Development and Psychopathology, 4.
  • Toth, S.L., Gravener-Davis, J.A., Guild, D.J., & Cicchetti, D. (in press). Relational interventions for child maltreatment: Past, present and future perspectives. Development and Psychopathology, 4.
  • Toth, S.L., Rogosch, F.A., Oshri, A., Gravener, J., Sturm, R., & Morgan-Lopez, A. (in press). The efficacy of Interpersonal Psychotherapy for economically disadvanged mothers. Development and Psychopathology, 4.
  • *Gravener, J.A., Rogosch, F.A., Oshri, A., Narayan, A., Cicchetti, D., & Toth, S.L. (2012). The relations among maternal depressive disorder, maternal Expressed Emotion, and toddler behavior problems and attachment. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 40, 803-813.
  • Toth, S.L., & Gravener, J.A. (2012). Bridging research and practice: Relational interventions for maltreated children. Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 17, 131-138.
  • Cicchetti, D., Rogosch, F.A., Toth, S.L. (2011). The effects of child maltreatment and polymorphisms of the serotonin transporter and dopamine D4 receptor genes on infant attachment ant intervention efficacy. Development and Psychopathology, 23, 357-372.
  • Cicchetti, D., Rogosch, F., Toth, S.L., & Sturge-Apple, M.L. (2011).  Normalizing the Development of Cortisol Regulation in Maltreated Infants Through Preventive Interventions.  Development and Psychopathology, 23,789-800.
  • *Cort, N. A., Toth, S.L., Cerulli, C., & Rogosch, F. (2011). Maternal intergenerational transmission of childhood multitype maltreatment. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 20, 19-38.
  • Howe, M.L., Toth, S.L., & Cicchetti, D., (2011). Can maltreated children inhibit true and false memories for emotional information? Child Development, 82, 967-981.
  • Jee, S.H., Szilagyi, M.A., Conn, A.M., Nilsen, W., Toth, S., Baldwin, C.D., Szilagyi, P.G. (2011). Validating Office-Based Screening for Psychosocial Strengths and Difficulties Among Youths in Foster Care. Pediatrics, 127, 904-910.
  • *Rohrer, L.M., Cicchetti, D., Rogosch, F.A., Toth, S.L., & Maughan, A. (2011). Effects of maternal negativity and of early and recurrent depressive disorder on children's false belief understanding.  Developmental Psychology, 47, 170-181.
  • *Stronach, E.P., Toth, S.L., Rogosch, F., Oshri, A., Manly, J.T. & Cicchetti, D. (2011). Child Maltreatment, Attachment Security, and Internal Representations of Mother and Mother-Child Relationships.  Child Maltreatment, 16, 137-145.
  • Toth, S.L., & Cicchetti, D. (Eds.), (2011). Frontiers on translational research in trauma (Special Section). Development and Psychopathology, 23(2), 357-721.
  • Toth, S.L., & Cicchetti, D. (2011). Frontiers on translational research in trauma. Development and Psychopathology, 23, 353-355.
  • Toth, S.L., LaTonya, S., Harris, G.S. & Cicchetti, D. (2011).  Influence of Violence and Aggression on Children's Psychological Development:  Trauma, Attachment, and Memory.  In P.R. Shaver & M. Mikulincer (Eds.), Human Aggression and Violence: Causes, Manifestations, and Consequences. (pp. 351-365).  Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
  • Toth, S.L., Manly, J.T. & Hathaway, A. (2011). Relational interventions for young children who have been maltreated.  In J.D. Osofsky (Ed.), Clinical Work with Traumatized Young Children. (pp. 96-113). New York:  Guilford Press.
  • Toth, S.L., Pianta, R. & Erickson, M. (2011). From Research to Practice: Developmental Contributions to the Field of Prevention Science. In D. Cicchetti & G. I. Roisman (Eds.), Minnesota Symposia: The Origins and Organization of Adaptation and Maladaption (pp. 323-377). New York: Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  • Toth, S.L., Stronach, E.P., Rogosch, F.A., Caplan, R., & Cicchetti, D. (2011).  Illogical Thinking and Thought Disorder in Maltreated Children. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 50, 650-668.
  • *Valentino, K., Cicchetti, D., Rogosch, F.A., & Toth, S.L. (2011) Mother-child play and maltreatment: A longitudinal analysis of emerging social behavior from infancy to toddlerhood.  Developmental Psychology, 47, 1280-1294.
  • Cicchetti, D., Rogosch, F.A., Gunnar, M.R., & Toth, S.L. (2010). The Differential Impacts of Early Abuse on Internalizing Problems and Daytime Cortisol Rhythm in School-aged Children. Child Development, 81(1), 252-269. PMID: 20331666; PMCID: PMC2846099
  • Cicchetti, D., Rogosch, F.A., Howe, M.L., & Toth, S.L. (2010).  The Effects of Maltreatment and Neuroendocrin Regulation on Memory Performance. Child Development, 81, 1504-1519.
  • Cicchetti, D., Rogosch, F.A., Sturge-Apple, M., & Toth, S.L. (2010). Interaction of Child Maltreatment and 5-HTT Polymorphisms: Suicide Ideation Among Children from Low SES Backgrounds. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 35(5), 536-546. PMID: 19779024
  • Toth, S.L., & Cicchetti, D. (2010).  The Historical Origins and Developmental Pathways of the Discipline of Developmental Psychopathology.  Israel Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences, 47, 5-14.
  • Toth, S.L., & Pickreign, E. (2010). From research to practice: The Treatment of Adolescent Psychopathology. In D. P. Swanson, M. C. Edwards & M. B. Spencer (Eds.), Adolescence: Development During a Global Era (pp. 449-476). New York: Elsevier, Inc.
  • Cicchetti, D., & Toth, S.L. (2009). A Developmental Psychopathology Perspective on Adolescent Depression.  In S. Hoeksema & L. Hilt (Eds.), Handbook of Adolescent Depression. New York: Taylor & Francis.
  • Cicchetti, D., & Toth, S.L. (2009). The Past Achievements and Future Promises of Developmental Psychopathology: The Coming of Age of a Discipline. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 50, 16-25.
  • Toth, S.L., Cicchetti, D., Rogosch, F.A., & Sturge-Apple, M. (2009). Maternal Depression, Children's Attachment Security, and Representational Development: An Organizational Perspective. Child Development, 80, 192-208.
  • Toth, S.L., Pickreign, E., & Gravener, J.A. (2009). Child abuse and neglect. In H. Reis & S. Sprecher (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Human Relationships. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Valentino, K., Toth, S.L., & Cicchetti, D. (2009). Autobiographical memory functioning among abused, neglected and nonmaltreated children: The overgeneral memory effect. The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 50, 1029-1038.
  • Toth, S.L., Manly, J.T., & Nilsen, W. (2008). From research to practice: Lessons learned. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 29, 317-325.
  • Toth, S.L., Rogosch, F.A., & Cicchetti, D. (2008). Attachment-theory informed intervention and reflective functioning in depressed mothers. In H. Steele & M. Steele (Eds.), Clinical Applications of the Adult Attachment Interview. (pp. 154-172). New York: Guilford.
  • Toth, S.L. & Valentino, K. (2008). Translating research on children's memory and trauma into practice: Clinical and forensic implications. In M. Howe, G. Goodman, & D. Cicchetti (Eds.), Stress, trauma, and children's memory development: Neurobiological, cognitive, clinical, and legal perspectives, pp. 363-399.  New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Valentino, K., Cicchetti, D., Rogosch, F.A., & Toth, S.L. (2008).  Memory, maternal representations and internalizing symptomatology among abused, neglected and nonmaltreated children.  Child Development, 79, 705-719.
  • Valentino, K., Cicchetti, D., Toth, S.L., & Rogosch, F.A. (2008).  True and false recall and dissociation among maltreated children:  The role of self-schema.  Development and Psychopathology, 20, 213-232.
  • Maughan, A., Cicchetti, D., Toth, S.L., & Rogosch, F.A. (2007).  Early-occurring maternal depression and maternal negativity in predicting young children's emotion regulation and socioemotional difficulties. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 35, 685-703.
  • Ayoub, C.C., O'Connor, E., Rappolt-Schlichtmann, G., Fischer, K.W., Rogosch, F.A., Toth, S.L., & Cicchetti, D. (2006).  Cognitive and emotional differences in young maltreated children:  A translational application of dynamic skill theory.  Development and Psychopathology, 18, 679-706.
  • Cicchetti, D., Rogosch, F.A., & Toth, S.L (2006).  Fostering secure attachment in maltreating families through preventive interventions.   Development and Psychopathology, 18 (3), 623-650.
  • Cicchetti, D., & Toth, S.L. (2006).  Editorial: Building bridges and crossing them:  Translational research in developmental psychopathology.  Development and Psychopathology, 18 (3), 619-622.
  • Cicchetti, D., & Toth, S.L. (2006).  Developmental psychopathology and preventive intervention.  In A. Renninger and I. Sigel (Eds.), Handbook of Child Psychology (6th Ed.) (pp. 497-547).  New York:  John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  • Cicchetti, D., & Toth, S.L. (2006).  Special Issue:  Translational Research and Developmental Psychopathology.  Development and Psychopathology, 18 (3), 619-933.
  • Howe, M.L., Cicchetti, D., & Toth, S.L., (2006).  Children's basic memory processes, stress, and maltreatment.  Development and Psychopathology, 18, 759-770.
  • Howe, M.L., Toth, S.L., & Cicchetti, D. (2006).  Memory and developmental psychopathology.  In D. Cicchetti & D. Cohen (Eds.), Developmental Psychopathology (2nd Edition): Developmental Neuroscience (Vol. 2) (pp. 759-769).  New York:  Wiley.
  • Toth, S.L., & Cicchetti, D. (2006).  Promises and possibilities:  The application of research in the area of child maltreatment to policies and practices.  Journal of Social Issues, 62 (4), 863-880.
  • Toth, S.L., Rogosch, F.A., Manly J.T., & Cicchetti, D. (2006).  The efficacy of toddler-parent psychotherapy to reorganize attachment in the young offspring of mothers with major depressive disorder:  A randomized preventive trial.  Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 74 (6), 1006-1016.
  • Valentino, K., Cicchetti, D., Toth, S.L., & Rogosch, F.A. (2006).  Mother-child play and emerging social behaviors among infants from maltreating families.  Developmental Psychology, 42, 474-485.
  • Cicchetti, D., & Toth, S.L. (2005). Child Maltreatment. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 1, 409-438.
  • Toth, S.L. (2005).  Attachment-Based Interventions.  Comments on Dozier, Egeland, and Benoit.  Centre for Excellence for Early Childhood Development Website, <>.  (Reprinted in French on the Centre of Excellence's Internet site <>.)
  • Toth, S.L., & Cicchetti, D. (2005). Child maltreatment and its impact on psychosocial child development.  In Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development.  Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development Website. (Reprinted in French on the Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development Website,
  • Rogosch, F.A., Cicchetti, D., & Toth, S.L. (2004).  Expressed emotion in multiple subsystems of the families of toddlers with depressed mothers.  Development and Psychopathology, 6 (3), 689-709.
  • Cicchetti, D., Rogosch, F.A., Maughan, A., Toth, S.L., & Bruce, J. (2003).  False belief understanding in maltreated children.  Development and Psychopathology, 15 (4), 1067-1091.
  • Cicchetti, D., & Toth, S.L. (2003).  Child maltreatment:  Past, present, and future perspectives.  In R.P. Weissberg, H.J. Walberg, M.U. O'Brien, and C. Bartels-Kuster (Eds.), Trends in the well-being of children and youth:  Volume 2 (pp. 181-205).  Washington, D. C.:  Child Welfare League of America Press.

Quick Facts

Title: Director of Mt. Hope Family Center, Director of Clinical Training, Professor of Psychology

Education: Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University

Contact Info

Mt. Hope Family Center
Department of Clinical & Social Sciences in Psychology
Box 270266
University of Rochester
Rochester, NY 14627

Phone: (585) 275-2991

Office Hours: By appointment