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Carolyn B. Cates

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Dr. Cates’ research is focused on understanding the role of early language and play experiences in the development of language, literacy, and social cognition and translating this knowledge to programs which address disparities in child development. As part of her research, she has designed, implemented, and evaluated narrative-and play-based intervention strategies to promote language, emergent literacy, and social cognition for young children in preschool settings. Over the past several years she has also applied developmental principles to and researched programs aiming to enhance parent-child interactions and early child development beginning at birth for linguistically and socio-economically diverse families in pediatric primary care settings. 

More About Me

Dr. Cates completed her PhD at Lehigh University before moving on to complete a post-doctoral fellowship at New York University School of Medicine. She has since had a research position at NYU School of Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics. In this role, she has co-created the Video Interaction Project (, a primary care-based parenting intervention delivered from birth through age 5. She is also a co-author of the StimQ2, an interview-based measure of cognitive stimulation in the home of young children ages 5 months- 6 years.



Cates*, C. B., Roby*, E., Canfield, C. F., Johnson, M., Raak, C., Weisleder, A., … & Mendelsohn, A. L. (2023). Validation of the StimQ2: A parent-report measure of cognitive stimulation in the home. PloS one, 18(7), e0286708. *Shared first authorship

Piccolo, L.D.R, Weisleder, A., Oliveira, J.B.A., Mazzuchelli, D.S.R., Lopez, A.S, Neto, W.D., Cates, C.B., Mendelsohn, A.L. (2022). Reading Aloud, Self-Regulation, and Early Language and Cognitive Development in Northern Brazil. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics,doi: 10.1097/DBP.0000000000000985. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34224503.

Roby, E., Miller, E. B., Shaw, D. S., Morris, P., Gill, A., Bogen, D. L., … Cates, C.B. & Mendelsohn, A. L. (2021). Improving parent-child interactions in pediatric health care: a two-site randomized controlled trial. Pediatrics, 147(3).

Canfield, C.F., Weisleder, A., Seery, A.M., Workman, C., Cates, C.B., Roby, E., Payne, R., Levine, S., Mogilner, L., Dreyer, B.P., Mendelsohn, A.L. (2020). Encouraging Parent-Child Book Sharing: Potential Additive Benefits of Literacy Promotion in Health Care and the Community. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 50 (1), 221-229. 

Weisleder, A., Cates, C.B., Harding, J., Berkule Johnson, S., Canfield, C.F., Seery, A.M., Raak, C.D., Alonso, A., Dreyer, B., & Mendelsohn, A. (2019). Links between Shared Reading and Play, Parent Psychosocial Functioning, and Child Behavior: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial. The Journal of Pediatrics, 213, 187-195. 

Cates, C.B., Chen, V., Canfield, C.F., & Mendelsohn, A.L. (2019). Parenting and Health Care. In M.H. Bornstein (Ed.) Handbook of Parenting: Volume 5: The Practice of Parenting, 3rd Edition., 431-464.

Cates, C.B. & Nicolopoulou, A. (2019). The effects of bookreading with and without mental state themes on preschoolers’ theory of mind. In E. Veneziano & A. Nicolopoulou (Eds.). Narrative, Intervention, Literacy and other skills. John Benjamins Publishing Co.,129-149. 

Cates, C.B., Weisleder, A., Berkule Johnson, S., Seery, A.M., Canfield,C.F., Huberman, H.S., Dreyer, B.P., & Mendelsohn, A.M. (2018). Enhancing Parent Talk, Reading, and Play in Primary Care: Sustained Impacts of the Video Interaction Project. The Journal of Pediatrics, 199, 49-56.

Mendelsohn, A. L., Cates, C. B., Weisleder, A., Berkule Johnson, S., Seery, A. M., Canfield, C. F., Huberman, H. S., & Dreyer, B. P. (2018). Reading Aloud, Play, and Social-Emotional Development. Pediatrics, 141(5), e20173393. 

Weisleder, A., Mazzuchelli, D.S.R., Lopez, A.S., Duarte Neto, W., Cates, C.B., Gonçalves, H., Fonseca, R.P., Batista, J. & Mendelsohn, A. (2018).  Reading aloud and child development: A cluster randomized trial in Brazil. Pediatrics, 141(1), 1-12. 

Choi, J.H., Mendelsohn, A.L., Weisleder, A., Cates, C.B., Canfield, C.F., Seery, A.M., Dreyer, B.P., & Tomopoulos, S. (2017). Real-world usage of educational media does not promote parent–child cognitive stimulation activities. Academic Pediatrics. 

Cates, C.B., Weisleder, A., & Mendelsohn, A.L. (2016). Mitigating the effects of child poverty through interventions in primary care. Academic Pediatrics, 16(3), S112-S120.     

Weisleder, A., Cates, C.B., Dreyer, B.P., Berkule Johnson, S., Huberman, H.S., Seery, A.M., Canfield, C.F., Mendelsohn, A.L. (2016). Promotion of positive parenting and prevention of socioemotional disparities. Pediatrics, 137(2), 1-9. 

Cates, C.B., Weisleder, A., Dreyer, B.P., Berkule Johnson, S., Vlahovicova, K., Ledesma, J., & Mendelsohn, A.L. (2016). Leveraging child health care to promote responsive parenting: Impact of the Video Interaction Project on parenting stress. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 25, 827-835. 

Canfield, C., Weisleder, A., Cates, C.B., Huberman, H., Dreyer, B.P., Legano, L.,…Mendelsohn, A.L. (2015). Primary care parenting intervention effects on use of physical punishment among low-income parents of toddlers. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 36(8), 586-593. 

Berkule Johnson, S., Arevalo, J., Cates, C.B., Weisleder, A., Dreyer, B.P., & Mendelsohn, A.L. (2015). Perceptions about parental engagement among Hispanic immigrant mothers of first graders from low-income backgrounds. Early Childhood Education Journal, 1-8. 

Nicolopoulou, A., Cortina, K. S., Ilgaz, H., Cates, C. B., & de Sá, A. B. (2015). Using a narrative-and play-based activity to promote low-income preschoolers’ oral language, emergent literacy, and social competence. Early Childhood Research Quarterly31, 147-162. 

Tomopoulos, S., Cates, C.B., Dreyer, B. P., Fierman, A. H., Berkule, S. B., & Mendelsohn, A. L. (2014). Children under the age of two are more likely to watch inappropriate background media than older childrenActa Paediatrica, 103(5), 546-552. 

Berkule, S. B., Cates, C. B., Dreyer, B. P., Huberman, H. S., Arevalo, J., Burtchen, N., … & Mendelsohn, A. L. (2014). Reducing maternal depressive symptoms through promotion of parenting in pediatric primary care. Clinical Pediatrics53(5), 460-469. 

McCabe, A., Tamis-LeMonda, C. S., Bornstein, M. H., Cates, C. B., Golinkoff, R., Guerra, A. W., … & Song, L. (2013). Multilingual Children: Beyond myths and towards best practices. Social Policy Report27(4). 

Nicolopoulou, A., Cates, C.B., de Sá, A., & Ilgaz, H. (2014). Narrative performance, peer group culture, and narrative development in a preschool classroom. In Cekaite, A., Blum-Kulka, S., Aukrust, V., & Teubal, E. (Eds.). Children’s peer talk: Learning from each other. Cambridge University Press; 42-62.

Mendelsohn, A.L., Cates, C.B., Weisleder, A. Berkule, S.B., Dreyer, B.P. (2013). Promotion of Early School Readiness Utilizing Pediatric Primary Care as an Innovative Platform. Zero to Three Journal, September, 29-40.

Cates, C.B., Dreyer, B.P., Berkule, S.B., White, L.J., Arevalo, J.A., & Mendelsohn, A.L. (2012). Infant communication and subsequent language development in children from low income families: The role of early cognitive stimulation. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 33(7), 577-585. DOI: 10.1097/DBP.0b013e318264c10f

Mendelsohn, A.L, Huberman, H.S., Berkule-Silberman, S.B., Brockmeyer, C.A., Morrow, L.M., & Dreyer, B.P. (2011). Primary care strategies for promoting parent-child interactions and school readiness in at-risk families: Early findings from the Bellevue Project for Early Language, Literacy and Education Success (BELLE). Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 165 (1), 33-41. 

Mendelsohn, A.L., Dreyer, B.P., Brockmeyer, C.A., Berkule-Silberman, S.B., Huberman, H.S., Tomopoulos, S. (2011). An RCT of primary care pediatric parenting programs: Impacts on reduced media exposure in infants, mediated through enhanced parent-child interaction. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 165 (1), 42-48. 

Mendelsohn, A.L., Dreyer, B.P., Brockmeyer, C.A., Berkule-Silberman, S.B., & Morrow, L.M. (2011). Fostering early development and school readiness in pediatric settings. In D. Dickinson & S.B. Neuman (Eds). Handbook of Early Literacy Research: Volume 3. New York: The Guilford Press; 279-294.

Mendelsohn, A.L., Brockmeyer, C.A., Dreyer, B.P., Fierman, A.H., Berkule-Silberman, S.B., Tomopoulos, S. (2010). Do verbal interactions with infants during electronic media exposure mitigate adverse impacts on their language development as toddlers? Infant and Child Development, 19 (6), 577-593. 

Nicolopoulou, A., de Sá, A., Ilgaz, H., & Brockmeyer, C. (2010). Using the transformative power of play to educate hearts and minds: From Vygotsky to Vivian Paley and beyondMind, Culture, and Activity, 17, 1-17. 

Nicolopoulou, A., McDowell, J., Brockmeyer, C. (2006). Narrative play and emergent literacy: Storytelling and story-acting meets journal writing.  In D. Singer, R. Golinkoff, & K. Hirsh-Pasek (Eds.) Play = Learning. New York: Oxford University Press.