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Janet DiPietro, PhD

  • Associate Dean for Research and Faculty
  • Professor

Departmental Affiliations

Center & Institute Affiliations

Contact Information

615 N. Wolfe Street
Room W1033
Baltimore, Maryland 21205


Johns Hopkins Fetal Development Study:

SciVal Experts Research Profile


PhD, Stanford University, 1982


As a developmental psychologist, my research centers on understanding the origins of human development, the interface between individual differences in development and physiology, and the implications of the prenatal period for postnatal life. My current research program, which has been ongoing for over 20 years, extends this interest to the human fetus. We use digitized assessment methods of measuring fetal neurobehavioral functioning to investigate the ontogeny of development with the ultimate goal of predicting clinical and developmental outcome from the fetal period. Within this context, we are further exploring the role of maternal factors, including substance exposure, maternal emotions, and physiological changes during pregnancy in mediating fetal development.

  • Fetal development Infant 
  • development Child development Developmental psychophysiology Pregnancy Temperament Self-regulation Heart rate variability Fetal heart rate Fetal motor activity Maternal-child interaction  

 Selected publications over the last few years:

  • DiPietro, J.A., Voegtline, K.M., Costigan, K.A., Aguirre, F., Kivlighan, K., Chen, P. (2013). Physiological reactivity of pregnant women to evoked fetal startle.  Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine, 75, 321-326.

  • Voegtline, K.M, Costigan, K. A., Pater, H. & DiPietro, J.A. (2013). Near-term fetal response to maternal spoken voice.  Infant Behavior and Development, 36, 526-533.

  • DiPietro, J. A., Davis, M.F., Barr, D.B. & Costigan, K.A.  (2013 epub). Fetal heart rate and motor activity associations with maternal organochlorine levels: Results of an exploratory study.  Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology

  • DiPietro, J.A., Mendelson, T., Williams, E.L., & Costigan, K.A.  (2012).  Physiological blunting during pregnancy extends to induced relaxation.  Biological Psychology, 89, 14-20. PMCID: 3212610

  • Jansson, L.M., DiPietro, J.A., Velez, M., Elko, A., Milio, L., O’Grady, K., & Jones, H. E. (2011),  Fetal neurobehavioral effects of exposure to methadone or buprenorphine.  Neurotoxicology & Teratology. 33, 240-3.