headshot photo of Dr. Laura Glynn

Dr. Laura Glynn

Professor, Associate Dean for Research
Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences; Psychology
Expertise: Human Pregnancy; Fetal Programming; Human Milk and Breastfeeding; Postpartum Depression; Maternal Brain and Behavior; Maternal-Child Health
Office Location: Crean Hall 544 N. Cypress Avenue
Office Hours: Spring 2020: By Appointment Only
Phone: (714) 289-2075
University of California, Davis, Bachelor of Arts
University of California, San Diego, Master of Arts
University of California, San Diego, Ph.D.


Dr. Glynn research consists of interdisciplinary program examining the interplay between biological, psychosocial and behavioral processes in human pregnancy and the influences of these processes on fetal/child development. Her research in the realm of maternal-child health covers three main areas:  1. Understanding the underlying causes of premature birth, the most serious problem in maternal-child health and the leading cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality in the United States. 2. Elucidating how pre- and postnatal hormone exposures influence the female brain and behavior, and also more specifically the quality of maternal behavior and postpartum depression.  3.  Determining the role of very early life influences in fetal, infant and child development.

Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications

Irwin JL, Anderson AL, Peterson G, Glynn LM, Sandman CA, Hicks LM & Davis EP (2021). Maternal prenatal cortisol programs the infant hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 125, 105106.
Granger S, Glynn LM, Sandman CA, Small S, Obenaus A, Keator D, Baram TZ, Stern H, Yassa M & Davis EP (2021). Aberrant maturation of the uncinate fasciculus follows exposure to unpredictable patterns of maternal signals. Journal of Neuroscience, 41, 1242-1250.
Grande LA, Swales DA, Sandman CA, Glynn LM & Davis EP (2021). Can high quality maternal caregiving ameliorate the effects of prenatal maternal psychological distress? Development & Psychopathology, 1-10.
Glynn LM, Davis EP, Luby JL, Baram TZ & Sandman CA (2021). A predictable home environment may protect child mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Neurobiology of Stress, 14, 100291.
Fox M, Lee SM, Wiley KS, Lagishetty V, Sandman CA, Jacobs JP, Glynn LM (2021). Development of the infant gut microbiome and temperament across the first year of life. Development & Psychopathology, 1-12.
Robinette JW, Bostean G, Glynn LM, Douglas JA, Jenkins BN, Gruenewald TL & Frederick DA. Perceived neighborhood cohesion buffers COVID-19 impacts on mental health in a United States sample. Social Science & Medicine, 114269.
Demers CH, Aran O, Glynn LM & Davis EP. (2020) Prenatal programming of neurodevelopment: imaging and structural changes. In A Wazana, E Szekely & TF Oberlander (Eds.) Prenatal Stress and Child Development. Springer Nature.
Garcia SE, Perzow SED, Hennessey EMP, Glynn LM & Davis EP. (in press) Examining the relation between maternal pregnancy-related anxiety and child development. In R Dryer & R Brunton (Eds.) Pregnancy-Related Anxiety: Theory, Research and Practice. Routledge.
Swales DA, Snyder HR, Hankin BL, Sandman CA, Glynn LM & Davis EP. (2020) Maternal depressive symptoms predict general and internalizing-specific liability in child psychopathology. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 27, 1-12.
Noroña-Zhou AN, Morgan A, Glynn LM, Sandman CA & Davis EP. (2020) Unpredictable maternal behavior is associated with a blunted infant cortisol response. Developmental Psychobiology, 62, 882-888.
Peterson GF, Espel EV, Davis EP, Sandman CA & Glynn LM. (2020) Characterizing prenatal maternal distress with unique prenatal cortisol trajectories. Health Psychology.
Howland MA, Sandman CA, Davis EP, Stern H, Phelan M, Baram TZ, & Glynn LM. (2020) Unpredictability of prenatal maternal mood is associated with child cognitive development. Emotion.
Howland MA, Sandman CA, Davis EP & Glynn LM. (in press) Prenatal maternal psychological distress and fetal developmental trajectories: associations with infant temperament. Development & Psychopathology.
Martinez LD, Glynn LM, Sandman CA, Wing DA & Davis EP. (in press) Cesarean delivery and infant cortisol regulation. Psychoneuroendocrinology.
Hahn-Holbrook J, Saxbe D, Bixby C, Steele C & Glynn LM (2019). Human milk as “chrononutrition”: implications for child health and development. Pediatric Research, 85, 936-942.
Davis EP, Korja R, Karlsson L, Glynn LM, Sandman CA, Vegetabile B, Kataja E-L, Nolvi S, Sinervä E, Pelto J, Karlsson H, Stern HS & Baram TZ (2019). Across continents and demographics, unpredictable maternal signals are associated with children’s cognitive function. EbioMedicine, 46, 256-263.
Hahn-Holbrook J, Fish A & Glynn LM. (2019) Human milk omega-3 fatty acid composition is associated with infant temperament. Nutrients, 11, 2964.
Ramos IF, Guardino CM, Mansolf M, Glynn LM, Sandman CA, Hobel CJ & Dunkel Schetter C (2019). Pregnancy anxiety predicts shorter gestation in latina and non-latina white women: the role of placental corticotrophin-releasing hormone. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 99, 166-173.
Kim D-J, Davis EP, Sandman CA, Glynn LM, Sporns O, O’Donnell BF & Hetrick WP (2019). Childhood poverty and organization of the structural brain connectome. NeuroImage, 184, 409-416.
Glynn LM & Baram TZ (2019). The influence of unpredictable, fragmented parental signals on the developing brain. Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology, 53.
Ram S*, Howland M, Sandman CA, Davis EP & Glynn LM (in press). Prenatal risk for ASD: Fetal cortisol exposure predicts child autism spectrum disorder symptoms. Clinical Psychological Science.
Risbrough VB, Glynn LM, Davis EP, Sandman CA, Obenaus A, Stern HS, Keator DB, Yassa MA, Baram TZ & Baker DG (2018). Does anhedonia presage increased risk of posttraumatic stress disorder? In Current Topics in Behavioral Neuroscience.
Riley JD, Chen EE, Winsell J, Davis EP, Glynn LM, Baram TZ, Sandman CA, Small SL & Solodkin A (2018). Network specialization during adolescence: hippocampal effective connectivity in boys and girls. NeuroImage, 175, 402-412.
Fox M*, Sandman CA, Davis EP & Glynn LM (2018). A longitudinal study of women’s depressive symptom profiles during and after the postpartum phase. Depression and Anxiety, 35, 292-304.
Glynn LM, Howland MA & Fox M (2018). Maternal programming: application of a developmental psychopathology perspective. Development and Psychopathology, 30, 905-919.
Swales DA, Grande LA, Wing DA, Edelmann M, Glynn LM, Sandman CA, Smith R, Bowman M & Davis EP (2018). Can placental corticotropin-releasing hormone inform timing of antenatal corticosteroid administration? Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 104, 443-450.
Fox M, Berzuini C, Knapp LA & Glynn LM (2018). Women’s pregnancy life history and Alzheimer’s risk: can immunoregulation explain the link? American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease & Other Dementias, 33, 516-526.
Swales DA, Stout-Oswald SA, Glynn LM, Sandman CA, Wing DA & Davis EP (2018). Exposure to traumatic events in childhood shapes cortisol production during pregnancy among women at risk for preterm delivery. Biological Psychology, 139, 186-192.
Glynn LM, Stern H, Howland MA, Risbrough VB, Baker DG, Nievergelt CM, Baram TZ & Davis EP (2018). Measuring novel antecedents of mental illness: The Questionnaire of Unpredictability in Childhood. Neuropsychopharmacology, 44, 876-882.
Sandman CA, Curran MM, Davis EP, Glynn LM, Head K & Baram TZ (2018). Cortical thinning and neuropsychiatric sequelae in children exposed to prenatal adversity: novel potential mechanisms. American Journal of Psychiatry, 175, 471-479.
Glynn LM, Howland MA, Sandman CA, Davis EP, Phelan M, Baram TZ & Stern HS (2018). Prenatal maternal mood patterns predict child temperament and adolescent mental health. Journal of Affective Disorders, 228, 83-90.
Hankin BL, Davis EP, Snyder H, Young JF, Glynn LM & Sandman CA (2017). Temperament factors and dimensional, latent bifactor models of child psychopathology: transdiagnostic and specific associations in two youth samples. Psychiatry Research 252, 139-146.
Curran MM, Sandman CA, Davis EP, Glynn LM & Baram TZ (2017). Abnormal dendritic maturation of developing cortical neurons exposed to corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH): insights into the effects of prenatal adversity? PloS One 12, e0180311.
Hahn-Holbrook J, Davis EP & Glynn LM (2017). Response to “Cortisol in human milk: the good, the bad, or the ugly?” Obesity, 25, 1154.
Howland MA, Sandman CA & Glynn LM (2017). Developmental origins of the human hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Expert Review of Endocrinology and Metabolism.
Davis EP, Stout SA, Molet J, Vegetabile B, Glynn LM, Sandman CA, Hein K, Stern S and Baram TZ (in press). Early life exposure to unpredictable maternal sensory signals influences cognitive development: A cross-species approach. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
Stout SA*, Lin J, Hernandez N, Davis EP, Blackburn E, Carroll JE & Glynn LM (2017). Validation of minimally-invasive sample collection methods for measurement of telomere length. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 9. 1-6.
Howland MA, Sandman CA, Glynn LM, Crippen C & Davis EP (2016). Fetal exposure to placental corticotropin-releasing hormone is associated with child self-reported internalizing symptoms. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 67, 10-17.
Hahn-Holbrook J, Fox M & Glynn LM (2016). Demonstration of elevated cerebralspinal fluid CRH levels during pregnancy provides support for (not against) the link between CRH and postpartum depression. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 101, L5-6.
Edelmann MN, Sandman CA, Glynn LM, Wing DA & Davis EP (2016). Antenatal glucocorticoid treatment is associated with diurnal cortisol regulation in term-born children. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 72, 106-112.
Glynn LM, Davis EP, Sandman CA & Goldberg WA (2016). Gestational hormone profiles predict human maternal behavior at 1-year postpartum. Hormones and Behavior, 85, 19-25.
Hahn-Holbrook J, Le TB*, Chung A*, Davis EP & Glynn LM (in press). Cortisol in human milk predicts child BMI. Obesity.
Fox M & Glynn LM (in press). Fetal programming of gender. In K Nadal Ed., The SAGE Encyclopedia of Psychology and Gender.
Sandman CA, Class QA, Glynn LM & Davis EP (2015). Neurobehavioral disorders and developmental origins of health and disease. In C Rosenfeld, Ed. The Epigenome and Developmental Origins of Health and Disease.
Stout SA, Espel EV, Sandman CA, Glynn LM & Davis EP (2015). Fetal programming of children’s obesity risk. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 53, 29-39.
Glynn LM & Sandman CA (2015). Relationship between placental corticotropin-releasing hormone and postpartum depression: can defining what “postpartum depression” means make a difference? –Authors Reply. Psychosomatic Medicine, 77, 342-343.
Fox M, Sandman CA, Davis EP & Glynn LM (2015). Intra-individual consistency in endocrine profiles across successive pregnancies. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 100, 4637-4647.
Glynn LM (in press). Does pregnancy brain really exist? Scientific American Mind.
Sandman CA, Glynn LM & Davis EP (in press). Neurobehavioral consequences of fetal exposure to gestational stress. In B Kisilevsky & N Reissland, Eds. Advancing Research in Fetal Development.
Espel EV, Glynn LM, Sandman CA & Davis EP (2014). Longer gestation among children born full term influences cognitive and motor development. PLoS One, 9, e113758.
Hilmert CJ, Dominguez TP, Dunkel Schetter C, Srinivas SK, Glynn LM, Hobel CJ & Sandman CA (2014). Lifetime racism and blood pressure changes during pregnancy: implications for fetal growth. Health Psychology, 33, 43-51.
Kane HS, Glynn LM, Dunkel Schetter C, Hobel CJ & Sandman CA. (2014) Pregnancy anxiety and prenatal cortisol trajectories. Biological Psychology, 100, 13-19.
Glynn LM & Sandman CA. (2014) Evaluation of the association between placental corticotrophin-releasing hormone and postpartum depressive symptoms. Psychosomatic Medicine, 76, 355-62.