Christina Hoven, PhD

  • Professor of Clinical Epidemiology (in Psychiatry)


Dr. Christina W. Hoven, a Child Psychiatric Epidemiologist, is a graduate of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. She is a Professor of Epidemiology and Psychiatry and Director of the Global Psychiatric Epidemiology Group at the Columbia University Medical Center. Professor Hoven is well known for designing and conducting large-scale epidemiological studies, both nationally and internationally, always geared to having significant consequences on public policy by including a major focus on disparities and other social justice issues. In 2002, Professor Hoven conducted an investigation of the effects on NYC public school children of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. That study of more than 8,200 children won international recognition for its methodological sophistication, with its inclusion of children indirectly affected by being far from Ground Zero. Dr. Hoven then testified before the U.S. Senate, ultimately leading to approximately $150 million being allocated to NYC-MA for mental health.

Professor Hoven is currently longitudinally following three large cohorts of children in the New York City Metropolitan Area. One assesses children of a mother or father involved with the criminal justice system. Another examines the psychological consequences to children indirectly exposed to 9/11, based on parental involvement with the WTC attack, such as evacuees and First Responders. Another focuses on children directly exposed to 9/11 at ages 0-17. Dr. Hoven has carried out investigations throughout the world, including a nine-country study of child mental health awareness done in collaboration with WHO and the World Psychiatric Association; a suicidal autopsy study of youth in Tajikistan, done in collaboration with UNICEF, and; in collaboration with the Karolinska Institute, an 11 country Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) with 11,000 school children in 10 countries investigating suicide prevention; and a nine-country RCT of 9,000 school children, that assessed school drop-out. Currently, she is doing a national suicide study (nationally representative community sample, attempters and completers) in Guyana, as well as health workers in Taiwan.

Professor Hoven is currently also attempting to identify biological markers of familial transmission of substance abuse and other psychopathologies through genetics, epigenetics, neuro-imaging, etc., in her epidemiological samples.

Academic Appointments

  • Professor of Clinical Epidemiology (in Psychiatry)


  • Female

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • BA, 1966 Lindenwood College
  • MA, 1968 University of Missouri
  • MPH, 1987 Columbia University
  • DrPH, 1988 Columbia University

Honors & Awards

David E. Rogers Medal in Health Policy, Cornell University

Testified, US Senate (2002): Child Mental health Post-September 11, 2001


Research Interests

  • Biostatistical Methods
  • Chronic disease
  • Global Health
  • Mental Health

Selected Publications

Hoven CW (Developed for The Presidential World Psychiatric Association Program on Global Child Mental Health, in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Associatio Expanding awareness of mental health in childhood and adolescence: a manual WHO 182 countries In press

Wu P, Hoven CW, Liu X, Cohen P, Fuller, CJ, Shaffer D Substance use, suicidal ideation and attempts in children and adolescents Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior 34(4) 409-421 2004

Flisher AJ, Kramer RA, Hoven CW, Greenwald S, Alegria M, Bird HR, Canino G, Connell R, Moore RE Psychosocial characteristics of physically abused children and adolescents Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 36 123-131 1997

Glied S, Hoven CW, Moore RE, Garrett AB, Regier DA Children's access to mental health care: does insurance matter Health Affairs 16 167-174 1997

Bird HR, Davies M, Fisher P, Narrow WE, Jensen PS, Hoven C, Cohen P, Dulcan MK How specific is specific impairment? Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 39 1182-1189 2000

Hoven CW, Duarte CS, Mandell DJ Children's mental health after disasters: The impact of the World Trade Center attack Current Psychiatry 5 101-107 2003

Hoven CW, Duarte CS, Lucas CP, Wu P, Mandell DJ, Goodwin RD, Cohen M, Balaban V, Woodruff BA, Fan B, Mei L, Musa GJ, Cantor PA, Aber JL, Cohen P, Susser E Psychopathology among New York City school children six months after September 11th, Archives of General Psychiatry In press

Hoven CW, Duarte CD, Wu P, Erickson E, Musa, GJ, Mandell DJ Exposure to trauma and separation anxiety in children after the WTC attack Applied Developmental Science In press

SW Coates, JL Rosenthal and DS Schechter (eds.) September 11: Trauma and Human Bonds Analytic Press Hillsdale, NJ 51-74 2003

Hoven CW Hoven CW: U.S. Senate Testimony: The Children of September 11: The Need for Mental Health Services US Government Printing Office, Senate Hearing No. 107-540, Document No. 552-070-29-035-4 U.S, Senate: Committee on Health, Education, Labor June 10, 2002

Hoven CW, Duarte CS, Lucas CP, Mandell DJ, Cohen M, Rosen C, Wu P, Musa GJ, Gregorian N Effects of the World Trade Center attack on NYC public school students MSPH-NYSPI;-ARC: Also available on the NYC Department of Education Website Archive: New York City Board of Education 2002

Global Health Activities

PAHO-Harvard-Columbia Initiative on Child Mental Health in Latin America and the Caribbean: This collaboration is focused on simultaneous interventions aimed at parents, the public health, and school systems, based on the assumption that child development interventions should be community based. The research and intervention programs planned here are expected to be multi-focal and will include: 1) Community Child Development Education and Parenting Seminars, 2) Child Health and Development Screening and Education Program at Health Centers, 3) Development of a parent-held, culturally relevant child development record, 4) In-Service training for Day-Care and Basic School teachers and 5) Provision of appropriate material for child development at day-care and basic schools.

PAHO-Columbia-Harvard Children's Mental Health Policy Initiative for Latin America: The Brazilian Child and Adolescent Rights Act, enacted in 1990, goes beyond a declaration of child rights and actually mandates the means to facilitate the implementation of these rights: every Brazilian municipality should have at least a Child Rights Council and a Child Guardianship Council (GC). The GCs should, therefore, be considered as having a significant potential for social transformation. Child health, including its physical, developmental and mental aspects provides a good measure of how a wide spectrum of child rights are being attended. This study, will determine objective indicators of and factors associated with the impact of GCs on child health.

WPA-WHO-IACAPAP Global Child Mental Health Awareness Committee: This project, using a pre- and post- assessment of school children, their teachers and their parents, will test methodologies for increasing awareness of children's mental health issues, including stigma, service options, etc. Participating countries include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Brazil, China, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Nigeria, Russia, and Uganda.

Urban Health Activities

NYC-DOH World Trade Center Registry: Dr. Hoven is a member of the World Trade Center Registry's Scientific Advisory Committee. The Committee's focus is the development of population registry of all persons in and near the WTC on September 11, 2001. The registry's purpose is to profile and facilitate tracking of this population over time to assess health related outcomes.

Beyond the Zone School Mental Health Program-Washington Heights: This project, which is sponsored by the Children's Mental Health Alliance, attempts to merge clinical, social, educational, and family support activities in a community particularly impacted by September 11th, as well as the effects of the November 12th plane crash, through a comprehensive child mental health program.