Cynthia Fontanella

Assistant Professor-Clinical of Psychiatry

Cynthia Fontanella

Wexner Medical Center
Topics: youth

Current OSU Appointment

Assistant Professor-Clinical, Psychiatry


Cynthia Fontanella received her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland at Baltimore and Master's degree from Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the Ohio State University, College of Social Work. Prior to coming to Ohio State University, she was a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Rutgers Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research. Her research focuses on two substantive areas within children's mental health: (1) understanding how various components of the service system― organization, financing, health policies and resources ― impact delivery of care and outcomes for children and adolescents and; (2) examining how services are delivered in clinical settings and how to improve quality of care. Dr. Fontanella’s research has been supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation as well as the Center for Health Care Strategies. She has published papers in highly regarded journals such as: American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Children and Youth Services Review, Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, Annals of Pharmacotherapy, and Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research.


1991 B.S., Villanova University
2003 Ph.D., University of Maryland


2004 - 2006 NIMH Postdoctoral Fellow in Mental Health Services Research. Rutgers Institute of Health, Health Care Policy and Aging.

Journal Articles

Zuravin, S. J; Fontanella, C. "The relationship between child sexual abuse and major depression among low-income women: A function of growing up experiences?." Child Maltreatment. Vol. 4, no. 1. (January 1999.): 3-12.

Zuravin SJ; Fontanella C. "Parenting behaviors and perceived parenting competence of child sexual abuse survivors.." Child Abuse & Neglect. Vol. 23, no. 7. (July 1999.): 623-.

Fontanella, C; Harrington, D; Zuravin, SJ. "Gender differences in the characteristics and outcomes of sexually abused preschoolers." Journal of Child Sexual Abuse. Vol. 9, no. 2. (January 2000.): 21-40.

Fontanella CA; Zuravin SJ; Burry CL. "The effect of a medicaid managed care program on patterns of psychiatric readmission among adolescents: evidence from Maryland.." The Journal Of Behavioral Health Services & Research. Vol. 33, no. 1. (January 2006.): 39-.

Warner LA; Fontanella CA; Pottick KJ. "Initiation and change of psychotropic medication regimens among adolescents in inpatient care.." Journal Of Child And Adolescent Psychopharmacology. Vol. 17, no. 5. (October 2007.): 701-.

Fontanella,Cynthia,A. "The Influence of Clinical, Treatment, and Healthcare System Characteristics on Psychiatric Readmission of Adolescents." AMERICAN JOURNAL OF ORTHOPSYCHIATRY. Vol. 78, no. 2. (April 2008.): 187-198.

Fontanella,CA;Early TJ; Phillips G. "Need or availability? Modeling aftercare decision-making for psychiatrically hospitalized adolescents." Children and Youth Services Review. Vol. 30, no. 7. (January 2008.): 758-773.

Fontanella CA; Bridge JA; Campo JV. "Psychotropic medication changes, polypharmacy, and the risk of early readmission in suicidal adolescent inpatients." The Annals of Pharmacotherapy. Vol. 19, no. 43. (December 2009.): 1939-1947.

Fontanella,CA; Pottick KJ; Warner LA; Campo, JV. "Effects of medication management and discharge planning on early readmission of psychiatrically hospitalized adolescents." Social Work in Mental Health. Vol. 8, (January 2010.): 117-133.

Fontanella, C.A., Bridge, J., Marcus, S., & Campo, J.V.. "Factors associated with antidepressant adherence for Medicaid enrolled children and adolescents." The Annals of Pharmacotherapy. Vol. 45, no. 7-8. (June 2011.): 889-909.

Joyce,D. H., Fontanella, C.A., & Phillips. G.,. "Continuity of care and adherence to antidepressant treatment among Medicaid-covered youth.." Social Work in Mental Health. Vol. 11, (April 2013.): 267-287.

Fontanella, C.A., Hiance, D., Phillips, G., Bridge, J., & Campo, J. V. "Trends in psychotropic medication use among Medicaid-enrolled preschoolers." Journal of Child and Family Studies. -.

Fontanella, C.A., Guada, J., Phillips, G., Ranbom, L., & Fortney, J. "Individual and contextual- level factors associated with continuity of care for adults with schizophrenia.." Administrative and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research. -.


"Do stabilization strategies prevent early readmission? Opportunities for improvement in hospital-based psychiatric care for adolescents." Presented at Society for Social Work Research, Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA, US|USA. (January 2009)

"Trends in pediatric psychotropic polypharmacy in Ohio Medicaid." Presented at Quality of Mental Health Care Among Children in Ohio Medicaid, Columbus, OH. (March 2010)

"The influence of individual and contextual level factors on continuity of care for adults with schizophrenia." Presented at 2nd Schizophrenia International Research Society Conference, IT|ITA. (April 2010)

"Factors associated with continuity of anti-depressant treatment among Medicaid covered." Presented at Society of Social Work and Research, Washington, US|USA. (January 2012)

"Trends in psychotropic medication use among Medicaid-enrolled preschoolers." Presented at American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, San Francisco, CA, US|USA. (October 2012)

"Antidepressant exposure in youth is associated with increased risk for fracture." Presented at American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Orlando, FL, US|USA. (October 2013)

"Trends in psychotropic polypharmacy among youth in Ohio Medicaid, 2002-2008." Presented at American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Orlando, FL, US|USA. (October 2013)

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