Mary J Ward, Ph.D.

Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics

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Personal Statement


Biographical Info

Dr. Mary J. Ward is an Associate Research Professor of Psychology in Pediatrics and Psychiatry.   

In her practice, Dr. Ward offers assistance to parents with concerns about sleeping, feeding, toileting, discipline, parent-child communication, and other behavioral issues. Her focus is on collaborating with parents to define goals, teaching agreed-upon strategies, and coaching parents in how to use those strategies independently. Dr. Ward’s approach is non-judgmental, relationship-focused, and presumes parent competence.

In addition, Dr. Ward conducts diagnostic assessments for autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities. She offers parent coaching to address problem behaviors in children.

Her research focuses on issues relevant to the lives of young children, using methods from basic developmental science. Dr. Ward is especially interested in the study of special populations of infants and young children.  Over the past 35 years, she has studied children with malnutrition, adolescent mothers and their children, children adopted from overseas, and the grandchildren of adults with HIV.

Dr. Ward has remained at the forefront of research on attachment, including assessment of attachment in infants, preschool children, adolescents, and adults. Her work has been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and private foundations and her work is published in peer-reviewed journals.

Dr. Ward received a bachelor’s degree in psychology, graduating summa cum laude from Bucknell in 1978.  She earned a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the Institute of Child Development,  University of Minnesota in 1983.  That same year, she came to Cornell University Medical College (now Weill Cornell Medical College) the Department of Pediatrics and has remained since.

Clinical Expertise
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Child Development
Parental Concern About Child
Feeding Difficulties
Sleeping Difficulties
Behavior Problems
Education About Parenting Skills
Good Attachment to Primary Caregiver
Parenting Stress
  • Ph.D.
    University of Minnesota
  • Associate Professor of Psychology in Clinical Pediatrics
    Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University

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No External Relationships Reported