Erika R. Cheng, PhD, MPA

Erika R. Cheng, PhD, MPA

Assistant Professor


317-278-0505 (office)

Children's Health Services Research
Health Information and Translational Sciences Building (HITS)
410 W. 10th Street, Suite 2000
Indianapolis, IN 46202


Areas of Interest

Child health within the context of the family, with particular emphasis on the social determinants of health, the life course nature of health and illness, health and health care disparities for women during the period of pregnancy and child birth, and the role of fathers 

Erika R. Cheng, PhD, MPA, is an epidemiologist, public health, and health services researcher for Children's Health Services Research and the Associate Director of the CHSR Fellowship Program at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Dr. Cheng received her PhD in Population Health Sciences and her Masters in Public Affairs from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and then completed a pediatric health services research fellowship at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital for Children. In 2015, she joined the faculty at IUSM.

Dr. Cheng's research focuses on children's health within the context of the family, with particular emphasis on social and life course determinants. She has published extensively on women's health and health care disparities during pregnancy and childbirth, and is currently leading several investigations to understand the role of fathers to children's health and to identify methods for increasing paternal engagement in pediatric primary care.


2004 BS, Public Affairs, Indiana University
2009 MPA, Public Affairs, University of Wisconsin
2013 PhD, Population Health Sciences (Epidemiology), University of Wisconsin

Honors & Awards

2015 Excellence in Tutoring Award, Harvard Medical School
2014 Harvard Nutrition Obesity Research Center Pilot and Feasibility Project Award
2014 Health Affairs Top 15 Most-Read Articles in 21013
2012 Disability Section Annual Meeting Scholarship Award, American Public Health Association
2012 Fahs-Beck Scholar Award
2010 Science and Medicine Graduate Research Scholars Advanced Opportunity Fellowship, University of Wisconsin
2009 Pi Alpha Alpha National Honor Society, Robert M. Lafollette School of Public Affairs, University of Wisconsin
2008 Graduate Research Scholars Advanced Opportunity Fellowship, University of Wisconsin


Research & Grants

Representative PublicationsView All Publications

Cheng ER, Kotelchuck M, Gerstein E, Taveras EM, and Poehlmann-Tynan J. Postnatal Depressive Symptoms among Mothers and Fathers After Preterm Birth: Prevalence and Impacts on Children’s Early Cognitive Function. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2016; 37(1): 33-42. PMCID: PMC4691403.
Cheng ER, Rifas-Shiman SL, Perkins ME, Rich-Edwards JW, Gillman MW, Wright RJ, and Taveras EM. The Influence of Antenatal Partner Support on Pregnancy Outcomes. J Women’s Health, 2015; in press.
Cheng ER, Declercq ER, Belanoff C, Stotland N, and Iverson RE. Labor and Delivery Experiences of Mothers with Suspected Large Babies. Matern Child Health J, 2015; 19 (12): 2578-2586. PMCID: PMC4644447.
Cheng ER, Park H, Wisk LE, Mandell K, Wakeel F, Litzelman K, Chatterjee D, and Witt WP. Examining the Link between Women’s Exposure to Stressful Life Events Prior to Conception and Infant and Toddler Health: The Role of Birthweight. J Epidemiol Commun H, 2015; 23 Oct [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 26500337.
Cheng ER, Declercq ER, Belanoff C, Iverson RE, and McCloskey L. Racial and Ethnic Differences in the Likelihood of Vaginal Birth after Cesarean Delivery. Birth, 2015; 42(3):249-253. PMCID: PMC4618667
Cheng ER, Palta M, Poehlmann-Tynan J, and Witt WP. The Influence of Children's Cognitive Delay and Behavior Problems on Maternal Depression. J Pediatr, 2015; Sep; 167(3):679-686. PMCID: PMC4554998
Cheng ER, Cohen A, and Goodman E. The Role of Perceived Discrimination During Childhood and Adolescence in Understanding Racial and Socioeconomic Influences on Depression in Young Adulthood. J Pediatr, 2015 Feb; 166(2): 370-377. PMCID: PMC4308560
Cheng ER, Poehlmann-Tynan J, Mullahy J, and Witt WP. Cumulative Social Risk Exposure, Infant Birth Weight, and Cognitive Delay in Infancy. Acad Pediatr, 2014; 14(6): 581-588. PMCID: PMC4254719.
Cheng ER, Park H, Robert SA, Palta M, and Witt WP. Impact of County Disadvantage on Behavior Problems among U.S. Children with Cognitive Delay. Am J Public Health, 2014 Nov; 104(11): 2114-2121. PMCID: PMC4202933.
Cheng ER, Palta M, Kotelchuck M, Poehlmann J, and Witt WP. Cognitive Delay and Behavior Problems Prior to School-Age. Pediatrics, 2014 Sept; 134(3): e749-e757. PMCID: PMC4533234
Cheng ER and Kindig DA. Disparities in Premature Mortality between High- and Low-Income U.S. Counties. Prev Chronic Dis, Mar 2012; 9: 110-120. PMCID: PMC3402341
Kindig DA and Cheng ER. Even As Mortality Fell In Most U.S. Counties, Female Mortality Nonetheless Rose In 42.8 Percent Of Counties From 1992 to 2006. Health Affairs (Millwood), 2013; 32(3): 451-458. PMCID: PMC3715581.