Dr. Holditch-Davis earned a BSN magna cum laude from Duke University and both an MS in parent-child nursing and a PhD in developmental psychobiology from the University of Connecticut. Before joining the Duke faculty in 2006, Dr. Holditch-Davis served on the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for more than 20 years and rose to the rank of Kenan Distinguished Professor of Nursing and director of the doctoral and postdoctoral programs at the School of Nursing.
Her research uses observation of parent-child interactions and infant sleep to determine long-term health and developmental outcomes of infants, particularly those who are premature, adopted, seropositive for HIV, medically fragile, and the children of low-income, depressed mothers. As part of her studies, Dr. Holditch-Davis has refined methods to study mother-infant behavioral interactions in the home and hospital environments. She is currently conducting a pilot study of the effects of late prematerm birth on maternal psychological well-being and parenting. She was principal investigator on an R01 comparing two mother-administered interventions for VLBW infants (massage, kangaroo care) on infant health and development and the maternal-child relationship and on another R01 that tested a nursing support intervention for African American mothers of preterm infants with the goal of reducing developmental delays by improving the mother’s psychological well-being and the mother-infant relationship.
A fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, Dr. Holditch-Davis has received numerous awards, including the 2006 Duke School of Nursing’s Award for Distinguished Contributions to Nursing Science, the March of Dimes N.C. Maternal-Child Nurse of the Year Award, and the Award for Excellence in Research from the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses. The Southern Nursing Research Society also has honored her with its Distinguished Researcher and D. Jean Wood awards.