Sonia Minnes, PhD

Verna Houck Motto Professor
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences
Research Director
Schubert Center for Child Studies

Sonia Minnes is the Verna Houck Motto Professor at the Mandel School, after serving as a Professor of Social Work since June 2019. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology and a doctorate in social welfare from the Mandel School. She joined the Case Western Reserve University faculty as an Assistant Professor in the School of Medicine in 2004. Her research interests are in the study of child development and the multiple factors that affect cognitive and mental health outcomes.

The Verna Houck Motto Professorship supports a faculty member involved in family and community research with a focus on early childhood development.

Curriculum Vitae
Google Scholar

Research Information

Research Interests

  • Child development
  • Biologic risk factors
  • Prenatal drug exposure
  • Mental health


Recent Publications

Minnes, S., Singer, L. T., Min, M. O., Lang, A. M., Ben-Harush, A., Short, E., & Wu, M.. Comparison of 12-year-old children with prenatal exposure to cocaine and non-exposed controls on caregiver ratings of executive function.  Journal of Youth and Adolescence. 2014 Jan;43(1):53-69. doi: 10.1007/s10964-013-9927-3. Epub 2013 Feb 20.

Lewis, B. A., Minnes, S., Short, E. J., Min, M. O., Wu, M., Lang, A., & Singer, L. T.. Language outcomes at 12 years for children exposed prenatally to cocaine. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. 2013 Oct;56(5):1662-76. doi: 10.1044/1092-4388(2013/12-0119).

Brown, S., Jun, M., Min, M.O., Tracy, E.M. (2013) Impact of dual disorders, trauma, and social support on quality of life among women in treatment for substance dependence. Journal of Dual Diagnosis. 2013 Jan 1;9(1):61-71. Epub 2012 Nov 27.

Min, M.O., Minnes, S., Kim, H., Singer, L.T. (2013) Pathways linking childhood maltreatment and adult physical health. Child Abuse and Neglect. 2013 Jun;37(6):361-73. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2012.09.008. Epub 2012 Nov 26.

Min, M. O., Singer, L. T., Minnes, S., Kim, H., & Short, E. (2013). Mediating links between maternal childhood trauma and preadolescent behavioral adjustment. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 28(4), 831-850.

Minnes, S., Min, M.O., Singer, L.T., Edguer, M., Wu, M., & Thi, P. (2012). Cocaine use during pregnancy and health outcome after 10 years.  Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 2012 Nov 1;126(1-2):71-9. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2012.04.015. Epub 2012 May 25.

McLaughlin, A.A., Minnes, S., Singer, L. T., Short, E. J., Linares-Scott, T., Satayathum, S., & Min, M. (2011). Caregiver and self-report of mental health symptoms in 9-year old cocaine-exposed children, Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 2011 Sep-Oct;33(5):582-91. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2011 Jul 20.

Lewis, B. A., Minnes, S., Short, E., Weishampel, P., Satayathum, S., Min, M. O., Nelson, S., & Singer, L. T. (2011). The effects of prenatal cocaine on language development at 10 years of age. Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 2011 Jan-Feb;33(1):17-24. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2010 Jun 30.

Minnes, S., Singer, L. T., & Lang, A. (2011). Prenatal tobacco, marijuana, stimulant, and opiate exposure: outcomes and practice implications. Addiction Science and Clinical Practice, 2011 Jul;6(1):57-70.

Ridenour, T. A., Minnes, S., Maldonado-Molina, M. M. Reynolds, M. D., Tarter, R. E. & Clark, D. B. (2011). Psychometrics and Cross-cultural comparisons of the Illustration-based Assessment of Liability and Exposure to Substance Use and Antisocial Behavior for Children. The Open Family Studies Journal, 2011;4(Suppl 1-M2):17-26.

Minnes, S., Singer, L. T., Kirchner, L. H., Short, E., Lewis, B., Satayathum, S., & Queah, D. (2010). The effects of prenatal cocaine-exposure on behavior in children 4-10 years. Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 2010 Jul-Aug;32(4):443-51. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2010 Mar 20.

Singer L. T., & Minnes, S. (2010). "Effects of Drugs of Abuse on the Fetus: Cocaine and Opiates including Heroin. In P. Preece and E. Riley (Eds.), Alcohol, drugs and medication in pregnancy: The long term outcome for the child", in Clinics in Developmental Medicine, No.188, pp. 130–152, London, England: Gillian McKeith Press.

Min, M. O., Singer, L. T., Minnes,S., Kirchner, H. L., & Nelson, S. (2009). Cognitive development and low-level lead exposure in poly-drug exposed children. Neurotoxicology & Teratology, 2009 Jul-Aug;31(4):225-31. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2009 Apr 2.


Doctor of Philosophy
Case Western Reserve University
Master of Arts
Cleveland State University
Bachelor of Science
Pennsylvania State University

Additional Information


  • Undergraduate Minor in Social Work


In the News

First Year Cleveland (FYC) moves to the Mandel School
July 05, 2022

Think Showcase
January 29, 2021

Sonia Minnes appointed to Verna Houck Motto Professorship
July 01, 2020

Forum newsletter with an article about Minnes' trip to Poland
April 01, 2014