Biography Curriculum Vitae


Sonia Minnes, PhD

Associate Professor

PhD, Case Western Reserve University
MA, Cleveland State University
BS Psychology, Pennsylvania State University

Visit my Google Scholar Citation Page

Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences

Room 316
Case Western Reserve University
11235 Bellflower Road
Cleveland, Ohio 44106


Sonia Minnes has been an Associate Professor of Social Work at the Mandel School since July, 2009. 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. Curriculum Vitae

Sonia Minnes in Poland

Forum newsletter with an article about Sonia’s trip

Minnes, S., Singer, L. T., Min, M. O., Lang, A. M., Ben-Harush, A., Short, E., & Wu, M. (In press). 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.

Lewis, B. A., Minnes, S., Short, E. J., Min, M. O., Wu, M., Lang, A., & Singer, L. T. (In press). Language outcomes at 12 years for children exposed prenatally to cocaine.Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research.

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, 9 (1), 61-71.

Min, M.O., Minnes, S., Kim, H., Singer, L.T. (2013) Pathways linking childhood maltreatment and adult physical health. Child Abuse & Neglect, 37 (6), 361–373.

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, 126, 71-79.

Aguirre McLaughlin, 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, 33, 582–591.

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, 33, 17–24.

McLaughlin, A.A.,Minnes, S., Singer, L.T., Min, M.O., Short, E.J., Linares Scott, T., & Satayathum, S. (2011). Caregiver and self-report of mental health symptoms in 9-year old children with prenatal cocaine exposure.  Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 33, 582–591.

Minnes, S., Singer, L. T., & Lang, A. (2011). Prenatal drug exposure: Developmental outcomes and practice implications. Addiction Science and Clinical Practice, 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, 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, 32, 443–451.

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 (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, 31, 225–231.

Sonia Minnes in the News:

$2.5 Million NIH Grant Will Launch Next Phase of Project Newborn Research

Feb 20 2015

MinnesbSince 1994, researchers at the Mandel School have studied children prenatally exposed to cocaine and their mothers to track their development from birth through adolescence. With a new four-year, $2.5 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health (NIH; award number R01 DA007957), those children—now young adults—enter the next phase of the long-term Project Newborn study.

“In this new study, we will have an opportunity to understand the challenges Project Newborn participants have as adults,” said Sonia Minnes, PhD, associate professor of social work, who is leading the study, “The Effects of Prenatal Cocaine Exposure in Emerging Adulthood.”

This month, Dr. Minnes and her team of researchers will begin examining how the effects of early cocaine exposure—which, for many of the subjects, resulted in drug use and anti-social behavior as adolescents—may have shifted as they’ve entered their 20s.

They will revisit 359 participants from the original Project Newborn study. Of that total, 183 were prenatally exposed to cocaine, while 176 were not. The two groups have been compared at various stages since the study began to measure the possible effects of pre-birth cocaine exposure on child development.

The new study will focus on three areas: Substance abuse, anti-social behaviors and adaptive functioning (educational attainment, vocational status and quality of relationships). Researchers will also examine the long-term effects of elevated levels of lead, iron deficiencies and living with non-relatives.

Researchers hope to use what they learn to develop interventions timed to when prenatally drug-exposed children may be most susceptible to using drugs, getting involved in criminal activities and dropping out of school.

The new phase builds on 20 years of research initiated by Lynn T. Singer, PhD, Case Western Reserve’s deputy provost and vice president for academic affairs and a professor of pediatrics at the School of Medicine. She launched the project in 1994 in response to national concerns for babies being born to drug-addicted mothers.

The children—one group exposed prenatally to cocaine and another “control” group that was not—were examined several times in the first two years and again at ages 4, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15 and 17.

The researchers found that children in foster and adoptive care are faring better in language and cognitive development than those living with their birth mothers who used cocaine. But all tend to have similar behavior issues.

Minnes said prenatal cocaine exposure seems to result in subtle neurological deficits.

“Even as newborns, we saw subtle attention issues,” she said. Researchers also noticed that the children, as toddlers, struggled with visual recognition—remembering what they saw.

As they grew older, cocaine-exposed children had behavior problems at home and at school. They also reported more substance use and were less able to plan ahead, organize and monitor their thinking and behavior.

“School can become an unpleasant place to be, and some already dropped out,” Minnes said.

In the study’s next phase, researchers hope to learn whether, as young adults, the participants have been able to overcome some of those challenges.

About half the children are no longer with their biological mothers or relatives; one-fourth are in foster care or have been adopted, Minnes said. Twelve children have died since the study began. Others have moved, but continue to participate, she said.

Dr. Sonia Minnes and Dr. Scott Wilkes are Promoted

Jun 3 2014

Minnes WilkesThe CWRU Board of Trustees recently approved two promotions among the faculty at the Mandel School. Dr. Sonia Minnes was promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure and Dr. Scott Wilkes was promoted to Assistant Professor.

“The review process for promotion is long and rigorous,” said Dean Grover “Cleve” Gilmore. “To be promoted is a significant accomplishment in one’s career. Please join me in congratulating Sonia and Scott.”