Kara Skelton

Assistant Professor


Contact Info

Linthicum Hall, Rm. 101 D


Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion Postdoctoral Fellow, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2018-2020

PhD in Health Education & Health Promotion, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2018

MA.Ed., Community Health Education, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2014

BS in Health Education, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2012

Areas of Expertise

Maternal and Child Health

Community-based participatory research

Breastfeeding promotion

Public health policy analysis

Perinatal cannabis use

Early child nutrition

Ecological momentary assessment

Population-based surveillance systems


Dr. Kara Skelton is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Sciences at Towson University. Prior to joining Towson University, she completed her postdoctoral training in Maternal and Child Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Skelton earned her PhD in Health Education and Promotion from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Skelton’s research interests include examining the relation between health policies and MCH outcomes. She is also interested in examining how patient-provider communication can be used as a tool to reduce health disparities and improve health outcomes for MCH populations.

Selected Publications

  • Skelton, K.R., & Young-Wolff, K.C. (2022). Preconception Cannabis Use: An Important but Overlooked Public Health Issue.  Women's Health, 18, 17455057221124071. https://doi.org/10.1177/17455057221124071
  • Skelton, K.R., Donahue, E., & Benjamin-Neelon, S.E. (2022). Validity of self-report measures of cannabis use compared to biological samples among women of reproductive age: A scoping review. BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth 22, 344. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12884-022-04677-0
  • Skelton, K.R., Donahue, E., & Benjamin-Neelon, S.E. (2022). Measuring cannabis-related knowledge, attitudes, perceptions, motivations, and influences among women of reproductive age: a scoping review. BMC Women's Health 22, 95. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12905-022-01673-6
  • Young-Wolff, K.C., Adams, S.R., Brown, Q.L., Weisner, C., Ansley, D., Goler, N., Skelton, K.R., Satre, D.D., Foti, T.R., & Conway, A. (2022). Modes of Cannabis Administration in the Year Prior to Conception Among Patients in Northern California. Addictive Behaviors Reports, 100416. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.abrep.2022.100416
  • Chernek, B. & Skelton, K. (2022). Attitudes Toward Cannabis Use During Labor in the United States. Women's Health Reports, 3(1), 124-130. https://doi.org/10.1089/whr.2021.0125
  • Skelton, K.R. & Benjamin-Neelon, S.E. (2022). Reexamining Risks of Prenatal Cannabis Use—Mounting Evidence and a Call to Action. JAMA Network Open, 5(1), e2145666-e2145666. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.45666
  • Skelton, K.R. & Benjamin-Neelon, S.E. (2021). Variation in characteristics associated with prenatal cannabis use by recreational cannabis legality in the US, 2018. Journal of Women’s Health. https://doi.org/10.1089/jwh.2021.0155
  • Skelton, K.R., Hecht AA, Benjamin-Neelon SE. (2021). Association of Recreational Cannabis Legalization with Maternal Cannabis Use in the Preconception, Prenatal, and Postpartum Periods. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(2):e210138. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.0138
  • Bleiweiss-Sande, R., Jiménez-Cruz, A., Bacardí-Gascón, M., Skelton, K., & Benjamin-Neelon, S. E. (2021). Interventions to prevent obesity in Latinx children globally: protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis. Systematic reviews10(1), 1-8. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13643-021-01674-w
  • Skelton, K.R.; Hecht, A.A.; Benjamin-Neelon, S.E. (2020) Women’s cannabis use before, during, and after pregnancy in New Hampshire. Preventive Medicine Reports, 20, 101262. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pmedr.2020.101262  
  • Skelton, K., Grossman, E.R., Benjamin-Neelon, S.E. (2020). A letter to the editor regarding the article, “the impact of state legalization on rates of marijuana use in pregnancy in a universal drug screening population”: clarification on the timing and content of the control, regulate, and tax adult use of marijuana act (AUMA)." The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine, ahead-of-print, pp. 1–2. https://doi.org/10.1080/14767058.2020.1824219
  • Skelton, K.R., Lowe, C., Zaltz, D.A., Benjamin-Neelon, S.E. (2020). Garden-based interventions and early childhood health: an umbrella review. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 17, 121. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-020-01023-5
  • Skelton, K, LaChenaye, J., & Evans, R. (2020). Hidden Communities of Practice in Social Media Groups: Mixed Methods Study. JMIR Pediatrics & Parenting 2020; 3(1), e11344. https://doi.org/10.2196/14355
  • Skelton, K.R.; Hecht, A.A.; Benjamin-Neelon, S.E. (2020). Recreational Cannabis Legalization in the US and Maternal Use during the Preconception, Prenatal, and Postpartum Periods. International journal of environmental research and public health17(3), 909. https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/17/3/909
  • Skelton, K.R., Benjamin-Neelon, S. E., & Young-Wolff, K. C. (2020). Management of cannabis use in breastfeeding women: The untapped potential of International Board Certified Lactation Consultants. Breastfeeding Medicine15(2), 117-120. https://doi.org/10.1089/bfm.2019.0272

In the media

Dr. Skelton’s work has been covered in multiple media outlets:

Professional Service

  • Editorial board member, BMC WOMEN’S HEALTH


  • HLTH 102: Honors Wellness for a Diverse Society
  • HLTH 340: Maternal and Child Health Foundations
  • HLTH 432: Measurement & Evaluation in Health Education