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Cheryl Tatano Beck, D.N.Sc. - University of Connecticut. Storrs, CT, US

Cheryl Tatano Beck, D.N.Sc.

Distinguished Professor | University of Connecticut


Cheryl Tatano Beck is a distinguished professor in School of Nursing whose research focuses on postpartum depression and traumatic birth


Dr. Beck is a Distinguished Professor at the University of Connecticut, School of Nursing. She also has a joint appointment in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the School of Medicine. Her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing is from Western Connecticut State University. She received her Master’s degree in maternal-newborn nursing from Yale University. Cheryl is a certified nurse-midwife. She received her certificate in nurse-midwifery also from Yale University. Her Doctor of Nursing Science degree is from Boston University. She is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. She has received numerous awards such as the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nursing’s Distinguished Professional Service Award, Eastern Nursing Research Society’s Distinguished Researcher Award, and the Distinguished Alumna Award from Yale University School of Nursing.

Cheryl has focused her research efforts on developing a research program on postpartum mood and anxiety disorders. Based on the findings from her series of qualitative studies, Cheryl developed the Postpartum Depression Screening Scale (PDSS) which is published by Western Psychological Services. She is a prolific writer who has published over 150 journal articles and 20 book chapters. Cheryl is co-author with Dr. Denise Polit of the textbook, Nursing Research: Generating and Assessing Evidence for Nursing Practice. Editions of this text received both the 2007 and the 2011 American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Award. Their Essentials of Nursing Research textbook won the 2013 AJN Book of the Year Award. Cheryl co-authored with Dr. Jeanne Driscoll Postpartum Mood and Anxiety Disorders: A Clinician’s Guide which received the 2006 American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Award. In addition Cheryl has published other books including Traumatic Childbirth and The Routledge International Handbook of Qualitative Nursing Research, Developing a Program of Research in Nursing, Secondary Qualitative Data Analysis, and Writing in Nursing: A Brief Guide.

Areas of Expertise (5)

Birth Trauma


Postpartum Depression

Traumatic Childbirth

Qualitative Research

Education (4)

Boston University: D.N.Sc.

Yale University: M.S.N.

Yale University: C.N.M.

Western Connecticut State University: B.S.

Affiliations (2)

  • Massachusetts General Hospital, Yvonne L. Munn Center for Nursing, Senior Nursing Scientist
  • Board Member- Marce International Society for Perinatal Mental Health of North America

Accomplishments (4)

Annie Goodrich Distinguished Nurse Lectureship Award (professional)

Institute of Living, Hartford, CT

Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health 2012 Best Research Article Award (professional)

For “Postpartum Depressive Symptomatology: Results from a Two-Stage U.S. National Survey (co-authored with Robert Gable, Carol Sakala, and Eugene Declercq).

Annie Goodrich Distinguished Nurse Lectureship Award (professional)

Institute of Living, Hartford, CT

AJN 2011 Book of the Year Award for Nursing Research (professional)

Nursing Research: Generating and Assessing Evidence for Nursing Practice (9th edition) (co-authored with Denise F. Polit)






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Media Appearances (2)

All Birth Trauma is Valid: Here's How to Have it Recognized and Get the Support You Need

Parents.com  online


Traumatic birth doesn't mean delivering a stillborn or having a panic attack on the delivery table (though it certainly can). "Trauma is in the eye of the beholder," explains Cheryl Tatano Beck, DNSc, CNM, FAAN, a distinguished professor at the University of Connecticut's School of Nursing and one of the leading experts on birth trauma.

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It's a scary time to have a baby in a hospital. Home births need to be more accessible to pregnant women.

Insider  online


Up to 45% of women described their births as traumatic, and about 9% suffer postpartum PTSD, according to a study authored by Cheryl Beck, a professor of nursing at the University of Connecticut. Beck, who has studied birth trauma for two decades, found that new mothers can develop mental health disorders as a result of negative experiences in a hospital. She said this can occur when women feel stripped of their dignity, or are kept in the dark about what happens to their bodies during birth.

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Event Appearances (1)

International Nursing Researcher Hall of Fame

Sigma Theta Tau  Calgary, Alberta

Articles (5)

Vicarious Posttraumatic Growth in Labor and Delivery Nurses

Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing

Cheryl Beck, Carrie Morgan Eaton, Robert K. Gable

2017 To investigate vicarious posttraumatic growth in labor and delivery nurses who cared for women during traumatic births.

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Caring for a Child With an Obstetric Brachial Plexus Injury: A Metaphor Analysis

Journal of Pediatric Nursing

Cheryl Tatano Beck

2017 The purpose of this study was to examine the metaphors used by mothers to describe their experiences caring for their children with obstetric brachial plexus injuries.

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Evaluation of the Association of Toll-Like Receptor 4 and BMI with Postpartum Depressive Symptomatology

The FASEB Journal

Brittany A Molkenthin, Michelle P Judge, Erin E Young and Cheryl T Beck

2017 Obesity has been associated with elevated Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) expression. An imbalance in TLR4 expression and increased inflammatory load may play a role in the regulation of mood and in the etiology of mood disturbances. This study was designed to explore the underlying correlations between maternal BMI, circulating TLR4, and postpartum depressive symptoms. This exploratory secondary analysis utilized existing samples (n=42) during pregnancy and postpartum periods. Maternal plasma samples were collected at 20, 36–38 weeks gestation, and 2 weeks postpartum. Existing plasma samples were used to quantify TLR4 using ELISA.

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Posttraumatic Stress in Mothers Related to Giving Birth Prematurely: A Mixed Research Synthesis

Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association

Cheryl Tatano Beck, Lisa Harrison

2017 This article provides a mixed research synthesis of the quantitative and qualitative studies on posttraumatic stress in mothers who have given birth prematurely.

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A Secondary Analysis of Mistreatment of Women During Childbirth in Health Care Facilities

Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses

Cheryl Tatano Beck

2016 To conduct a secondary qualitative analysis of a phenomenological study of traumatic childbirth to identify the types and frequency of mistreatment of women during childbirth in high-income countries.

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