Wayne State University
Carolyn Joy Dayton

Carolyn Joy Dayton

Associate Professor



WSU School of Social Work 5447 Woodward Avenue


Carolyn Joy Dayton

Dr. Dayton holds joint appointments at the School of Social Work and the Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute for Child and Family Development where she serves as the Associate Director of the Infant Mental Health Program. Her research is focused on early parenting processes with an emphasis on fathering in urban settings. She has over two decades of experience providing clinical interventions to the families of infants and young children in a wide range of settings including home-based, center-based and hospital programs. Dr. Dayton's program of research is fundamentally translational and transdisciplinary; it is informed by her clinical work with families and aims to identify biological and psychosocial risk and resilience factors that influence early parenting processes and early child development. 

Area of Expertise

  • Infant Mental Health
  • Fathering in Urban Environments
  • Parenting in Contexts of Risk
  • Emotion Regulation Processes in Parenting and Early Child Development
  • Biological and Psychosocial Processes in Early Parenting
  • Fathering Influences on Early Child Development



Social Work


WSU School of Social Work