Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

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The Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is one of the largest such divisions in the nation, and features a robust research program that focuses on understanding the causes of DBP conditions; developing novel psychosocial and medical interventions that improve functioning across the lifespan and decrease health disparities; and continually assessing the outcomes and safety of the care we provide as well as the patient-level factors that influence outcomes and safety.

Research in the Division includes basic science, translational, and health services programs designed to illuminate the mechanisms of disease, improve clinical care, and enhance outcomes for children with developmental and behavioral conditions or disorders and their families. The specific research conducted by Division investigators focuses on understanding the epidemiology and causes of autism spectrum disorders, understanding brain biology, decreasing or preventing bullying and other forms of violence in school and community-based settings, improving mental health services in schools, improving the management of ADHD in primary care setting, and decreasing health disparities.

The Division also participates in multiple research centers at CHOP and national research collaborations, including the Center for Autism Research, one of the Research Institute’s Centers of Emphasis; the Center for Management of ADHD, a collaborative effort with the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences that works to expand the knowledge base about ADHD and implement research results in clinical practice; and the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center, which coordinates neuroscience and intellectual and developmental disabilities-related research. The Division serves as the Network Coordinating Center for the Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics Research Network and participates in the Autism Treatment Network/ Autism Intervention Research Network for Physical Health.

Additional research within the Division focuses on evaluating a home visiting model to enhance developmental outcomes among low-income families, evaluating neurocognitive outcomes for children with chronic kidney disease, examining neurobehavioral outcomes from sleep interventions for children with sleep-disordered breathing, and determining the effects of neuroendocrine exposure on children’s growth and development.