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Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Research Network

Project profile

Institution: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Principal Investigator: Nathan Blum
Project Number: UT5MC42432
Project Date: 09-01-2021

Age Group(s)

  • Toddlerhood (13-35 months)
  • Early Childhood (3-5 years)
  • Middle Childhood (6-11 years)
  • Adolescence (12-18 years)
  • Young Adulthood (19-25 years)

Targeted/Underserved Population

  • African American
  • Hispanic/Latino
  • Special Health Care Needs


Developmental-behavioral pediatricians (DBPs) assess and manage many of the most common chronic health conditions affecting children. Multisite research on Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental disabilities (ASD/DD) is needed to improve access to care quality of care and health outcomes for children and youth with these conditions.

Goals and objectives:

(only a partial list of objectives is provided due to 1-page limit) Goal 1: Maintain and further develop the infrastructure for a DBP research network. Obj 1: Maintain a national network of collaborating sites and a Network Coordinating Center; Obj 2: Update the DBPNet research agenda; Obj 3: Create a Health Equity Research Node. Goal 2: Develop & implement at least 3 multisite intervention research studies. Obj 1: Initiate intervention study in collaboration with Family Resource Centers; Obj 2: Develop & implement a study of a sexual health education program for youth/young adults with ASD; Obj 3: Develop & implement a study of an alcohol use prevention intervention for youth with ADHD. Goal 3: Provide training and mentoring to junior or new investigators. Obj 1: Provide innovative mentorship research and/or manuscript writing experiences for at least 10 junior/new investigators; Obj 2: Collaborate with the Society for Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics (SDBP) to conduct the annual Research Scholars Symposium. Goal 4: Disseminate DBPNet research findings. Obj 1: Produce at least 3 peer-reviewed publications per year; Obj 2: Provide at least 5 research presentations at national meetings per year; Obj 3: Produce summaries of research for family members and policy makers that are disseminated through the DBPNet website and sent to appropriate policy makers.

Proposed activities and target populations:

DBPNet conducts clinical and translational intervention research designed to improve access to care quality or care and health outcomes for children and youth with ASD/DD at 16 leading DBP research training and clinical programs. Research results are disseminated to professionals in the field of MCH families and policy makers. We collaborate with the SDBP and other Autism CARES grantees to provide research training and mentoring to new and junior investigators.


Representatives of other MCH research networks and parents serve on the Network Steering Committee and/or Network Research Nodes. The Network includes 14 sites that have Autism CARES funded training programs.


Products developed by DBPNet include peer reviewed scientific publications scientific presentations at national meetings research trainings lay research summaries and reviews or practice guidelines.


We report progress on measurable objectives and activities in our annual progress and performance reporting. The cardinal measures of success are the number of presentations at national scientific meetings and the number of publications in peer reviewed journals.


Harstad E, Shults J, Barbaresi W, Bax A, Cacia J, Deavenport-Saman A, Friedman S, LaRosa A, Loe I, Mittal S, Vanderbilt D, Blum N. Preschool Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Telephone Medication Management at Developmental-Behavioral Pediatric Network Sites. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2021 Aug 01;42(6):481-484.PMID: 33929397 August 2021

Barbaresi W, Cacia J, Friedman S, et al. Clinician Diagnostic Certainty and the Role of the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule in Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis in Young Children. JAMA Pediatr. 2022;176(12):1233�1241.doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2022.3605 DOI:doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2022.3605 October 2022

Blum, Nathan J. MD*; Shults, Justine PhD�; Barbaresi, William MD�; Bax, Ami MD�; Cacia, Jaclyn MS?; Deavenport-Saman, Alexis DrPH�; Friedman, Sandra MD, MPH**; Loe, Irene M. MD��; Mittal, Shruti MD��; Vanderbilt, Douglas MD, MS�; LaRosa, Angela MD, MSCR��; Harstad, Elizabeth MD, MPH�. Do Externalizing and Internalizing Symptoms Moderate Medication Response in Preschool Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder? A DBPNet Study. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics ():10.1097/DBP.0000000000001209, August 8, 2023. | DOI: 10.1097/DBP.0000000000001209 DOI:10.1097/DBP.0000000000001209 August 2023

Feinberg E, Stransky ML, Augustyn M, Broder-Fingert S, Bennett A, Weitzman C, Kuhn J, Chu A, Cabral HJ, Fenick AM and Blum NJ, Effect of Family Navigation on Participation in Part C Early Intervention. Academic Pediatrics, (2023) doi: DOI: July 2023

Loe IM, Blum NJ, Shults J, et al. Adverse Effects of a-2 Adrenergic Agonists and Stimulants in Preschool-age Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Research Network Study. J Pediatr. 2023;257:113325. doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2023.01.004 DOI:10.1016/j.jpeds.2023.01.004 June 2023

Angkustsiri K, Fussell JJ, Bennett A, et al. Pilot Study of Maternal Autoantibody-Related Autism. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2022;43(8):465-471. doi:10.1097/DBP.0000000000001100 DOI:10.1097/DBP.0000000000001100 October 2022

Kellom KS, Flaherty CM, Cacia J, et al. Provider and Caregiver Perspectives on Telehealth Assessments for Autism Spectrum Disorder in Young Children: A Multimethod DBPNet Study Exploring Equity [published online ahead of print, 2023 Jun 14]. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2023;10.1097/DBP.0000000000001198. doi:10.1097/DBP.0000000000001198 DOI:doi:10.1097/DBP.0000000000001198 June 2023

Bethell, C.D., Wells, N., Bergman, D., Reuland,C., Stumbo, S.P., Gombojav, N., Simpson, L.A. Scaling Family Voices and Engagement to Measure and Improve Systems Performance and Whole Child Health: Progress and Lessons from the Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative. Matern Child Health J (2023). Https:// DOI: August 2023

LaFave, L.A., Clemmons, N., Kotelchuck, M., Morales Cozier, N., Geltman, A., Browne, D.R., Kenyon, K. Activating Life Course Theory through a Whole System Prevention Framework to Address the Wicked Problem of Maternal and Infant Morbidity and Mortality. Community Health Equity Res Policy (2023) Jun 4:2752535X231170737. doi: 10.1177/2752535X231170737. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37271730. DOI: June 2023 37271730

Reichman, N., Corman, H., Noonan, K., Kuhn, K., Papas, E., Hegyi, T. Small-for-gestational-age and vocabulary and achievement test scores at age 9 among children born at term in a contemporary U.S. sample. Maternal and Child Health Journal (2023); in press. Available online: DOI: August 2023

egyi, T., Schwartz-Soicher, O., Reichman, N., Ostfeld, B. Racial differences in the impact of maternal smoking on sudden unexpected infant death. Journal of Perinatology (2023); 43(3): 345�349 DOI:10.1038/s41372-022-01516-0 March 2023 36271297

Lamar, C.E., Jain, D., Schmitz, K.S. Perils of auto-population of newborn EHR with maternal intimate partner violence history. Pediatrics (2023), Online 09.15.23. September 2023