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Creating the Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Research Network

Grantee: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Principal Investigator: Nathan J. Blum
Project Number: UA3MC20218
Project Date: 9/1/2010

Project Website

Age group(s)

  • Perinatal/Infancy (0-12 months)
  • Toddlerhood (13-35 months)
  • Early Childhood (3-5 years)
  • Middle Childhood (6-11 years)
  • Adolescence (12-18 years)


Developmental-behavioral (DB) pediatricians assess and manage many of the most common chronic health conditions that affect children. Multisite research across disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and related conditions is needed to improve clinical practice, enhance child development and health, and prevent the development of secondary conditions. Goals/Objectives (only a partial list of objectives is provided due to 1-page limit for abstract): Goal 1: Develop the infrastructure for a national research network of DB pediatrics programs. Obj 1 Develop network governance rules; Obj 2 Implement at least 2 pilot research protocols. Goal 2: Develop a consensus-derived and well-informed network research agenda for children with developmental disabilities including, but not limited to, children with ASD. Obj 1 Agree on a set of common data elements reported by all research sites; Obj 2: Review and approve at least one externally submitted research proposal. Goal 3: Develop research proposals to implement the Network research agenda. Obj 1. Submit at least one proposal that uses network resources for extramural funding Goal 4: Support the training of a new generation of D-B pediatrics researchers. Goal 5: Disseminate network research findings. Obj 1 Submit at least 2 manuscripts to peer reviewed journals per year.


The Network leadership (Steering Committee) will include site PIs from 12 leading D-B pediatrics research, training, and clinical programs with one representative from the Society for Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics. This group will be responsible for approving the Network rules of governance, research agenda, and research protocols. An Executive Committee that includes 4 Steering Committee PIs will plan the Network infrastructure, and the development and implementation of initial research protocols. A Network Coordinating Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia will be responsible for the management of the network, including data management and coordination.


Representatives of both Autism Intervention Research Networks (AIR-P & AIRB) and a parent of a child with ASD or related disabilities will serve as advisory members of the Steering Committee. The Network sites include 10 Leadership Education in DB Pediatrics grantees and 6 Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities programs assuring coordination with other Combating Autism Act Initiative programs.


The cardinal measures of success will be the number of presentations at national scientific meetings and the number of publications in peer reviewed journals. Progress toward meeting 20 measurable objectives specified in the application will also be monitored.


We will develop a developmental-behavioral (DB) pediatrics research network in order to perform multi-site research that will improve the DB pediatrics practice, enhance child development and health, and prevent the development of secondary conditions. Twelve leading DB pediatrics research, training, and clinical programs will collaborate in developing the network infrastructure and research goals with the Network Coordinating Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.


Listed is descending order by year published.

Harstad E, Shults J, Barbaresi W, Bax A, Cacia J, Deavenport-Saman A, Friedman S, LaRosa A, Loe IM, Mittal S, Tulio S, Vanderbilt D, Blum NJ. α2-Adrenergic Agonists or Stimulants for Preschool-Age Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. JAMA. 2021 May 25;325(20):2067-2075 PMID: 33946100; PMCID: PMC8097628.

Feinberg E, Augustyn M, Broder-Fingert S et al. Effect of family navigation on diagnostic ascertainment among children at risk for autism a Randomized Clinical Trial from DBPNet. JAMA Pediatr. 2021;175(3):243-250.

High P, Silver E, Stein R, Roizen N, Augustyn M, Blum N and the DBPNet Steering Committee. What referral factors predict an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis? A DBPNet Study. Academic Pediatrics, 2021 Jun 5;S1876-2859(21)00277-1

Huffman, Lynne C.; Hubner, Lauren M.; Hansen, Robin L. Autism-Focused Online Training in Shared Decision-Making: A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Dev Behav Pediatr 2021 Apr 01:42(3):173-181.

Augustyn M, Silver EJ, Blum N, High P, Roizen N, Stein REK, DBP evaluations in DBPNet sites: is race/ethnicity a significant factor in care? J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2019 Jul 22.

Broder-Fingert S, Qin S, Goupil J, et al. A mixed-methods process evaluation of Family Navigation implementation for autism spectrum disorder. Autism. 2019;23(5):1288-1299.

Blum NJ, Shults J, Harstad E, et al. Common use of stimulants and alpha-2 agonists to treat preschool attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a DBPNet study. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2018;39(7):531-537. doi:10.1097/DBP.0000000000000585

Blum NJ, Shults J, Harstad E, Wiley S, Augustyn M, Meinzen-Derr JK, Wolraich ML, Barbaresi WJ. Common Use of Stimulants and Alpha-2 Agonists to Treat Preschool Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A DBPNet Study. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2018 May 30. [Epub ahead of print].

Schwartz J, Huntington N, Toomey M, et al. Measuring the involvement in family life of children with autism spectrum disorder: a DBPNet study. Res Dev Disabil. 2018;83:18-27. doi:10.1016/j.ridd.2018.07.012

Schwartz J, Huntington N, Toomey M, Laverdiere M, Bevans K, Blum N, Bridgemohan C. Measuring the involvement in family life of children with autism spectrum disorder: A DBPNet study. Res Dev Disabil. 2018; 6;83:18-27.

Stein REK, Silver EJ, Augustyn MC, Blum NJ, High P, Roizen NJ. Private Versus Medicaid Patients Referred to Developmental Behavioral Pediatricians: Do They Differ? A DBPNet Study. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2018 May;39(4):325-334.

Won DC, Feldman HM, Huffman LC. Sleep problem detection and documentation in children with ASD and ADHD by developmental-behavioral pediatricians: a DBPNet study. J Dev Behav Pediatr

Jackel C, Shults J, Wiley S, Meinzen-Derr J, Augustyn M, Blum N. Factors Associated with Developmental Behavioral Pediatricians Prescribing Psychotropic Medication to Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Study of Three DBPNet Sites. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2017 Oct;38(8):584-592.

Roizen N, Stein REK, Silver EJ, High P, Augustyn MC, Blum NJ. Academic Developmental-Behavioral Pediatric Faculty at Developmental-Behavioral Pediatric Research Network Sites: Changing Composition and Interests. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2017 Nov/Dec;38(9):683-689.

Hansen RL, Blum NJ, Gahman A, Shults J, On behalf of the DBPNet Steering Committee. Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder by Developmental Behavioral Pediatricians in Academic Centers: A DBPNet Study. Pediatrics 2016;137(s2):s79-89.

Harstad EB, Blum NJ, Gahman A, Shults J Chan E, Barbaresi W. For the DBPNet Steering Committee. Management of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder by Developmental-Behavioral Pediatricians: A DBPNet Study. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 2016;37(7):541-547.

Toomey M, Schwartz J, Laverdiere M, Tucker C, Bevans K, Forrest CB, Blum NJ. Preliminary Validation of the PROMIS Pediatric Parent-Proxy Peer Relationships Measure in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A DBPNet Study. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 2016;37:724-729.

Feldman HM, Blum NJ, Gahman AE, Shults J; DBPNet Steering Committee. Diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder by developmental pediatricians in academic centers: A DBPNet Study. Acad Pediatr. 2015 May-Jun;15(3):282-8.

Blum NJ and The DBPNet Steering Committee. The Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Research Network (DBPNet): another step in the development of the field. Journal of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics. 2012; 33(1):78-83.

Blum NJ, Heidi M Feldman HM. Barbaresi,WJ, Schonfeld, DJ, Hansen, RL, Forrest, CB. Research priorities for developmental-behavioral pediatrics: a DBPNet consensus study. Journal of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics. 2012;33(6):509-16.

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