Skip to main content
Indiana University Bloomington

Brian D'Onofrio

Dr. Brian D'Onofrio

Associate Professor


bmdonofr [at]

office: PY 134 | (812)856-0843

lab: Developmental Psychopathology Lab
   PY 239 | (812)856-2588


Developmental Psychopathology; behavior genetics; family systems; children

Educational Background

  • 1997 - B.A., University of Virginia
  • 2002 - M.A., University of Virginia
  • 2005 - Ph.D., University of Virginia

Areas of Study

  • Clinical Science
  • Developmental Psychology

Research Topics

  • Developmental Psychopathology
  • Behavior Genetics
  • Family Systems
  • Children’s Intellectual Abilities

Research Summary:

My research, rooted in the field of developmental psychopathology, explores the causes of child and adolescent psychopathology and adjustment through three main approaches: genetically informed designs, longitudinal analyses, and intervention studies.

First, I use behavior genetic research designs to examine how specific environmental risk and protective factors influence adjustment. Whereas most previous behavior genetic research merely documented the magnitude of genetic and environmental influences, I am employing advanced research designs to detail how genetic and environmental influences act and interact.

Longitudinal analyses constitute the second major research program that I am using to study causal mechanisms. One of the main limitations of cross-sectional research, including many behavior genetic designs, is the inability to account for reciprocal influences. Therefore, we utilize longitudinal studies to examine the development of children’s adjustment over time and how environmental factors influence and are influenced by individuals.

The third major research approach I use is intervention studies. I am primarily focused on intervention studies for couples going through divorce. The ability to randomly assign couples to different conditions also provides a powerful approach to the study of causal processes specifically related to family constructs.

Representative Publications

Goodnight, J. A., Van Hulle, C. A., Waldman, I. D., Rodgers, J. L., Rathouz, P. J., Lahey, B. B., & D'Onofrio, B. M., (in press). A quasi-experimental study of the influence of neighborhood disadvantage on child and adolescent antisocial behavior. Journal of Abnormal Psychology.

Class, Q.A., Langstrom, N., Lichtenstein, P., D'Onofrio, B.M. (2011). Timing of prenatal maternal exposure to severe life events and adverse pregnancy outcomes: A population study of 2.6 million pregnancies. Psychosomatic Medicine, 73, 234-241.

Schermerhorn, A.C., D'Onofrio, B.M., Turkheimer, E.N., Ganiban, J.M., Spotts, E.L., Lichtenstein, P., Reiss, D., Neiderhiser, J. (2011). A Genetically Informed Study of Associations between Family Functioning and Child Psychosocial Adjustment. Developmental Psychology, 47, 707-725.

Singh, A.L., D'Onofrio, B.M., Slutske, W.S., Turkheimer, E., Emery, R.E., Harden, K.P., Heath, A.C., Madden, P.A., Statham, D.J., Martin, N.G. (2011). Parental depression and offspring psychopathology: A children of twins study. Psychological Medicine, 41, 1385-1395.

British Academy of Science Working Group. (2010). Social science and family policy. M. Rutter (Chair). B. D'Onofrio (member). London. British Academy Policy Center.

D'Onofrio, B.M. & Lahey, B.B. (2010). Biosocial influences on the family: A decade review. Journal of Marriage and Family, 72, 762-782.

D'Onofrio, B.M., Singh, A.L., Illiadou, A., Lambe, M., Hultman, C.M., Grann, M., Neiderhiser, J.M., Langstrom, N., Lichtenstein, P. (2010). Familial confounding of the association between maternal smoking during pregnancy and offspring criminality: A population-based study in Sweden. Archives of General Psychiatry, 67, 529-538.

D'Onofrio, B.M., Singh, A.L., Illiadou, A., Lambe, M., Neiderhiser, J.M., Langstrom, N., Lichtenstein, P., (2010). A quasi-experimental study of maternal smoking during pregnancy and offspring academic achievement. Child Development, 81, 80-100.

Lahey, B.B. & D'Onofrio, B.M. (2010). All in the family: Comparing siblings to test causal hypotheses regarding environmental influences on behavior. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 19, 319-323.

Beck, C.J.A., Holtzworth-Munroe, A., D'Onofrio, B.M., Fee, W., Hill, F. (2009). Collaboration between judges and social science researchers in family law. Family Court Review, 47, 451-467.

D'Onofrio, B.M., Goodnight, J., Van Hulle, C.A., Waldman, I.D., Rodgers, J.L., Rathouz, P.J., Lahey, B.B. (2009). Maternal age at childbirth and offspring disruptive behaviors: Testing the causal hypothesis. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 50, 1018-1028.

D'Onofrio, B.M., Van Hulle, C.A., Waldman, I.D., Rodgers, J.L., Harden, K.P., Rathouz, P.J., Lahey, B.B. (2008). Smoking during pregnancy and offspring externalizing problems: An exploration of genetic and environmental confounds. Development and Psychopathology, 20, 139-164.

D'Onofrio, B.M., Slutske, W., Turkheimer, E.N, Emery, R.E., Heath, A., Madden, P., & Martin, N.G. (2007). The intergenerational transmission of childhood conduct problems: A children of twins study. Archives of General Psychiatry, 64, 820-829.

D'Onofrio, B.M., Turkheimer, E.N., Emery, R.E., Maes, H.H., Silberg, J., Eaves, L.J. (2007). A Children of Twins Study of parental divorce and offspring psychopathology. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 48, 667-675.

D'Onofrio, B.M., Van Hulle, C.A., Waldman, I.D., Rodgers, J.L., Rathouz, P.J., Lahey, B.B. (2007). Causal inferences regarding prenatal alcohol exposure and childhood externalizing problems. Archives of General Psychiatry, 64, 1296-1304.

D'Onofrio, B.M., Turkheimer, E.N, Emery, R., Slutske, W., Heath, A., Madden, P.A.F., & Martin, N.G. (2006). A genetically informed study of the processes underlying the association between parental marital instability and offspring adjustment. Developmental Psychology, 42, 486-499.