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Indiana University Bloomington

Brian D'Onofrio

Dr. Brian D'Onofrio


Director of Clinical Training


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
  • Pharmacoepidemiology

Research Summary:

My research, rooted in the field of developmental psychopathology, explores the causes and treatments of child and adolescent psychopathology through three main approaches: quasi-experimental designs, longitudinal analyses, and intervention studies.

First, we use several advanced designs that rigorously test alternative hypotheses when we examine how specific environmental risk and protective factors influence the psychopathology. In particular, we use within-individual comparisons (e.g., we examine the risks of ADHD medication use when the same individual is on and off medication), sibling-comparisons (e.g., we compare siblings who are differentially exposed to maternal smoking during pregnancy), cousin-comparisons (e.g., we study cousins who are differentially exposed to parental suicide), and offspring of twins (e.g., we study the offspring of identical twins who differed in their age at first childbearing).

Longitudinal analyses constitute the second major research program that we are using to study causal mechanisms. One of the main limitations of cross-sectional research is the inability to account for reciprocal influences. We, therefore, analyze longitudinal studies to examine the development of children's adjustment over time and how environmental factors influence and are influenced by individuals. Longitudinal analyses also provide the opportunity to whether there are sensitive periods of development.

Our third major research approach is the use of intervention studies. We are primarily focused on intervention studies for couples going through divorce/separation. Please note this research is conducted in collaboration with Dr. Amy Holtzworth-Munroe.

Representative Publications

Class, Q.A., Rickert, M., Larsson, H., Lichtenstein, P., & D'Onofrio, B.M., (in press). Fetal growth and psychiatric and socioeconomic problems: A quasi-experimental population-based study. British Journal of Psychiatry.

D'Onofrio, B.M., Class, Q.A., Lahey, B.B., Larsson, H. (in press). Testing the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease Hypothesis for psychopathology using family-based quasi-experimental designs. Child Development Perspectives.

Chang, Z., Lichtenstein, P., Halldner, L., D'Onofrio, B.M., Serlachius, E., Fazel, S., Langstrom, N., Larsson, H. (2014). Stimulant ADHD Medication and risk for substance abuse. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 55 , 878-885.

Chen, Q., Sjölander, A., Runeson, B., D'Onofrio, B.M., Lichtenstein, P., Larsson, H. (2014). Drug treatment for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Suicidal behavior: Register based study. British Medical Journal, 348 , G3769.

Class, Q.A., Rickert, M.E., Lichtenstein, P., D'Onofrio, B.M. (2014). Birth weight, physical morbidity, and mortality: A population-based sibling-comparison study. American Journal of Epidemiology, 179 , 550-558.

D'Onofrio, B.M., Rickert, M.E., Frans, E., Kuja-Halkola, R., Almqvist, C., Sjölander, A., Larsson, H., Lichtenstein, P. (2014). Paternal age at childbearing and offspring psychiatric and academic morbidity. JAMA Psychiatry, 71 , 432-438.

Ellingson, J.M., Goodnight, J.A., Van Hulle, C.A., Waldman, I.D., D'Onofrio, B.M. (2014) A sibling-comparison study of smoking during pregnancy and childhood psychological traits. Behavior Genetics, 44 , 25-35.

Class, Q. A., Khashan, A. S., Lichtenstein, P., Långström, N., & D'Onofrio, B. M. (2013). Maternal stress and infant mortality: The importance of the preconception period. Psychological Science, 24 , 1309-1316.

Coyne, C. A., Långström, N., Rickert, M.E., Lichtenstein, P. & D'Onofrio, B.M., (2013). Maternal age at first birth and offspring criminality: Using the children-of-twins design to test causal hypotheses. Development and Psychopathology, 25 , 17-35. PMCID: PMC3671761

D'Onofrio, B.M., Class, Q.A., Rickert, M.E., Larsson, H., Långström, N., Lichtenstein, P. (2013). Preterm birth and mortality and morbidity: A quasi-experimental study. JAMA Psychiatry, 70 , 1231-1240. PMCID: PMC3823714

D'Onofrio, B.M., Lahey, B.B., Turkheimer, E., & Lichtenstein, P. (2013). The critical need for family-based, quasi-experimental research in integrating genetic and social science research. American Journal of Public Health, 103 , S46-S55. PMCID: PMC3778076

Donahue, K.L., D'Onofrio, B.M., Lichtenstein, P., & Långström, N. (2013). Why does early sexual intercourse predict subsequent maladjustment? Exploring potential familial confounds. Health Psychology, 32 , 180-189.

Coyne, C.A. & D'Onofrio, B.M. (2012). Some (but not much) progress toward understanding teenage childbearing: A review of research in the past 10 years. Advances in Child Development and Behavior, 42 , 113-152.

D'Onofrio, B.M., Rickert, M.E., Långström, N., Donahue, K.L., Coyne, C.A., Larsson, H., Ellingson, J.M., Van Hulle, C.A., Iliadou, A.N., Rathouz, P.J., Lahey, B.B., Lichtenstein, P. (2012). Familial confounding of the associations between maternal smoking during pregnancy and offspring substance use and problems. Archives of General Psychiatry, 69 , 1140-1150.

D'Onofrio, B.M. & Lahey, B.B. (2010). Biosocial influences on the family: A decade review. Journal of Marriage and Family, 72 , 762-782. PMCID: PMC3760735