Principal Investigator

Brian M. D'Onofrio, Ph.D.


My research seeks to understand the etiology of child and adolescent psychopathology using multiple designs, including longitudinal research, quasi-experimental designs, and intervention studies. Although I explore risk factors throughout development, my current focus is on early risk factors. I am particularly interested in understanding the mechanisms through which pregnancy-related risks (e.g., maternal stress and substance use during pregnancy), characteristics of the parents at childbirth (e.g., maternal and paternal age at childbearing), and early stressors (e.g., harsh parenting and economic deprivation) influence later psychopathology. Most of my research consists of secondary data analysis of large datasets (nationally representative samples in Australia and the U.S, as well as population-based studies of all individuals in Sweden). I am also a co-investigator on an intervention study in Bloomington that is exploring whether different types of divorce mediation can help children after the separation of their parents.

Curriculum Vitae

Affiliated Investigator

Patrick D. Quinn, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, School of Public Health

I use longitudinal data on individuals and families to test hypotheses regarding the causes and consequences of substance use. A primary area of my research uses advanced quantitative designs in large-scale healthcare data to examine pharmacotherapies with the potential for abuse, particularly opioid pain medications and ADHD medications. More broadly, I also use epidemiologic and behavioral genetic studies to examine the development of substance use problems in the context of ADHD and other externalizing psychopathology, as well as to test hypotheses regarding the behavioral effects of substance use..

I am currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Applied Health Science at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington. I was a postdoctoral researcher in the Developmental Psychopathology Lab from 2014 to 2018. Prior to that, I received my doctorate in clinical psychology from The University of Texas at Austin and completed my APA-accredited pre-doctoral internship at the Indiana University School of Medicine.


Doctoral Students

Lauren M. O'Reilly

I am interested in studying the etiology of suicidal behavior in adolescence through adulthood. To do so, I analyze longitudinal, population-based registers from Sweden and use genetically-informed designs to examine the extent to which genetic and environmental factors are associated with suicidal behaviors. These large databases and designs allow for the examination of causal relations between previously explored risk factors and later suicidal behavior. I am currently working on three main areas of research: 1) the intergenerational transmission of suicidal behavior using a Children of Siblings and Twins design, 2) the association between a variety of psychosocial risk factors (e.g., aggression and bullying) and suicidal behavior in an adolescent twin sample, and 3) short-term risk factors for suicidal behavior post-contact with outpatient specialists. I am also interested in how macro-level policy changes interact with suicidal behavior, including the Affordable Care Act young adult mandate and parity legislation

Curriculum Vitae

Ayesha C. Sujan

Broadly speaking, I study prenatal risk factors. I am particularly interested in understanding the potential consequences of maternal use of psychiatric medications during pregnancy on risk for offspring birth (e.g., preterm birth) and neurodevelopmental (e.g., autism spectrum disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) problems. I use real-world health care data because women cannot be randomly assigned to be treated with psychiatric medications. Given that women who use psychiatric medications during pregnancy differ from women who do not, I use advanced research designs that help account for these differences. For example, I compare offspring who were exposed to medications during pregnancy to their own siblings who were not exposed. This method accounts for all genetic and environmental factors shared by the siblings and, thus, provides a strong test of the consequences of maternal medication use during pregnancy.

Curriculum Vitae

Kelsey Wiggs

I am broadly interested in the etiology and treatment of neurodevelopmental problems (e.g. symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, seizures, and autism spectrum disorders) across multiple levels of analysis and time scales. In the Developmental Psychopathology lab at IU I work with Dr. Brian D’Onofrio on two main areas of research using large longitudinal data sets. The first uses within family designs to disentangle the extent to which perinatal risk factors versus genetic and environmental factors shared within families impact neurodevelopmental problems. The second uses a within individual design to assess the safety of medications independent of stable genetic and environmental factors within an individual. My current project examines the association between prenatal exposure to antiepileptic drugs and offspring ADHD and ASD.

Curriculum Vitae

Research Scientist

Martin E. Rickert, Ph.D.

I have an extensive background in scientific research with specific expertise and interests in data modeling, statistical estimation and technical computing. Recently, my efforts have focused on using genetically-informed, quasi-experimental designs to explore the scope and specificity of risk factors for adverse birth outcomes, neurodevelopmental disorders, severe adult psychopathology, cognitive/intellectual functioning, and long-term, social outcomes. A key component of my work in the lab and in collaboration with database experts in Sweden involves solving "big" data issues. This includes [1] developing algorithms and writing the software needed to extract and integrate information from the population registers and [2] implementing scripts that enable us to fit complex models (e.g., cross-classified random effects, survival models with time-varying covariates, etc) on Karolinska's large memory computational servers which supports data-intensive, high-performance computing tasks.

Research Gate Profile

Laboratory Alumni

Quetzal A. Class, Ph.D.

I am an Assistant Professor at University of IL, Chicago School of Medicine. I investigate the long-term ramifications of insults that occur immediately before and during pregnancy on the mother and baby. I am currently investigating the impact of inpatient psychiatric admission during pregnancy on birth and obstetric outcomes. I am also working to investigate cannabis exposure in utero. I serve as the Director of Resident Research and love supporting OBGYN residents through all steps of the research process.

Curriculum Vitae

Claire A. Coyne, Ph.D.

My primary research interest is the etiology of childhood and adolescent antisocial behavior and the pronounced sex difference in antisocial behavior that persists from childhood into adulthood. I am interested in the genetic and environmental influences on sex differences in the development of antisocial behavior, as well as exploring sex differences in sensitivity and exposure to risk factors, and the role of sex-specific risk factors for antisocial behavior. I am also interested in the possible causal relationships between teenage childbearing and offspring antisocial behaviors. My research uses genetically informative and longitudinal approaches to study the causal associations between various putative risk factors and antisocial behavior.

Curriculum Vitae

Kelly L. Donahue, Ph.D.

I received my PhD in clinical psychology from IU in 2012. As a doctoral student in the Developmental Psychopathology Lab, my research focused on understanding the associations between adolescent sexual behavior and psychological health using longitudinal research and quasi-experimental designs, including genetically informed analyses. I completed my pre-doctoral clinical internship in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago, with a focus on clinical child and adolescent psychology.

I am currently completing a postdoctoral fellowship in the Section of Adolescent Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine. As a postdoc, I am involved in a variety of research projects related to human papillomavirus (HPV) supported by the IUPUI Center for HPV Research. These projects focus on factors that influence parent decision making regarding HPV vaccination in adolescents as well as understanding how HPV is transmitted between individuals. I also provide psychological diagnosis and treatment services to children, adolescents, and families through the Section of Adolescent Medicine and the Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Clinic at Riley Hospital. I especially enjoy working with individuals who are struggling with anxiety, mood, or disruptive behavior disorders or who are having difficulty managing their medical conditions.

Curriculum Vitae

Alice C. Schermerhorn, Ph.D.

I was a post-doctoral fellow at Indiana University, funded by a Kirschstein NRSA Institutional Research Training Grant from NICHD (T32HD007475) awarded to Indiana University (Linda Smith, PI). I worked with Drs. John Bates, Brian D'Onofrio, and Amy Holtzworth-Munroe. My research interests are in the areas of developmental and clinical science, especially socio-emotional development, developmental psychopathology, and family relationships. I am interested in typical and atypical development, with family relationships as one context for studying development. I am particularly interested in studying families as sources of stress and in studying reciprocal influence processes in families. I am interested in child temperament, as well as in associations between child temperament and child psychosocial adjustment. I am also interested in examining the genetic and environmental contributions to individual and family functioning.

The overarching goal of my program of research is to advance understanding of children’s adaptation to stressors. I am especially interested in associations between child temperament and both mental health and immune functioning within the context of the stressor of interparental conflict, particularly focusing on the mechanisms through which stressors impact children and on identifying children for whom stress is particularly problematic.


Erikka B. Vaughan, Ph.D.

I am broadly interested in the etiology of depression in children and adolescents. While research has highlighted an array of risk factors for depression, I am interested in learning more about the specific mechanisms by which these risk factors result in depression in some adolescents and not in others. As there is empirical evidence for an association between pubertal timing and outcomes of depression in adolescence, I am currently working on a project examining predictors of variations in age of menarche in girls. In examining these factors, I am utilizing a longitudinal design with a large, nationally representative sample.

Curriculum Vitae