Principal Investigator

Brian M. D'Onofrio, Ph.D.


My research seeks to understand the etiology, assessment, and treatment of child and adolescent psychopathology using multiple designs, including quasi-experimental designs, longitudinal research, and intervention studies. My recent research has focused on using and combining several advanced epidemiologic approaches to better understand the consequences of perinatal risk factors, particularly medications during pregnancy, and the risks and benefits of psychiatric and pain medication for the individuals themselves. Furthermore, my research is focused on better understanding health disparities, particularly among vulnerable and marginalized groups of individuals. Most of my research consists of secondary data analysis of large datasets (e.g., national Swedish datasets, datasets of 30,000 twin pairs in Sweden, and health insurance claims datasets in the United States). I also conduct intervention and health services research, which is currently focused on how to best assess behavioral health problems in community settings, including primary care clinics, behavioral health clinics, emergency departments, educational institutions, and criminal justice settings.

Curriculum Vitae Google Scholar

Affiliated Investigators

Patrick D. Quinn, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Applied Health Science

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

I study the causes and consequences of substance use. My research ranges across substances (e.g., from cigarette smoking to opioids) and across the lifespan (e.g., from prenatal drug exposure to medication treatment for ADHD in adults).

Much of my current research examines pain and its management with opioid medications, using longitudinal data on individuals and families and methods from epidemiology and behavioral genetics. I am also interested in understanding the risks and benefits of other medications that have the potential for abuse (e.g., ADHD medications).

From 2014 to 2018, I was a postdoctoral researcher in the Developmental Psychopathology Lab, and I am still an active collaborator with the lab. 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.

Note. I am available to serve as a primary advisor for doctoral students in the Clinical Science Program.


Doctoral Students

Ayesha C. Sujan

Broadly speaking, I conduct research on early risk factors. My research initially focused on early-life adversities, particularly abuse and neglect, and then expanded to include the prenatal period. Though I study the consequences of a number of pregnancy-related risk factors, including early and advancing maternal age at childbearing and short and long interpregnancy interval, my work has mainly focused on prenatal exposure to psychoactive medications and risk for adverse birth outcomes (e.g., preterm birth) and neurodevelopmental problems (e.g., autism spectrum disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder). I use real-world health care data because women cannot be randomly assigned to be treated with psychoactive medications during pregnancy due to ethical concerns about exposing developing offspring to potentially harmful substances. Given that women who use psychoactive medications during pregnancy differ from women who do not, I use innovative methods that help account for these differences and seek converging evidence across multiple methods. For example, one method I use compares children 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. My hope is that my research will inform policies and practices and will, thereby, help improve the health and wellbeing of mothers and their children.

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 quasi-experimental designs and large longitudinal data sets. The first examines the extent to which perinatal risk factors impact neurodevelopmental problems. The second assesses the safety of medications independent of stable genetic and environmental factors within an individual. Current projects examine 1) the association between prenatal exposure to antiepileptic drugs and offspring birth defects, ADHD, and ASD, 2) the association between ADHD medication use and psychosis, and 3) the association between antidepressant use and seizures.

Curriculum Vitae

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

Emma N. Cleary

I am broadly interested in studying how early-life influences impact later functioning. I am particularly interested in conducting research on pregnancy-related risks, including substance use in pregnancy. In my current project, I am evaluating the association between the use of medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder during pregnancy and adverse birth outcomes (e.g., small for gestational age, preterm birth) in children using a population-based sample in Sweden. Before joining the Developmental Psychopathology Lab in 2020, I received my BA in Psychology and Modern Foreign Language from Syracuse University and worked as a project coordinator at Penn State.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Sydney M. Adams

I am a Herman B Wells scholar studying psychology, clinical science, and epidemiology. I have been a URA in the developmental psychopathology lab since the fall of 2019. My research interests include health disparities, structural and attitudinal barriers to mental health service use, and community-based research. I am currently helping out with the lab’s work examining the effects of psychotropic medication use in children and adolescents, as well as a project to identify barriers and facilitators to the implementation of computer-adaptive testing for mental health problems in different community settings in Indiana. After my time at IU, I hope to continue studying clinical psychology in a post-baccalaureate research position or graduate school.

Research and Data 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 computational servers that support 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