Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry



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The Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (DCAPBS) includes a wide range of research activities. This includes basic science and imaging research on normal and abnormal brain development, longitudinal studies which examine genetic, environmental, and neuropathological antecedents to psychopathology, and intervention research which aims to develop and study new approaches for optimizing the care and well-being of youth with a variety of medical and mental health conditions. The ultimate goal of this research, whether focused on genes, brain circuitry, psychosocial influences on behavior, or clinical trials, is to improve both the immediate health and the developmental trajectory of children in the Department's care.

DCAPBS faculty are embedded within multiple centers and institutes across Children's Hospital of Philadelphia research community. This includes the Lifespan Brain Institute, a CHOP-University of Pennsylvania initiative whose goal is to study brain and behavior development across the lifespan to identify early risk and protective factors for mental disorders; the Center for Autism Research, which utilizes novel approaches to characterize the diversity of symptom patterns in autism spectrum disorders to develop more personalized approaches to treatment; and PolicyLab, which conducts interdisciplinary research to inform programs and policy changes to achieve optimal child health and well-being. DCAPBS faculty are also involved in the Center for Childhood Cancer Research and the Center for Injury Research and Prevention.

In 2017-2018, DCAPBS faculty:

  • were awarded over $7 million dollars in external funding
  • authored over 150 peer-reviewed manuscripts

The Department recently completed a strategic planning process that included a research and innovation workgroup. This workgroup, chaired by the director for Research and director of Psychosocial Research, identified a number of strategies to build outstanding research programs and ensure that DCAPBS is a world-wide leader in child mental health research.