Child Development

Child Development

peds_child_dev_175x361.jpgAbout Us

The Division of Child Development and Behavioral Pediatrics is an academic and research center at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine that addresses concerns of infants and children with developmental disabilities, disruptive behavioral disorders including ADHD and oppositional defiant disorder, autism spectrum disorders, learning disabilities, anxiety, and special health care needs through:

  • Clinical Services 
  • Parent Training
  • Professional Training Opportunities
  • Research  

Our Division aims to provide high quality, evidence-based services that promote children's development and strengthen caregiving relationships through:

  • Providing high quality, multidisciplinary services which are accessible, family-centered, culturally competent, and team oriented.
  • Fostering improvements in developmental, behavioral, and coping skills of children and families through the implementation of evidence-based interventions.
  • Promoting a family-centered model of teamwork and decision-making that results in a solid and supportive relationship between the parent/caregivers and professional provider.
  • Enhancing skills and knowledge of professionals to enable them to more effectively serve children and families.

Mission Statement 

Child Development provides clinical services that promote child development and strengthen family relations by: 

  • Providing services which are accessible, family-centered, culturally competent and team oriented.
  • Recommending evidence-based interventions to improve child functioning and equip caregivers to support their children.
  • Promoting a family-centered model of care. Training professionals in evidence-based practices to meet the needs of children and families. 


Faculty in Child Development focus their research efforts on evidence-based interventions to evaluate, diagnose, and treat developmental disabilities and disruptive behavior disorders. Our projects range from Parent Child Interaction Therapy for children with autism spectrum disorder to group-delivered behavioral parenting interventions like HOT DOCS, to specialized early interventions for infants in the NICU and infants and toddlers in child welfare. The HOT DOCS program was developed by Child Development faculty and is a group-delivered behavioral parent training program designed for young children with developmental disabilities. Through HOT DOCS and our other clinical and research programs, we train doctoral psychology students, medical students and pediatric and psychiatry residents in evidence-based clinical interventions. This forum allows for interdisciplinary training and research collaboration.