Does Length of Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics Training Matter?

Ruth E.K. Stein, Amy Storfer-Isser, Bonnie D. Kerker, Andrew Garner, Moira Szilagyi, Kimberly E. Hoagwood, Karen G. O'Connor, Cori M. Green, Sarah Mc Cue Horwitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objective Since 1997 pediatric residencies have been required to provide a 4-week block rotation in developmental and behavioral pediatrics (DBP), but it is not known whether this has altered the care and management of children by practicing pediatricians. The objective of this study was to compare the self-reported practice patterns of pediatricians who were trained with 4 or more weeks of DBP with the practice patterns of those who were trained for <4 weeks. Methods We used self-reported practices from the American Academy of Pediatrics Periodic Survey 85. Pediatricians were asked whether they never, sometimes, or usually inquired about and screened for, and whether they treated/managed/comanaged attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression, anxiety, behavior problems and learning problems. They were also asked about a series of barriers to care. Analyses were weighted to account for low response rates. Results Those with more DBP training were significantly more likely to treat/manage/co-manage depression, anxiety, behavior problems and learning problems, but were still doing so less than one third of the time. There were no differences in the care of patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or in screening or inquiring about mental health conditions. Those with more training were more likely to perceive somewhat fewer barriers and to report more specific familiarity with some Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders criteria and some treatment modalities. Conclusions Longer length of training is associated with more treatment, but significant deficits in self-reported practice remain, leaving much room for additional improvement in the training of clinicians in DBP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-67
Number of pages7
JournalAcademic Pediatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • behavior problems
  • developmental behavioral pediatrics
  • learning problems
  • mental health
  • pediatric education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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