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Behavioral Pediatrics

  1. Sheridan Phillips

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0122

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Phillips, S. 2010. Behavioral Pediatrics. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. University of Maryland School of Medicine

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Behavioral pediatrics is a multidisciplinary field whose focus is on psychosocial aspects of child and adolescent health. Because the topic is so broad, the field includes knowledge and skills from clinical and developmental psychology, education, environmental design, law, nursing, nutrition, pediatrics, physical education, psychiatry, and social work. Practically, however, most professionals with special expertise in behavioral pediatrics are pediatricians. For example, 79% of the members of the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics are MDs (most of whom are pediatricians); the non-MD members are largely PhD psychologists but also include attorneys, educators, nurses, nutritionists, psychiatrists, and social workers (N. Ritchey, personal communication, April 11, 2008). Non-MDs also contribute disproportionately to the scientific basis for behavioral pediatric practice, as seen in a new textbook (Wolraich et al., 2008) in which 51% of the authors are not physicians (78% of these are psychologists).


  • behavioral pediatrics;
  • developmental-behavioral pediatrics;
  • pediatric psychology;
  • psychosocial aspects of pediatric health care