Debra Lobato, PHD, MS
Psychiatry & Human Behavior, Pediatrics
Work: +1 401-444-8945
Dr. Lobato conducts research within the broad topic of pediatric psychology. One major area of research examines sibling adjustment and involvment in the care of children with chronic illnesses. She is interested in how cultural factors influence family functioning and adaptation to illness. Dr. Lobato also conducts research on biomedical and psychosocial factors impacting outcome in pediatric gastrointestinal disorders.
BiographyDebra Lobato, PhD is the Director of child psychology at Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children's Hospital and Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Human Behavior and Pediatrics(Clinical) at Brown Medical School. Dr. Lobato is involved in clinical service in pediatric psycholog; training of residents and fellows in psychology, psychiatry, and pediatrics; and research. Lobato's research focuses on adaptation to pediatric chronic illness. One major line of research examines sibling adjustment and involvment in the care of children with chronic illnesses, with attention to the influence of cultural factors on family functioning. Dr. Lobato is also involved in interdisciplinary research on the biomedical and psychosocial factors that impact outcome in pediatric gastrointestinal disorders. Dr. Lobato is an integral part of the Clinical Psychology Training program and has been awarded the Brown Medical School Distinguished Teacher Award and Excellence in Teaching Award for her work with interns, residents, and postdoctoral fellows in clinical psychology, psychiatry, and pediatrics.
Research DescriptionLobato's research focuses on siblings of children with chronic illness and disability. Of particular interest is the examination of cultural factors that affect sibling adjustment, sibling participation in a child's care, and pediatric health disparities. Ongoing projects are examining the psychological adjustment of Latino siblings of children with developmental disabilities and factors affecting sibling involvement in the management of childhood disorders such as asthma, diabetes, and Crohn's disease. Finally, innovative interventions for siblings are developed and evaluated through "SibLink", a clinical program at Rhode Island/Hasbro Children's Hospital dedicated to brothers and sisters of children with medical, developmental, and behavioral needs.
In addition to research on family functioning, Lobato is also involved in clinical service and research related to feeding disorders and pediatric inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). She is a principal investigator (along with Neal LeLeiko, MD, PhD/Director of Pediatric Gastroenterology) on an NIH grant to establish a collaborative multisite study of biomedical and behavioral factors that influence outcomes in pediatric IBD. The project is based on the belief that a constellation of psychological (e.g., depression) and behavioral (e.g. medication nonadherence) factors may lead to negative disease outcomes and intrusive medical procedures among children and adolescents with IBD.
Grants and AwardsQueens College: Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1976
American Psychological Association Award for Most Outstanding Student Research in Mental Retardation, 1979
Excellence in Teaching Award for Clinical Faculty, Brown Medical School, 2002
Distinguished Teacher Award, Brown Medical School, 2004
AffiliationsAmerican Psychological Association
Association for the Advancement of Behavior and Cognitive Therapy
Society for Pediatric Psychology
Funded Research1.The Development of the Pediatric IBD Behavioral Health Registry. National Institute of Health /National Institute of Child Health and Development (R21HD058828) Principal Investigators: Debra Lobato, Ph.D./Neal LeLeiko, M.D.
Dates: 9/1/09-8/31/11 Total Direct Costs: $224,775
2.Siblings of Children with Chronic Illness and Disability: Development of a Model Clinical and Research Program.
Role: Principal Investigator
Dates: 9/1/2009-8/31/2014 Total Direct Costs: $176,500
3. Latino siblings and MR/DD
National Institute of Health /National Institute of Child Health and Development (RO1 HD050557-01) Principal Investigator : Debra Lobato, Ph.D. Dates: 2/15/07-1/31/11 Total Direct Costs: $513,264
4. Pediatric asthma disparities: Perceptions and management
National Institute of Health/National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute (R01-HL72438)
Gregory Fritz, MD (PI)
Co-Investigator on minority supplement
5. Community partnership to reduce asthma disparities
NIH/National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute
Elizabeth McQuaid, PhD (PI) 12/1/04-11/30/2008
Ethnic Minority Recruitment, Retention and Training in PsychologyAmerican Psychological Association
Lobato & DePue(Co-PIs) 7/1/2004-6/30/2006
Somatic Symptoms in Siblings of Children with Disorders
Wendy Plante, PhD (PI) 4/1/02 - 3/31/05
Re-entry supplement: Family risk, peer relations, and child mental health.
National Institute of Mental Health
Ronald Seifer, PhD (PI)
Role: Reentry investigator 2/1/00-4/30/02
Latino Siblings: Pilot Study
Brown University Department of Psychiatry
Debra Lobato, PhD (PI)
Helping mainstream families manage childhood asthma.
Department of Health and Human Services - Small Business Innovation Research Program/Abacus Risk Management Technologies.
Debra Lobato, PhD (PI) 4/1/00-9/30/00
Siblings of children with chronic medical and developmental disorders: Effects of sibling support groups.
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation.
Debra Lobato, PhD (PI) 1997-1999
Bidirectional stereotyping: What retarded and nonretarded children expect of one another.
U.S. Department of Education.
Carol Miller, PhD (PI) 1984-1987
Siblings of handicapped children: Assessing the need for and impact of their early education.
U.S. Department of Education.
Debra Lobato, PhD (PI) 1983-1985
- Kao, B., Romero-Bosch, L., Plante, W., & Lobato, D. (In press). The experiences of Latino siblings of children with developmental disabilities. Child: Care, Health & Development. (IN PRESS)
- Cerezo, C., Pinkos, B., Lobato, D., & LeLeiko, N. (2011). Diagnosis and management of pediatric feeding and swallowing disorders: The team approach. ICAN: Infant, Child, and Adolescent Nutrition, 3 (6), 321 - 323. (2011)
- Koinis-Mitchell, D.; Sato, A.F.; Kopel, .SJ.; McQuaid, E.L.; Seifer, R.; Klein, R.B.; Esteban, C.A.; Lobato, D.; Ortega, A.N.; Canino, G. & Fritz, G.K. (2011). Immigration and acculturation-related factors and asthma morbidity in Latino children. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 36 (10), 1093-1101. (2011)
- Lobato, D., Kao, B., Plante, W., Seifer, R., Grullon, E., Cheas, L., Canino, G. (2011). Psychological and school functioning of Latino siblings of children with intellectual disability. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry,52 (6), 696-703. NIHMSID#249304. (2011)
- Berlin, K. S., Lobato, D. J., Pinkos, B., Cerezo, C.S. & LeLeiko, N. S. (2011). Patterns of medical and developmental comorbidities among children presenting with feeding problems: A latent class analysis. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 32, 1, 41-47. (2011)
- Kao, B., Lobato, D., Grullon, E., Cheas, L., Plante, W., Seifer, R., & Canino, G. (2011). Recruiting Latino and nonLatino families in pediatric research: Considerations from a study on childhood disability. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 36 (10), 1130-1143. (2011)
- Lobato, D. (2011). Selective eating in autism. The Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter. (2011)
- Lobato, D. & LeLeiko, N. (2010). Placebo comparable to amitriptyline for functional abdominal pain. Commentary in American Academy of Pediatrics Grand Rounds, 23, 1, 4. (2010)
- Maslow, G. & Lobato, D. (2010). Summer camps for children with burn injuries: A literature Review. The Journal of Burn Care and Research, 31 (5), 740-749. (2010)
- Lobato, D. & LeLeiko, N. (2010). Pediatric Gastroenterologists' Approach to Chronic Abdominal Pain. Commentary in American Academy of Pediatrics Grand Rounds. (2010)
- Berlin, K. S., Davies, W. H., Lobato, D. J., & Silverman. A H. (2009). A biopsychosocial model of normative and problematic pediatric feeding. Children's Health Care, 38, 263-282. (2009)
- Maslow, G. & Lobato, D. (2009). Diabetes summer camps: History and Outcomes. Pediatric Diabetes, 10 (4), 278-288. (2009)
- Kao, B., Lobato, D., & Plante, W. (2009). The use of the Impact on Sibling Scale with families of children with chronic illnesses and disabilities. Child: Care, Health, and Development, 35, 505-509. NIHMSID: NIHMS88551. PMCID: PMC2718059. (2009)
- Krunic, A., & Lobato, D. (2008). Acne and psychopathology in children and adolescents. The Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter, 24, 2. (2008)
- Lobato, D. & LeLeiko, N. (2008). Hypnosis for functional abdominal pain and irritable bowel syndrome. Commentary in American Academy of Pediatrics Grand Rounds, 19, 3, 25-26. (2008)
- Plante, W., & Lobato, D. (2008). Psychosocial group interventions for children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes: The state of the literature. Children's Health Care, 37(2), 93-111. (2008)
- Brent, M., Lobato, D., & LeLeiko, N. (2008). Empirically supported psychological treatments for pediatric gastrointestinal disorders. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, 47, 1-9. (2008)
- Houck. C., Rodrigue, J. & Lobato, D. (2007). Parent-adolescent communication and psychological symptoms among adolescents with chronically ill parents. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 32, 596-604. (2007)
- Guite, J., Lobato, D., Shalon,L., Plante, W., & Kao, B. (2007). Pain, disability and symptoms among siblings of children with functional abdominal pain. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 28, 2-8. (2007)
- Lobato, D., Kao, B., & Plante, W. (2006). SibLink: Meeting the needs of siblings of children with chronic illness and disability. The Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter, 22, 6. (2006)
- Tarakeshwar, N., Lobato, D., Kao, B., & Plante, W. (2006). Sibling relationships in cultural context. The Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter, 22, 7. (2006)
- Lobato, D., Kao, B., & Plante, W. (2005). Latino sibling knowledge and adjustment to chronic disability. Journal of Family Psychology, 19, 625-632. (2005)
- Lobato, D. & Kao, B. (2005). Family-based group intervention for young siblings of children with chronic illness and developmental disability. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 30, 678-682. (2005)
- Guite, J., Lobato, D., Kao, B., & Plante, W. (2004). Discordance between sibling and parent reports of the impact of chronic illness and disability on siblings. Children's Health Care, 33, 77-92. (2004)
- Lobato, D., & Kao, B. (2002). Integrated parent-sibling group intervention to improve sibling knowledge and adjustment to chronic illness and disability. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 27, 711-716. (2002)
- Plante, W., Lobato, D., & Engel, R. (2001). Review of group interventions for pediatric chronic conditions. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 26, 435-453. (2001)
- Prizant, B.M., Meyer, E., & Lobato, D. (1997). Brothers and sisters of young children with communication disorders. Seminars in Speech and Language, 18, 263-282. (1997)
- Wyche, K.F., & Lobato, D.J. (1996). Minority mothers: Stress and coping when your child is in special education. In: K.F. Wyche & F. Crosby (Eds.) Women's Ethnicities: Journeys through Psychology. Boulder, CO: Westview. (1996)
- Lobato, D.J., Watson, J.E., García-Coll, C., & Vohr, B.R. (1995). Behavioral and family characteristics of low-birthweight survivors of bronchopulmonary dysplasia at ten to twelve years of age. Children's Health Care, 24, 195-204. (1995)
- Lobato, D.J. (1993). Issues and interventions for young siblings of children with medical and developmental problems. In: Z. Stoneman & P. Berman (Eds.), The effects of mental retardation, disability, and illness on sibling relationships. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., pp 85-98. (1993)
- Lobato, D., Miller, C.T., Barbour, L., & Hall, L.J. (1991). Preschool siblings of handicapped children: Interactions with mothers, brothers, and sisters. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 12, 387-338. (1991)
- Miller, C.T., Clarke, R.T., Malcarne, V.T., Lobato, D., Fitzgerald, M., Brand, P. (1991). Expectations and social interactions of children with and without mental retardation. Journal of Special Education, 24, 454-474. (1991)
- Vohr, B.R., García-Coll. C., Lobato, D.J., Yunis, K.A., O'Dea, C., & Oh, W. (1991). Neurodevelopmental and medical status of low birth weight (LBW) survivors and bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), at 10-12 years of age. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology. 33, 690-697. (1991)
- Lobato, D.J. (1990). Brothers, sisters, and special needs: Information and activities for helping young siblings of children with chronic illnesses and developmental disabilities. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.Spanish Edition: Lobato, D.J. (1992). Hermanos y hermanas de niños con necesidades especiales. Madrid, Spain: Instituto Nacional de Servìcios Sociales. (1990)
- Miller, C.T., Malcarne, V.L., Clarke, R.T., Lobato, D., Fitzgerald, M., & Brand, P. (1989). What mentally retarded and nonretarded children expect of one another. American Journal of Mental Retardation 93, 396-405. (1989)
- Reprinted In S. Chess & M.E. Hertzig (Eds.) (1989). Annual Progress In Child Psychiatry And Child Development 1989: A Selection Of The Year's Outstanding Contributions To The Understanding And Treatment Of The Normal And Disturbed Child. New York: Brunner Mazel Publishers. (1989)
- Lobato, D., Faust, D., & Spirito, A. (1988). Examining the effects of chronic disease and disability on children's sibling relationships. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 13, 389-407. (1988)
- Lobato, D., & Barrera, R.D. (1988). Impact of siblings on handicapped children. In M.D. Powers (Ed.), Severe Developmental Disabilities: Expanded Systems of Interaction. Baltimore: Paul R. Brookes. (1988)
- Kester, B.L., Rothblum, E.D., Lobato, D., Milhous, R.L. (1988). Spouse adjustment to spinal cord injury: Long-term medical and psychological factors. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, 32, 4-21. (1988)
- Lobato, D., Barbour, L., Hall, L.J., & Miller, C.T. (1987). Psychosocial characteristics of preschool siblings of handicapped and nonhandicapped children. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. 15, 329-338. (1987)
- Lobato, D. Carlson, E., & Barrera, R.D. (1986). Modified satiation: Reducing ruminative vomiting without excessive weight gain. Applied Research in Mental Retardation, 7, 337-347. (1986)
- Lobato, D., & Tlaker, A. (1985). Sibling intervention with a retarded child. Education and Treatment of Children, 8, 221-228. (1985)
- Lobato, D. (1985). Brief report: Preschool siblings of handicapped children: Impact of peer support and training. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 15, 345-350. (1985)
- Feldman, R.S., White, J.B., & Lobato, D. (1983). Social skills and nonverbal behavior. In R.S., Feldman (Ed.). Development of nonverbal behavior in children, NY: Springer-Verlag. (1983)
- Lobato, D. (1983). Siblings of handicapped children: A review. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 13, 347-364. (1983)
- Lobato, D., Barrera, R.D., & Feldman, R.S. (1981). Prelinguistic communication and sensorimotor functioning of severely and profoundly retarded individuals. American Journal of Mental Deficiency, 85, 489-496. (1981)
- Barrera, R.D., Lobato-Barrera, D., & Sulzer-Azaroff, B. (1980). A simultaneous treatment comparison of three expressive language training programs with a mute autistic child. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 10, 21-37. (1980)