Faculty Profile: Stephen Buka, Sc.D.

Stephen Buka
Stephen Buka, Sc.D.
Professor and Chair
Work: +1 401-863-6224
Stephen Buka, Sc.D. is an epidemiologist and developmental psychologist whose work focuses on the causes, development and prevention of major psychiatric and cognitive disorders. Current studies include investigations of prenatal risks for schizophrenia, attention deficit disorder and addictive disorders, including neuroimaging and molecular genetics techniques; and community-level influences on youth substance use and delinquency. He directs the New England Family Study, a 50-year, three-generation longitudinal study of 17,000 infants born in New England in the 1960s, and Brown's Center for Population Health & Clinical Epidemiology.

Research Description

Stephen Buka, Sc.D. is Professor and Chair for the Department of Epidemiology; Director of the Center for Population Health and Clinical Epidemiology and Director of the Center for the Study of Human Development. With training in epidemiology and developmental psychology, his work focuses on the causes and prevention of major psychiatric and cognitive disorders of children, youth and adults. Current studies include investigations of prenatal risks for schizophrenia, attention deficit disorder and addictive disorders, including neuroimaging and molecular genetics techniques; work on the long-term effects of maternal smoking on offspring health and behavior; community-level influences on youth substance use and delinquency; and community-based strategies for the prevention of adolescent drinking and drug use. He directs the New England Family Study, a 50-year, three-generation longitudinal study of 17,000 infants born in New England in the 1960s. This work provides a unique opportunity to identify both environmental and genetic factors that contribute to the etiology, and ideally prevention, of major forms of psychiatric illness and is supported by several major foundations and sections of the National Institutes of Health. He is also the PI of the National Children's Study, Providence County, RI and Bristol County, MA sites.

Grants and Awards

"Outstanding Article of the Year" American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, 2004
Elected Member International Academy for Research in Learning Disabilities, 1999
Elected Member American Psychopathology Association, 1998
U.S. Congressional Commendation, 1997
Young Professional Award, American Public Health Association
Junior Faculty Sabbatical Award for 1996/1997—HSPH
Young Investigators Award for Schizophrenia Research, 1994
National Institute of Mental Health Training Grant, 1983-1987
Sigma Xi, Magna Cum Laude, Brown University, 1978
Schlosberg Premium for Excellence in Psychology, 1978
National Science Foundation Fellowship for Undergraduate Research, 1977


American Psychopathology Association
American Public Health Association
Massachusetts Public Health Association, Steering Committee—Child Health Section (1985-1987)
Society for Life History Research
Society of the Sigma Xi, Brown University Chapter

Funded Research


2000–2006, Principal Investigator, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / NCIPC; Harvard Injury Control Research Center
"Intentional Injury Among Urban Youth" $34,604

2001–2006, Co-Investigator, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / NCIPC Harvard Youth Violence Prevention Center
"Etiology of violent behavior among urban girls" $81,657

2000-2006, NIH / NIMH, Co-Investigator,
"Sex & Structural Brain Abnormalities in Schizophrenia II" $15,301

2002-2006 NIH / NIMH, Co-Investigator
"Family Study of Psychosis: Brain, Genes, and Prenatal Risk" $24,886

2003-2007 NIA / NIH, Principal Investigator
"Pathways Linking Education and Health in Middle Adulthood" $312,343

1999-2006 Stanley Medical Research Institute, Principal Investigator
"New England Family Study: Baseline Support for the NINDS Pre-Natal Study" $173,913

2003-2008, National Institute on Aging, Co-Investigator
"Early Determinants of Adult Health Study (EDAH)" $105,209

1996-2006, National Institute of Health/NIMH, Co-Investigator
"Multiple Informant Data in Psychiatry" $225,000

2004-2009 National Cancer Institute, Co-Investigator
"Nicotine Dependence: Phentotype, Endophenotype, and Contexts"

2005-2010 Rhode Island Department of Human Services, SAMHSA grant, "Epidemiological Support for Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant"

2006-2011, National Institute of Health, Principal Investigator
"Fetal Antecedents to Depression and Risk for Cardiovascular Disorder (CVD)"

2006-2011, National Institute of Health,Principal investigator
"Longitudinal Study of the Neurodevelopment of Adult ADHD"

2007-2008, National Institute of Health, Principal investigator
"Early Determinants of CVD Disease" $228,776

2007–2008, NIDA, Co-Investigator
"Prenatal Tobacco Exposure: Effects on Neuropsychological Outcomes and ADHD" $3,100,684


1984-1985 W.T. Grant Foundation, Co-PI, "Relation between Early Life Events and Psychosocial Dysfunction during School Age and Young Adulthood"
1989-1993 National Institute for Drug Abuse, Co-Principal Investigator, and "Teen Drug Dependence: Comorbidity and Treatment Course"
1992-1993 American Suicide Foundation, PI, "Suicidal Ideation and Suicide Attempts Among Chemically Dependent Adolescents: Prevalence, Predictors, and Prognosis"
1993-1996 National Institute of Mental Health, Co-PI, "Neurodevelopmental Study of Schizophrenia"
1994-1997 Stanley Foundation, PI, "Obstetrical Complications and Schizophrenia"
1995-1999 National Institute of Health, Co-PI, "Learning Disabilities: Symptom Permanence and Consequences"
1996-1998 March of Dimes Foundation, PI, "Child Attention Deficits: Prenatal Determinants and Adult Outcomes"
1996-1999 National Institute of Mental Health, Co-PI, "Neurodevelopmental Study of Schizophrenia"
1996-2001 National Institute of Mental Health, Co-PI, "Psychiatric Consequences of Childhood Exposure to Violence"
1997-1999 Stanley Foundation, PI, "Obstetrical and Family Risk Factors for Schizophrenia"
1998-2001 Centers for Disease Control, Co-PI, "Intentional Injury Among Urban Youth"
1999-2004 National Cancer Institute, Co-PI, "Nicotine Dependence: Risk and Recovery over Generations"
1999-2004 National Institute of Mental Health, Co-PI, "MRI and Neurodevelopment of Schizophrenia"
1999-2000 National Science Foundation, National Consortium on Violence Research, PI, "Criminal Behavior Across the Life Span"
2000-2003 Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Co-PI, "Doctoral Support Training Program: Awards for Enhancement of Epidemiology Applied to Maternal and Child Health Services"
2000-2004 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Co-PI, "The Longitudinal Study—Infant Health and Development Program, Phase IV"
2000-2005 Centers for Disease Control, PI, "Intentional Injury Among Urban Youth"
2000-2005 National Institute of Mental Health, Co-PI, "Sex and Structural Brain Abnormalities in Schizophrenia"
2001-2003 National Institute of Mental Health, PI, "Social Inequalities in Depression across the Lifecourse"
2002-2005 National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, PI, "Neighborhood, Race, and Alcohol Use/Abuse Trajectories"
2003-2004 National Institute of Mental Health, PI, "Training in Psychiatric Genetics"
2003-2005 National Institute of Health, Co-PI, "Prenatal Neuroendocrine Mediators of Young Adult Smoking"

Selected Publications

  • Lehrer JA, Buka SL, Gormaker S, Shrier LA. Depressive symptomatology as a predictor of exposure to intimate partner violence among U.S. female adolescents and young adults. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 2006; 160:270-276 (2006)
  • Yu JW, Buka SL, Fitzmaurice GM, McCormick MC. Treatment Outcomes for Substance Abuse among Adolescents with Learning Disorders. Journal of Behavorial Health Services and Research 2006; 33 (3): 275-86 (2006)
  • Rehkopf DH, Buka SL. The association between suicide and the socio-economic characeristics of geographical areas: a systematic review. Psychological Medicine, 2006; 36(2): 145-57 (2006)
  • Seidman LJ, Buka SL, Goldstein JM, Tsuang MT. Intellectual decline in schizophrenia: Evidence from a prospective birth cohort 28 year follow-up study. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology 2006; 28: 225-242 (2006)
  • Drukker M, Buka SL, Kaplan C, McKenzie K, van Os J. Social capital and young adolescents' perceived health in different sociocultural settings. Social Science and Medicine 2005; 61 (1): 185-198 (2005)
  • Thermenos HW, Goldstein JM, Buka SL, Poldrack RA, Koch JK, Tsuang MT, Seidman LJ. The effect of working memory performance on functional MRI in schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research 2005; 74/2-3: 179-194 (2005)
  • Monuteaux MC., Fitzmaurice G, Blacker D., Buka SL, Biederman J. Specificity in the familial aggregation of overt and covert conduct disorder symptoms in a referred attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder sample. Psych Med 2004; 34: 1113-1127. (2004)
  • Martin LM, Fitzmaurice GM, Kindlon D, Buka SL. Cognitive performance in childhood and adult illness: Prospective cohort study. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 2004; 58 (8): 674-679. (2004)
  • Kubzansky LD, Martin LT, Buka SL. Early manifestations of personality and adult emotional functioning. Emotion 2004; 4: 364-377. (2004)
  • Buka SL, Goldstein JM, Spartos E, Tsuang MT. The retrospective measurement of prenatal and perinatal events: Accuracy of maternal recall:. Schizophrenia Research 2004; 71: 417-426. (2004)
  • Molnar BE, Gortmaker SL, Bull FC, Buka SL. Unsafe to play? Neighborhood disorder and lack of safety predict reduced physical activity among urban children and adolescents. American Journal of Health Promotion 2004; 18(5): 378-386. (2004)
  • Shenassa ED, Catlin SN, Buka SL. Lethality of firearms relative to other suicide methods: A population based study. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 2003; 57(2): 120-124. (2003)
  • Molnar BE, Buka SL, Brennan RT, Holton JK, Earls FJ. A multilevel study of neighborhoods and parent-to-child physical aggression: Results from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods. Child Maltreatment 2003; 8(2): 84-97. (2003)
  • Lochner A, Kawachi I, Brennan MT, Buka SL. Social capital and neighborhood mortality rates in Chicago. Social Science Medicine 2003; 56(8): 1797-1805. (2003)
  • Gilman SE, Kawachi I, Fitzmaurice GM, Buka SL. Socioeconomic status, family disruption, and residential stability in childhood: Relation to onset, recurrence, and remission of major depression. Psychological Medicine 2003; 33(8): 1341-1355. (2003)
  • Gilman SE, Kawachi I, Fitzmaurice GM, Buka SL. Family disruption in childhood and risk of adult depression. American Journal of Psychiatry 2003; 160(5): 939-946. (2003)
  • Buka SL, Brennan RT, Rich-Edwards JW, Raudenbush SW, Earls FJ. Neighborhood support and the birth weight of urban infants. American Journal of Epidemiology 2003; 157(1): 1-8. (2003)
  • Gilman SE, Abrams D, Buka SL. Socioeconomic status over the life course and stages of cigarette use: Initiation, regular use, and cessation. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 2003; 57: 802-808. (2003)
  • McGrath J, Buka SL, Eyles D, Mowry B, Yolken R. Low maternal vitamin D as a risk factor for schizophrenia: A pilot study using banked sera. Schizophrenia Research 2003; 63(1-2): 73-78. (2003)
  • Reardon SF, Brennan R, Buka SL. Estimating multi-level discrete-time hazard models using cross-sectional data: Neighborhood effects on the onset of adolescent cigarette use. Multivariate Behavioral Research 2002; 37(3): 297-330. (2002)
  • Gilman SE, Kawachi I, Fitzmaurice GM, Buka SL. Socioeconomic status in childhood and the lifetime risk of major depression. International Journal of Epidemiology 2002; 31(2): 359-367. (2002)
  • Buka SL. Disparities in health status and substance use: Ethnicity and socioeconomic factors. Public Health Reports 2002; 117(Suppl 1): S118-125. (2002)
  • Iwata N, Buka SL. Race/ethnicity and depressive symptoms: A cross-cultural/ethnic comparison among university students in East Asia, North and South America. Social Science and Medicine 2002; 55(12): 2243-2252. (2002)
  • Molnar BE, Buka SL, Kessler RC. Child sexual abuse and subsequent psychopathology: Results from the National Comorbidity Survey. American Journal of Public Health 2001; 91(5): 753-760. (2001)
  • Molnar BE, Berkman LF, Buka SL. Psychopathology, child sexual abuse, and other childhood adversities: Relative links to subsequent suicidal behavior in the U.S. Psychological Medicine 2001; 31(6): 965-977. (2001)
  • Buka SL, Tsuang MT, Torrey EF, Klebanof MA, Bernstein D, Yolken RH. Maternal infections and subsequent psychosis among offspring: A forty year prospective study. Arch of Gen Psych 2001; 58(11): 1032-1037. (2001)
  • Buka SL, Stichick TL, Birdthistle I, Earls FJ. Youth exposure to violence: Prevalence, risks, and consequences. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 2001; 71(3): 298-310. (2001)
  • Buka SL, Tsuang MT, Torrey EF, Klebanof MA, Wagner RL, Yolken RH. Maternal cytokine levels during pregnancy and adult psychosis. Brain, Behavior & Immunity 2001; 15(4): 411-420. (2001)
  • Nyberg K, Buka SL, Lipsitt LP. Perinatal medication as a potential risk factor for adult drug abuse in a North American cohort. Epidemiology 2000; 11: 715-716. (2000)
  • Buka SL, Goldstein JM, Seidman LJ, Tsuang MT. Maternal recall of pregnancy history: Accuracy and bias in schizophrenia research. Schizophrenia Bulletin 2000; 26(2): 335-350. (2000)
  • Buka SL, Goldstein JM, Seidman LJ, Zornberg GL, Donatelli JA, Denny LF, Tsuang MT. Prenatal complications, genetic vulnerability and schizophrenia: The New England longitudinal studies of schizophrenia. Psychiatric Annals 1999; 29(3): 151-156. (1999)
  • Buka SL, Birdthistle I. Long-term effects of a community-wide alcohol server training intervention. Journal of Studies on Alcohol 1999; 60(1): 27-36. (1999)
  • Buka SL, Fan AP. Association of prenatal and perinatal complications with subsequent bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research 1999; 39(2): 113-119. (1999)
  • Buka SL, Goldstein JM, Seidman LJ, Zornberg GL, Denny LR, Tsuang MT. Chronic fetal hypoxia and other obstetric risk factors for psychotic illness: A replication study. Schizophrenia Research 1998; 29(1-2): 14. (1998)
  • Buka SL, Satz P, Seidman L, Lipsitt L. Defining learning disabilities: The role of longitudinal studies. Thalamus 1998; 16: 14-29. (1998)
  • Buka SL, Lipsitt LP. Towards a developmental epidemiology. In: Friedman SL, Haywood HC (eds.) Developmental follow-up: Concepts, domains and methods. Academic Press 1994; 331-350. (1994)
  • Buka SL, Earls FJ. Early determinants of delinquency and violence. Health Affairs 1993; 12(4): 46-64. (1993)
  • Buka SL, Tsuang MT and Lipsitt LP. Pregnancy/delivery complications and psychiatric diagnosis. A prospective study. Archives General Psychiatry 1993; 50(2): 151-156. (1993)
  • Buka SL, Shenassa E, Niaura R. Elevated risk of tobacco dependence among offspring of mothers who smoke during pregnancy: A 30-year prospective study. American Journal of Psychiatry 2003; 160(11): 1978-1984. (1978)