David Schonfeld

Professor of Practice, Social Work and Pediatrics and Director, National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement
Contact Information
Department of Study 
Children, Youth and Families
MD, Boston University, 1983
BA, Boston University, 1983

DAVID SCHONFELD is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician and director of the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement (NCSCB). He holds a joint appointment at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

In 2005, Schonfeld established the NCSCB with funding from the September 11th Children’s Fund and the National Philanthropic Trust. Further funding from the New York Life Foundation has allowed the center to provide ongoing and expanded services. The center aims to promote an appreciation of the role that schools play to support students, staff and families at times of crisis and loss; to collaborate with organizations and agencies to further this goal; and to serve as a resource for information, training materials, consultation and technical assistance.  

Schonfeld has authored more than 100 scholarly articles, book chapters and books (e.g., The Grieving Student: A Teacher’s Guide, Brookes Publishing) and has given more than 800 presentations on the topics of pediatric bereavement and crisis. He has provided consultation and training on school crisis and pediatric bereavement in the aftermath of a number of school crisis events and disasters within the United States and abroad, including school and community shootings in Newtown, Connecticut; Marysville, Washington; Aurora, Colorado, Chardon, Ohio; and Townville, South Carolina; flooding from hurricanes Sandy in New York and New Jersey, Katrina in New Orleans, and Ike in Galveston, Texas; 2008 earthquake in Sichuan, China; tornadoes in Joplin, Missouri and Alabama; and Great Smoky Mountain wildfires in Sevierville, Tennessee. He has also conducted school-based research (funded by NICHD, NIMH, NIDA, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, William T. Grant Foundation and other foundations) involving children’s understanding of and adjustment to serious illness and death, as well as school-based interventions to promote adjustment and risk prevention.

Schonfeld is a member the American Academy of Pediatrics Disaster Preparedness Advisory Council, serving as commissioner for both the National Commission on Children and Disasters as well as the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission in Connecticut. He was president of the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics from 2006 to 2007.

Awards and Distinction
Named H. Garry Gardner Memorial Lecturer, Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (2017)
White House President’s Gold Award, Corporation for National and Community Service (2016)
Nepal Pediatric Society Oration at the XVIIIth Nepalese Congress in Pediatrics, Kathmandu, Nepal (2016)
Member of American Academy of Pediatrics to National Pediatric Disaster Coalition Executive Committee (2016)
Named John Kennell Lecturer at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, Case Western Reserve University (2016)
Honorary Fellow, The Philippine Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics (2014)
Member of Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, appointed by Gov. Dannel Malloy (2013)
Invited to White House Event on Creating Model Emergency Management Plans (2013)
Wakeman Lectureship, Pediatric Grand Rounds, Yale University School of Medicine (2012)
Chair of Past Presidents Committee, Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics (2012)
Member of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Steering and Certification Committee of American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, appointed by American Board of Pediatrics (2011)
Guest Professor of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China (2011)
Appeal member for Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics, appointed by Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (2011)
Member of Disaster Mental Health Subcommittee of the National Biodefense Science Board Federal Advisory Committee (2008)
Member of National Commission on Children and Disasters (2008)
Member of Scientific and Program Committee, 26th International Pediatric Association Congress of Pediatrics (2008)
Member of Disaster Preparedness Advisory Council, American Academy Of Pediatrics (2007)
Invited faculty for NICHD Summer Training Institute, Applied Research in Child and Adolescent Development (2007)
Member of Julius B. Richmond Center of Excellence Project Advisory Committee, American Academy of Pediatrics (2006)
President of Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics (2006)
Invited participant for White House Conference on School Violence (2006)
President Elect, Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics (2005)
Special Achievement Award of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Distinguished Service and Dedication to the Mission of the Academy (2005)
NICHD E. Maurice Wakeman Award of the Hezekiah Beardsley Connecticut Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics (2005)
Member of National Children’s Study Advisory Committee (2005)
More awards
Selected Publications

Grolnick W, Schonfeld D, Schreiber M, Cohen J, Cole V, Jaycox L, Lochman J, Pfefferbaum B, Ruggiero K, Wells K, Wong M, Zatzick D:  Improving adjustment and resilience in children following ga disaster: addressing research challenges.  American Psychologist 2017, in press.

Schonfeld DJ, Demaria T, Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health, and Disaster Preparedness Advisory Council:  Supporting the grieving child and family.  Pediatrics 2016, 138(3): e20162147. (doi: 10.1542/peds.2016-147)

Schonfeld DJ:  The role of pediatricians in the face of increasing domestic terrorism threats.  JAMA Pediatrics 2016 Apr;170(4):311-2. (doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.4758)

Schonfeld DJ, Shekunov J, Jellinek M, Stein M:  A 9-Year-Old Girl Discovers That Her Mother Was Murdered (Challenging Case).  JDBP February/March 2016, 37(2):172-174. (reprinted JDBP February/March 2017, 38(25): S76-8)

Disaster Preparedness Advisory Council of the American Academy of Pediatrics (lead authors Fagbuyi D, Schonfeld D):  Medical countermeasures for children in public health emergencies, disasters, or terrorism.  Pediatrics 2016; published online January 4, 2016. (doi: 10.1542/peds.2015-4273)

Schonfeld D, Quackenbush M, Demaria T:  Grief across cultures: awareness for schools.  NASN School Nurse Nov 2015: 350-2.

Schonfeld DJ, Demaria T, the Disaster Preparedness Advisory Council, and Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health: Providing Psychosocial Support to Children and Families in the Aftermath of Disaster and Crisis: A Guide for Pediatricians.  Pediatrics 2015, 136(4): e1120 -e1130. (doi: 10.1542/peds.2015-2861)

Schonfeld DJ, Demaria T:  How to support grieving students: New resources to help your school become better prepared.  Principal Leadership Jan 2015: 32-34.

Schonfeld DJ, Demaria T:  Grief support is on the way.  Principal March/April 2015: 18-23.

Schonfeld D, Adams R, Fredstrom B, Weissberg R, Gilman R, Voyce C, Tomlin R, Speese-Linehan D:  Cluster-randomized trial demonstrating impact on academic achievement of elementary social-emotional learning.  School Psychology Quarterly 2015;30(3):406-20. doi: 10.1037/spq0000099. Epub 2014 Dec 8.

Sun WQ, Spruyt K, Chen WJ, Jiang YR, Schonfeld D, Adams R, Tseng CH, Shen XM, Jiang F:  The relation among sleep duration, homework burden, and sleep hygiene in Chinese school-aged children.  Behav Sleep Med 2014;12(5):398-411. doi: 10.1080/15402002.2013.825837. Epub 2013 Nov 4.

Bradley JS, Peacock G, Krug SE, Bower WA, Cohn AC, Meaney-Delman D, Pavia AT; AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases and Disaster Preparedness Advisory Council*:  Pediatric anthrax clinical management.  Pediatrics 2014 May;133(5):e1411-36. doi: 10.1542/peds.2014-0563.

*Schonfeld D – member of DPAC and listed collaborator

Demaria T, Schonfeld D:  Do it now:  Short-term responses to traumatic events.  Phi Delta Kappan December 2013/January 2014; 95(4):13-17.

Wiley S, Schonfeld D, Fredstrom B, Huffman L:  Research Training of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Fellows: A Survey of Fellowship Directors by DBPNet.  Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 2013; 34:406-413.

Schonfeld D, Adams R, Fredstrom B, Tomlin R, Voyce C, Vaughn L:  Social emotional learning grades 3 to 6 and the early onset of sexual behavior.  Sexuality Research and Social Policy 2012: 9(2): 178-186.  Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s13178-011-0077-7.

Schonfeld D, Quackenbush M: Coping with loss.  Principal November/December 2012:42-43, 45.

Blum N, Feldman H, Barbaresi W, Schonfeld D, Hansen R, Forrest C:  Research priorities for Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics:  a DBPNet consensus study.  Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics  2012; 33(6): 509-516.

Krug S, Needle S, Schonfeld D, Aird L, Hurley H:  Improving Pediatric Preparedness Performance Through Strategic Partnerships.  Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness  2012, 6(2):94-96.

Pfefferbaum B, Schonfeld D, Flynn B, Norwood A, Dodgen D, Kaul R, Donato D, Stone B, Brown L, Reissman D, Jacobs G, Hobfoll S, Jones R, Hermann J, Ursano R, Ruzek J:  The H1N1 crisis: A case study of the integration of mental and behavioral health in public health crises.  Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness 2012, 6:67-71.

Pfefferbaum B, Flynn B, Schonfeld D, Brown L, Jacobs G, Dodgen D, Donato D, Kaul R, Stone B, Norwood A, Reissman D, Hermann J, Hobfoll S, Jones R, Ruzek J, Ursano R, Taylor R, Lindley D:  The integration of mental and behavioral health into disaster preparedness, response, and recovery.  Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness 2012, 6:60-66.

Yin H, Boyd T, Pacheco MC, Schonfeld D, Bove K:  Rectal biopsy in children with Down syndrome and chronic constipation: Hirschsprung Disease vs Non-Hirschsprung Disease.  Pediatric and Developmental Pathology 2012; 15:87-95.

Blum N and the DBPNet Steering Committee*:  The Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Research Network (DBPNet): Another step in the development of the field.  Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 2011, 33(1):78-83.

*The DBPNet Steering Committee includes the following individuals:  Augustyn M, Barbaresi W, Fussell J, Hansen R, Feldman H, High P, Roizen N, Schonfeld D, Stancin T, Stein R, Weitzman C, Wolraich M.

Schonfeld D:  Ten years after 9-11:  What have we (not yet) learned?  Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 2011, 32(7):542-545.

Laraque D, Adams R, Steinbaum D, Zuckerbrot R, Schonfeld D, et al.  Physician skills in the management of children’s mental health problems following the Reaching Children Initiative (RCI) tri-state educational intervention.  Academic Pediatrics 2009; 9(3):164-171.

Schonfeld D:  Mental health concerns.  Clinical Pediatric Emergency Medicine 2009; 10(3): 153-5.

Schonfeld D, Gurwitch R:  Addressing disaster mental health needs of children:  Practical guidance for pediatric emergency healthcare providers.  Clinical Pediatric Emergency Medicine 2009; 10(3):  208-15. 

Schonfeld D:  Back to the future: a constructivist perspective of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics.  Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 2008; 29(1): 69-71.

Schonfeld D:  Coping With the Death of a Student or Staff Member.  ERCMExpress 2007; 3(2):1-12.