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, and Chardon, Ohio; flooding from hurricanes Sandy in New York and New Jersey, Katrina in New Orleans, and Ike in Galveston, Texas; tornadoes in Joplin, Missouri, and Alabama; and the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan, China. 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. Schonfeld is also a visiting/honorary faculty member at the Università del Piemonte Orientale in Novara, Italy, and Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Brussels, Belgium. In addition, he coordinates the mental health component of the European Master in Disaster Medicine course in Italy. 

Awards and Distinction
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

Schonfeld D.J., 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, published online: September 14, 2015. (doi: 10.1542/peds.2008-1536).

Grant, L. and Schonfeld, D. (in press). Emergency and disaster preparedness in schools. School health: policy and practice, 7th ed. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Schonfeld, D., Adams, R., Fredstrom, B., Weissberg, R., Gilman, R., Voyce, C., Tomlin, R., and Speese-Linehan, D. (Accepted for publication). Cluster-randomized trial demonstrating impact on academic achievement of elementary social-emotional learning. School Psychology Quarterly.

Schonfeld, D. (2014). Bereavement. In Michalos, A.C. (Ed), Encyclopedia of quality of life and well-being research. (pp. 368-372). Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer.

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

Wiley, S., Schonfeld, D., Fredstrom, B., and Huffman, L. (2013). Research training of developmental-behavioral pediatrics fellows: a survey of fellowship directors by DBPNet. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 34:406-413.

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

Schonfeld, D. and Quackenbush, M. (2012). Coping with loss. Principal, 42-43, 45.

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

Krug, S., Needle, S., Schonfeld, D., Aird, L., and Hurley, H. (2012). Improving pediatric preparedness performance through strategic partnerships. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, 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., and Ruzek, J. (2012). The H1N1 crisis:  case study of the integration of mental and behavioral health in public health crises. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, 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., and Lindley, D. (2012). The integration of mental and behavioral health into disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, 6:60-66.

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

Schonfeld, D. (2012). Providing support for families experiencing the death of a child. In Kreitler, S., Ben-Arush, M.W., Martin, A. (Eds), Pediatric Psycho-oncology: Psychosocial Aspects and Clinical Interventions, 2nd edition. (pp. 223-230). West Sussex, UK: John Wiley & Sons.

Adirim, T., Schonfeld, D., and Shannon, M. (2012). Environmental disasters. In Etzel, R. (Ed), Pediatric Environmental Health, 3rd edition. (pp. 757-769). Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics. (Chapter contributors for book authored by American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Environmental Health).

Blum, N. and the DBPNet Steering Committee*. (2011). The Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Research Network (DBPNet): Another step in the development of the field. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 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. (2011). Ten years after 9-11: What have we (not yet) learned? Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 32(7):542-545.

Schonfeld, D. and Gurwitch, R. (2011). Children in disasters. In Elzouki, A.Y., Stapleton, F.B., Whitley, R.J., Oh, W., Harfi, H.A., Nazer, H. (Eds), Textbook of Clinical Pediatrics, 2nd edition. (pp. 687-698). New York: Springer-Verlag. 

Gurwitch, R. and Schonfeld, D. (2011). Disasters. In Fisher, M., Alderman, E., Kreipe, R., Rosenfeld, W. (Eds), Textbook of Adolescent Health Care. (pp. 421-426). Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Moore, D.J., Nabors, L., Bush, A., Odar, C., and Schonfeld, D. (2011). Children’s perceptions of risk and parental beliefs and their eating behaviors. In Columbus, A.M. (Ed), Advances in Psychology Research. (pp. 175-185). New York: Nova Science Publishers. 

Schonfeld, D. and Perrin, E. (2011). Adaptation to illness. In Rudolph, C., Lister, G., Gershon, A., First, L., Rudolph, A. (Eds), Rudolphs Pediatrics, 22nd edition. (pp. 368-370). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Schonfeld, D. (2011). Supporting the grieving child and family. In Rudolph, C., Lister, G., Gershon, A., First, L., Rudolph, A. (Eds), Rudolph’s Pediatrics, 22nd edition. (pp. 86-88). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Schonfeld, D. (2011). Death during childhood. In Augustyn, M., Zuckerman, B., Caronna, E., The Zuckerman Parker Handbook of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics for Primary Care, 3rd edition. (pp. 441-445). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 

Schonfeld, D. and Quackenbush, M. (2010). The Grieving Student: A Teacher's Guide. Brookes Publishing.

Schonfeld, D. (2010). Applied research in school settings: Common challenges and practical suggestions. In Maholmes, V., Lomonaco, C. (Eds), Applied Research in Child and Adolescent Development: A Practical Approach. (pp. 175-198). New York: Taylor and Francis Group.

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

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

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

Gilman, R., Schonfeld, D., and Inboni, C. (2009). Using social network analysis as a lens to examine socially isolated youth. In Kern, M. (Ed), Bullying, Rejection, and Peer Victimization: A Social Cognitive Neuroscience Perspective. (pp. 345-363). New York: Springer. 

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

Schonfeld, D. (2008). Providing psychological first aid and identifying mental health needs in the aftermath of a disaster or community crisis.  In Foltin, G., Tunik, M., Treiber, M., Cooper, A., Pediatric Disaster Preparedness: A Resource for Planning, Management, and Provision of Out-of-Hospital Emergency Care. New York: Center for Pediatric Emergency Medicine.

Schonfeld, D. and Nabors, L. (2008). The impact of cancer prevention education on 6th grade students’ misconceptions and willingness to affiliate with a peer with cancer. In Moline, D. (Ed), School Psychology: 21st Century Issues and Challenges. (pp. 13-21). Hauppauge, New York: Nova Science Publishers. 

Schonfeld, D. and Dreyer, B. (2008). Research foundations, methods, and issues in developmental-behavioral pediatrics. In Wolraich, M., Dworkin, P., Drotar, D., Perrin, E., Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics: Evidence and Practice. (pp. 47-56). Philadelphia: Elsevier Mosby.

Schonfeld, D. (2007). Coping with the death of a student or staff member. ERCM Express, 3(2):1-12.

Schonfeld, D. and Campo, J. (2007). Integrating behavioral services into pediatric care settings: principles and models. In Martin, A., Volkmar, F. (Eds), Lewis’ Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: A Comprehensive Textbook, 4th edition. (pp. 921 – 927). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Glazer, J. and Schonfeld, D. (2007). Life-limiting illness, palliative care, and bereavement. In Martin, A., Volkmar, F. (Eds), Lewis’ Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: A Comprehensive Textbook, 4th edition. (pp. 971 – 980). Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Schonfeld, D., Devine, J., and Cohen, J. (2007). Preparing your school to deal with a crisis: Principles of school crisis preparedness and response. In Devine, J., Cohen, J., Making Your Schools Safe. (pp. 9-18). New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Foltin, G., Schonfeld, D., Shannon, M., editors. (2006). Pediatric Terrorism and Disaster Preparedness: a resource for pediatricians. AHRQ Publication No. 06-0056-EF. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Schonfeld, D. (2005). Rebuilding a Region: 200 Billion Dollars; Restoring communities: Priceless. J Dev Behav Pediatr, 26(6):419-420.

Arnold, J., Dembry, L., Tsai, M., Dainiak, N., Rodoplu, U., Schonfeld, D., Parwani, V., Paturas, J., Cannon, C., and Selig, S. (2005). Recommended modifications and applications of the Hospital Emergency Incident Command System for hospital emergency management.  Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 20(5):290-300.

Schonfeld, D. (2005). Helping children deal with terrorism. In Osborn, L., DeWitt, T., First, L., Zenel, J. (Eds), Pediatrics. (pp. 1600-1602). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby. 

Dodson, M. and Schonfeld, D. (2005). Normal variations: personality and temperament. In Osborn, L., DeWitt, T., First, L., Zenel, J. (Eds), Pediatrics. (pp. 1539-1541). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby.

Schonfeld, D. and Lewis, M. (2005). Dying children. In Parker, S., Zuckerman, B., Augustyn, M., Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics: A Handbook for Primary Care, 2nd edition. (pp. 396-400). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.