Skip to main content
Explore URMC

Deborah A. Napolitano, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Administrative: (585) 275-6605

Faculty Appointments



Dr. Napolitano has broad research interests in the area of developmental and intellectual disabilities such as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS). Her research has focused on three primary areas, a) biobehavioral interventions (e.g., effects of medication on problem behavior and the interaction between medication and behavioral interventions) b) functional assessment and treatment of severe problem behavior, and c) interventions for repetitive behavior. Dr. Napolitano has obtained research funding to examine interventions to increase diverse responding in persons with ASD. Dr. Napolitano also has worked with her research mentors on several federally funded research projects. She worked as a project coordinator for Dr. Steven Schroeder at the University of Kansas on a clinical trial of Risperdal for persons with autism and other developmental and intellectual disabilities and most recently at the University of Rochester as a co-investigator on Dr. Jennifer Zarcone's research examining the compulsive behavior of persons with Prader-Willi Syndrome.



BA | Western Connecticut State University
Communications & Human Relations

MA | University of Kansas
Early Childhood Education & Applied Behavior Analysis

PhD | University of Kansas
Developmental & Child Psychology


Journal Articles

Napolitano, DA; Zarcone, JR; Nielsen, S.; Wang, H; Caliendo, JM. "Perceptions of Body Image by Persons with Prader-Willi Syndrome and their Parents." American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. 2010; 115: 43-53.

Zarcone, J.R., Napolitano, D.A., & Valdovinos, M. "Measurement of problem behaviour during medication evaluations." Journal of Intellectual Disability Research. 2008; : 1015-1028.

Zarcone J, Napolitano D, Peterson C, Breidbord J, Ferraioli S, Caruso-Anderson M, Holsen L, Butler MG, Thompson T. "The relationship between compulsive behaviour and academic achievement across the three genetic subtypes of Prader-Willi syndrome." Journal of intellectual disability research : JIDR.. 2007 Jun; 51(Pt. 6):478-87.

Books & Chapters

Chapter Title: The Role of Functional Assessment in Treatment Planning In: J. Matson (Ed.),
Book Title: Functional Assessment and Treatment of Problem Behavior
Author List: Napolitano, D.A., Madaus-Knapp, V., Speares, E., McAdam, D.B., & Brown, H.
Published By: Springer Publishing. 2012 in New York, NY

Chapter Title: Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis
Book Title: Autism Spectrum Disorders: Applied Behavior Analysis Evidence &
Author List: Smith T, McAdam D, Napolitano D
Edited By: Sturmey & Fitzer
Published By: PRO-ED 2007