Dr. Deborah Napolitano joined Daemen College in 2018 as an assistant professor of applied behavior analysis (ABA). Prior to this, she was an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, where she retains a courtesy clinical associate professor appointment. She also continues to support behavioral programming in developmental disabilities at Hillside Family of Agencies.
Napolitano has published widely in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and behavior analysis in some of the field’s leading journals, including the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and the American Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. She also serves as an associate editor for the Journal of Mental Health Research in Developmental Disabilities.
Her research interests are in the areas of rigid and repetitive behavior in individuals with autism, drug and behavior interactions, applications of behavior analysis in child welfare, and the assessment and treatment of severe challenging behavior of persons with IDD. Her clinical interests are also in these areas with additional focus on interprofessional collaboration and the interface between behavior therapy and ABA for individuals with dual diagnosis of IDD and brain health concerns.
Napolitano has spent a great deal of her career advocating for the needs of individuals with IDD, their families, and for the behavior analysis profession. She currently serves on the Developmental Disabilities of Western New York/East Family Legislative Committee and the New York State Association for Behavior Analysis Legislative Committee. She also serves as secretary for the Severe Challenging Behavior Special Interest Group of the International Association on the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disabilities for which she recently presented at the international conference in Scotland.
Napolitano earned a doctorate in developmental and child psychology/behavior analysis from the University of Kansas.
She resides in Macedon with her husband and daughter, and enjoys spending time in her local community and Western New York.