Dr. Alexandra Quittner

Alexandra L. Quittner

Professor of Professor of Psychology, Pediatrics, Otolaryngology
Director, Child Division
Associate Editor, Health Psychology

University of Western Ontario, 1987

Child and family adaptation to childhood chronic illness, including adherence to medical regimens and family interventions to promote disease management.  Development of measures of health-related quality of life, adherence, and family functioning.  Effects of childhood deafness on visual attention and outcomes of cochlear implants on children's cognitive, behavioral, and social development.

Research Interests

My program of research has focused on six major areas:

  1. Impact of chronic childhood illness on children and families, including effects on psychological, behavioral, cognitive functioning, and family functioning
  2. Development of health outcome measures that are contextually and developmentally focused
  3. Development and evaluation of family-based interventions to promote adherence to complex medical regimens
  4. Examination of the prevalence and impact of depression and anxiety in CF patients and their caregivers
  5. Examination of the relationships between stress during the CF newborn screening process and medical outcomes
  6. Impact of Disorders of Sex Development (DSD) on children and families, including effects on social, emotional, physical functioning, and family functioning

We are currently conducting several NIH and CF Foundation funded studies. One is a translational study evaluating a family-based intervention to improve adherence to medical regimens for young children with cystic fibrosis (CF) (NIH R01#HL 69736). Â We are also conducting an epidemiological study of the rates of depression and anxiety in CF patients and their caregivers (CF Foundation Clinical Research Grant). This study also examines the links between depressive symptoms and health outcomes using the CF Foundation Patient Registry.   Please visit the International Depression Epidemiological Study (TIDES) website for more information about the study.

For more information visit our CFQ Website

The other study NIH-funded study is a developmental evaluation of cochlear implants for deaf infants and toddlers.  We are focusing on changes in cognitive, behavioral and emotional functioning pre to post-implantation and then following these children's developmental outcomes over three years.  We just received a 5-year continuation of this grant to follow these children as they enter school (R01 #DC04797).

Our newest study examines the how children and parents adapt to disorders of sexual differentiation (PI: Dr. David Sandberg; Co-PI Dr. Alexandra L. Quittner).  This is a multi-site study aimed at describing parent and child adjustment to these disorders (NICHD R01).

Selected Publications

Adaptation to chronic stress and illness

Quittner, A.L., Glueckauf, R.L. & Jackson, D.N. (1990). Chronic parenting stress: Moderating vs. mediating effects of social support. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 59, 1266-1278.

Quittner, A.L., Barker, D.H., Marciel, K.K., & Grimley, M.E. (2009). Cystic fibrosis: A model for drug discovery and patient care. In M.C. Roberts and R.G. Steele (Eds). Handbook of Pediatric Psychology (pp. 271-286). New York: The Guilford Press.

Quittner, A.L., Barker, D.H., Snell, C., Grimley, M.E., Marciel, K.K, & Cruz I. (2008). Prevalence and impact of depression in cystic fibrosis. Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine, 14, 582-588.

Goldbeck L., Besier T., Hinz A, Singu S., Quittner A.L., TIDES Study Group (2010). Prevalence of anxious and depressive symptoms in German patients with cystic fibrosis. Chest, 138(4), 929-936.

Developmental Impact of childhood deafness

Quittner, A.L., Smith, L.B., Osberger, M.J., Mitchell, T., & Katz, D. (1994). The impact of audition on the development of visual attention. Psychological Science, 5, 347-353.

Mitchell, T.V. & Quittner, A.L. (1996). A multimethod study of attention and behavior problems in hearing-impaired children. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 25, 83-96.

Smith, L.B., Quittner, A.L., Osberger, M.J., & Miyamoto, R. (1998). Audition and visual attention: The developmental trajectory in deaf and hearing populations. Developmental Psychology, 34, 840-850.

Quittner, A.L., Leibach, P.L., & Marciel, K. (2004). The impact of cochlear implants on young, deaf children: New methods to assess cognitive and behavioral development. Archives of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, 130, 547-554.

Fink, N.E., Wang, Nae-Yuh, Visaya, J., Niparko, J.K., Quittner, A.L., Eisenberg, L.S., & Tobey, E.A. (2007). Childhood development after cochlear implantation (CDaCI): Design and Baseline Characteristics. Cochlear Implants International, 8, 92-116.

Barker, D.H., Quittner, A.L., Fink, N., Eisenberg, L., Tobey, E., & Niparko, J. (2009). Predicting behavior problems in deaf and hearing children: The influences of language and attention. Development and Psychopathology, 21, 373-392.

Quittner, A.L., Barker, D.H., Cruz, I., Snell, C., Grimley, M.E., Botteri, M. (2010). Parenting stress among parents of deaf and hearing children: Associations with language delays and behavior problems. Parenting: Science and Practice, 10, 136-155.

Niparko, J.K., Tobey, E.A., Thal, D.J., Eisenberg, L.S., Wang, N., Quittner, A.L., & Fink, N.E (2010). Spoken language development in children following cochlear implantation. Journal of the American Medical Association, 303, 1498-1506.

Cruz, I., Quittner, A.L., Marker, C. & DesJardin, J.L. (in press). Identification of effective strategies to promote language in deaf children with cochlear implants. Child Development.

Family interventions and adherence for children and adolescents with chronic illnesses

Quittner, A.L., Drotar, D., Ievers-Landis, C., Seidner, D., Slocum, N., Jacobsen, J. (2000). Adherence to medical treatments in adolescents with cystic fibrosis: The development and evaluation of family-based interventions. In D. Drotar (Ed.) (pp.383-407), Promoting adherence to medical treatment in childhood chronic illness: Concepts, Methods, and Interventions. Mahwah N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Modi, A.C. & Quittner, A.L. (2006). Barriers to treatment adherence for children with cystic fibrosis and asthma: What gets in the way? Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 31, 846-858.

Quittner, A. L., Modi, A.C., Lemanek, K., Landis, C., & Rapoff, M. (2008). Evidence-based assessment of adherence to medical treatments in pediatric psychology. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 33, 916-936.

Marciel, K.K., Saiman, L., Quittell, L., Dawkins, K., & Quittner, A.L. (2010). Cell phone intervention to improve adherence: Cystic fibrosis care team, patient, and parent perspectives. Pediatric Pulmonology, 45, 157-164.

Modi, A.C., Cassedy, A.E., Quittner, A.L., Accurso, F., Sontag, M., Koenig, J.M., & Ittenbach, R.F. (2010). Trajectories of adherence to airway clearance therapy for patients with cystic fibrosis. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 35, 1028-1037.

Quittner, A.L., Alpern, A., Kimberg, C.I. (in press). Integrating patient-reported outcomes into research and clinical practice. In R.W. Wilmott, A. Bush, F. Ratjen, Deterding, R., & T. Boat (Eds.), Disorders of the Respiratory Tract In Children, 8th Edition. Oxford, UK: Elsevier Inc.

Development of contextual measures

Quittner, A.L. & Opipari, L.C. (1994). Differential treatment of siblings: Interview and diary analyses comparing two family contexts. Child Development, 65, 800-814.

Modi, A. C. & Quittner, A.L. (2003). Validation of a disease-specific measure of health-related quality of life for children with cystic fibrosis. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 28, 535-546.

Quittner, A.L., Buu, A., Messer, M.A., Modi A.C., & Watrous, M. (2005). Development and validation of the Cystic Fibrosis Questionnaire (CFQ) in the United States: A health-related quality of life measure for cystic fibrosis. Chest, 128, 2347-2354.

Sawicki, G.S., Rasouliyan, L.R., McMullen, A.H., Wagener, J.S., McColley, S.A., Pasta, D.J., & Quittner, A.L. (2011). Longitudinal assessment of health-related quality of life in an observational cohort of patients with cystic fibrosis. Pediatric Pulmology, 46, 36-44.

Sandberg D.E., Gardner M.D., Kogan B.A., Grimley M.B., Cohen L., Alpern A, Quittner A.L. (2011). Assessing health- related quality of life in disorders of sex development: Phase I - item generation. In: M.I. New, J.L. Simpson (Eds.), Hormonal and Genetic Basis of Sexual Differentiation Disorders and Hot Topics in Endocrinology: Proceedings of the 2nd World Conference, Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 707; 2011: Chapter 31, 143-146. New York, NY; Springer Science.

Quittner, A.L., Cruz, I., & Blackwell, L.S. (in press). Advances in measurement and utilization of health related Quality of life. In W. O'Donohue, L. Benuto, & L. Woodward Tolle (Eds.), Handbook of Adolescent Health Psychology (pp. XX). Springer Publishers.

Quittner, A.L., Sawicki, G.S., McMullen, A., Rasouiliyan, L., Pasta, D.J., Yegin, A., Konston, M. (Epub ahead of print). Psychometric evaluation of the Cystic Fibrosis Questionnaire-Revised in a US national sample. Quality of Life Research.


Cystic Fibrosis

Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (coming soon!)


Sample Syllabi