Steven F. Warren, Ph.D.
Steven F. Warren is a Senior Scientist and Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Studies. He is also a Professor of Applied Behavioral Science. He was associated with Vanderbilt University's John F. Kennedy Center for Human Development for 18 years as a Professor of Special Education and Psychology and Deputy Director before coming to the University of Kansas in 2000. He served as Director of the Life Span Institute from 2001 to 2008. Dr. Warren is internationally recognized for his research on language development in children and leadership in the field of developmental disabilities. He has conducted extensive research on early communication and language intervention approaches and has published more than 160 papers, chapters, and books on these and related topics.
Dr. Warren's major research interests are in the areas of early communication and language development and intervention and the prevention of intellectual disabilities. Over the past 35 years he has investigated the effects of a variety of different communication and language intervention strategies intended for use with children three years and younger with developmental delays.
This research has focused on the development of intervention models (i.e. milieu language intervention, prelinguistic communication intervention) and longitudinal evaluation of these and other approaches, and most recently the interaction of early intervention and specific etiologies (e.g. fragile X syndrome, Downs syndrome). His research has been funded since 1977 by NIH (NICHD and NIDCD) and by the U.S. Department of Education.
He is presently completing a randomized trial of the effects of different intensities of early communication intervention with KU colleague Marc Fey and for Vanderbilt University colleague Paul Yoder. This study is funded by NIDCD.
In collaboration with KU colleague Nancy Brady, he is conducting a longitudinal study on the role of maternal responsivity in the development of children with fragile X syndrome. This study is part of a larger investigation of Family Adaptation to FXS under supported by NICHD and represents it collaboration of investigators at the University of North Carolina and the University of Wisconsin.
Edgar Doll Award (2013), American Psychological Association Division 33 in recognition of outstanding scientific contributions to the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities
Lifetime Achievement Research Award (2008), American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Theodore D. Tjossem Research Award (1999), National Down Syndrome Congress
Fellow, American Psychological Association, 1993
Recipient, 2003 Century Award, Region V, American Association on Mental Retardation ( This award was given to 34 individuals in this region for significant contributions to the field over the past 100 years.)
Fellow, American Psychological Association, 1993
Fellow, American Association on Mental Retardation, 1992
Member, Behavioral and Biobehavioral Processes Study Section, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Initial Review Group, 2002-2007 (Chair, 2006-07)
Member, Human Development and Aging Study Section 3, Center for Scientific Review, National Institute of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, 1997-1999
Member, Biobehavioral and Behavioral Processes Study Section 6, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, 1999-2001
2003 - 2007 Chair, Scientific Advisory Committee, NIH Autism Research Networks (CPEA/STAART)
1. Warren, S.F., Fey, M.E., Yoder, P.J. (2007). Differential treatment intensity research: A missing link to creating optimally effective communication interventions. Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews, 13 (1), 70-77.
2. Warren, S.F. & Brady, N.C. (2007). The role of maternal responsivity in the development of children with intellectual disabilities. Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews, 13(4), 330-338.
3. Warren, S.F. Fey, M.E., Finestack, L. H., Brady, N.C., Bredin-Oja, S.L., & Fleming, K. (2008). A Randomized Trial of Longitudinal Effects of Low Intensity Responsivity Education/Prelinguistic Milieu Teaching. Journal of Speech, Language, & Hearing Research, 51 (April), 451-470.
4. Warren, S.F., Brady, N.C., Sterling, A.M., Fleming, K., & Marquis, J. (2010). Maternal responsivity predicts language development in children with fragile X syndrome. American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities , 115(1), 63-84.
5. Warren, S.F., Gilkerson, S., Richards, J.A., Oller, D.K., Xu, D., Umit, Y., & Gray, S. (2010). What automated vocal analysis reveals about the vocal production and language learning environment of young children with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 40, 555-569.
6. Oller, D.K., Niyogi, P., Gray, S., Richards, J., Gilkerson, J., Xu, D., Yapanel, U., Warren, S.F. (2010). Automated vocal analysis of naturalistic recordings for children with autism, language delay, and typical development. Proceedings of the National Academies of Science, (201003882) published on line, July 19th.
7. Fey, M.E., Yoder, P.J., Warren, S.F. & Bredin-Oja, S. (2013). Is More Better? Milieu communication: teaching in toddlers with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Speech, Language, Hearing Research, 56, 679-693.
Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Studies
Professor, Department of Applied Behavioral Science, University of Kansas
Courtesy Professor, Molecular and Integrative Physiology, University of Kansas Medical Center
Ph.D., University of Kansas, Child and Developmental Psychology, 1977
M.A., University of Kansas, Human Development, 1975
B.G.S., University of Kansas, Psychology and Human Development (with honors), 1974
Office of Research & Graduate Studies (RGS)
The University of Kansas, 212 Youngberg Hall
2385 Irving Hill Road
Lawrence, Kansas 66045-7568