Steven F. Warren, Ph.D

Steven F. Warren, Ph.D.

Steven F. Warren

Steven F. Warren, Ph.D., University Distinguished Professor of Speech-Language-Hearing: Sciences and Disorders and an Investigator with the Institute of Life Span Studies at the University of Kansas.  Dr. Warren’s research has focused throughout his career on communication and language development in children with developmental delays and disabilities. Much of this work has focused on the effects of different types of communication and language interventions as well as the way that children with specific neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g. Down syndrome) respond to different interventions. Over the past 20 years, he and his colleagues have conducted several randomized clinical trials on the effects of these interventions on children’s language development. In 2004, he began working with an interdisciplinary group of scientists and engineers on the development of LENA, a breakthrough technology that automatically captures and analyzes huge amounts of child language interaction data in any language.  Dr. Warren presently serves as Principal Investigator in collaboration with Dr. Nancy Brady on an ongoing longitudinal study on the impact of parenting on the development of children with fragile X syndrome (the most common known genetic cause of autism). This natural history study has been ongoing with NIH support since 2003 and is presently supported by an R01 from NICHD. Dr. Warren’s work has been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health throughout his career. His research has been recognized by career research awards from the National Down Syndrome Congress (1999), the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (2008), and the American Psychological Association (2013).

Investigator, Kansas Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center,
University Distinguished Professor,
College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Director of Graduate Studies,
PhD Program Coordinator,

Ph.D., Child and Developmental Psychology, University of Kansas
M.A., Human Development, University of Kansas
BGS., Psychology and Human Development, University of Kansas

Contact Information


1000 Sunnyside Avenue, Room 3045
3001 Dole Human Development Center
Lawrence, Kansas 66045-7555


Research Interests

Communication and language development and remediation; Effects of parenting on the development of children with neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g. Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, autism, etc.); Automatic language measurement and analysis.

Professional Service

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)


University Distinguished Professor, selected by the University of Kansas Committee on Distinguished Professorships and approved by the Provost on May 3, 2016
Edgar Doll Award (2013), American Psychological Association, Division 33. (The Doll Award is the Division’s highest recognition of outstanding scientific contributions to the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities).
Lifetime Research Achievement Award (2008), American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. “Awarded for significant and meritorious contributions to the body of international scientific knowledge on early communication and language development.”
Theodore D. Tjossem Research Award (1999), National Down Syndrome Congress. Awarded in recognition of extensive research on early language development and intervention that has contributed to a greater understanding of Down syndrome.
Century Award (2003), 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.)


Robinson, A.N., Roberts, J.E., Brady, N., McQuillin, S.D., & Warren, S.F.  (2016). Physiological correlates of maternal responsivity in mothers of preschoolers with fragile X syndrome. American Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Vol. 121 (2), 111-120.

Hahn, L.J., Brady, N.C., Fleming, K.K., & Warren, S.F. (2016) Joint engagement in young children with Fragile X syndrome. Journal of Speech-Language-Hearing Research, DOI: 10.1044/2016_JSLHR-L015-0005.

Komesidou, R., Brady, N.C., Fleming, K., Esplund, A., & Warren, S.F. (2017), Growth of Expressive Syntax in Children with Fragile X Syndrome. Journal of Speech, Language, Hearing Research , DOI: 10.1044/2016.

Gilkerson, J., Richards, J.A., Warren, S.F., Montgomery, J.K., Greenwood, C.R., Oller, D. Kimbrough, & Hansen, J.L., & Terrance D. Paul. (2017). Mapping the Early Language Environment Using All-Day Recordings and Automated Analysis. American Journal of Speech-Language-Pathology, Vol. 26, p. 248-295.

Sterling, A.M., Warren, S.F. (2016). Parenting of Children with Down Syndrome Compared to Fragile X Syndrome. Developmental Neurorehabilitation, PMID 27924668 DOI: 10.1080/17518423.2016.1259274.

Warren, S.F., Brady, N., Fleming, K., Hahn, L. (2017), The effects of parenting on adaptive behavior in children with Fragile X Syndrome. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders Vol. 47: 768-784.  D0I: 10.1007/s10803-016-2999-7. PMCID 5354989

Burke Lefever, J., Bigelow, K.M.  Carta, J.J.., Borkowski, J.G., Grandfield, E., McCune, L., Irvin, D.W., & Warren, S.F. (2017). Long-Term Impact of a Cell Phone Enhanced Parenting Intervention Child Maltreatment, 22 (4), 305-314; DOI: 10.1177/1077559517723125.

Bredin-Oja, S.L. Fielding, H., Fleming, K.K., & Warren, S.F. (2018). Clinician vs. Machine: Estimating Vocalization Rates in Young Children with Developmental Disorders. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology,

Muller, K., Brady, N., Warren, S.F., & Fleming, K. (2018). Mothers’ perspectives on challenging behaviors in their children with fragile X syndrome. Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability (accepted, June 20th)).

Gilkerson, J., Richards, J., Warren, S.F., Oller, K., Russo, R., & Vohr, B. (2018). Language experience in the second year of life predicts language outcomes in late childhood. Pediatrics , Volume 142 (4).

Fielding, H. & Warren, S.F. Early predictors of later expressive language in children with Fragile X Syndrome. American Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (accepted July 30th).


Co-Chair, Discovering and Innovating Task Force, Initiative 2015 – University of Kansas Strategic Planning, 2008-09
Chair, Chancellor’s Task Force on Research Engagement, 2009-10
Co-Chair, Driving Discovery and Innovation Strategic Planning Task Force, 2010-11
Member, Chancellor’s Cabinet, 2008- 2014 Member, University Capital Projects Council, 2011- 2014
Member, Executive Committee, University Compliance Program, 2012-2014
Member, University Security Executive Committee, 2012- 2014
Chair, Provost Search Committee 2015-2016
Member, Kansas University Center for Autism Research and Training Executive Board, University of Kansas, 2014-present