Len Abbeduto

Position Title
Director, UC Davis MIND Institute and Tsakopoulos-Vismara Endowed Chair, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, School of Medicine


Leonard Abbeduto, PhD, is the Director of the MIND Institute, the Tsakopoulos-Vismara Endowed Chair, and Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Abbeduto’s research is focused broadly on the development of language across the lifespan in individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders and the family context for language development.  Dr. Abbeduto has published more than 190 articles, chapters, reviews, and books on fragile X syndrome, autism, Down syndrome, intellectual disabilities, and child development. His program of research has been funded nearly continuously by NIH since 1985. His current research is focused on understanding variation in language outcomes in various neurodevelopmental disorders, the measurement of treatment effects in clinical trials, and the use of distance technology in behavioral treatment. He serves as PI/PD of the NICHD-funded MIND Institute Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (IDDRC), which provides core support to more than 70 projects and 40 scientists at the UC Davis MIND Institute. Dr. Abbeduto has received numerous awards, including the Emil A. Steiger Award for Distinguished Teaching from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Faculty Stewardship Award from the University of California, Davis, the Enid and William Rosen Research Award from the National Fragile X Foundation, and Edgard Doll Award for Distinguished Research Contributions from Division 33 of the American Psychological Association. He earned his PhD in psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1982. He came to UC Davis 2011 after 24 years on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Recent Publications

Bullard, L., Harvey, D., & Abbeduto, L. (2021). Exploring the feasibility of collecting multimodal multiperson assessment data via distance in families affected by fragile X syndrome. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare. 2021 Apr 12;1357633X211003810. https://doi.org/10.1177/1357633X211003810 .

Klusek, J., Thurman, A.J., & Abbeduto, L. (2021). Maternal pragmatic language difficulties in the fmr1 premutation and the broad autism phenotype: Associations with individual and family outcomes. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 2021 Apr 4. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-021-04980-3. Online ahead of print.

Thurman, A.J., Edgin, J.O., Sherman, S., Sterling, A., McDuffie, A., Hamilton, D., & Abbeduto, L. (2021). Spoken language outcome measures for treatment studies in Down syndrome: feasibility, practice effects, test-retest reliability, and construct validity of variables generated from expressive language sampling. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders. 2021 Apr 8;13(1):13. https://doi.org/10.1186/s11689-021-09361-6.

Abbeduto, L., Thurman, A.J., McDuffie, A., Klusek, J., Tempero Feigles, R., Brown, W.T., Harvey, D., Adayev, T., LaFauci, G., Dobkins, C., & Roberts, J.E. (2019). ASD Comorbidity in Fragile X Syndrome: Symptom Profile and Predictors of Symptom Severity in Adolescent and Young Adult Males. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 49, 960-977.

Conners, F.A., Tungate, A.S., Abbeduto, L., Merrill, E.C., & Faught, G.G. (2018). Growth and decline in language and phonological memory over two years among adolescents with Down syndrome. American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 123, 103-118.

del Hoyo Soriano, L., Thurman, A.J., Harvey, D.J., Brown, W.T., Abbeduto, L. (2018). Genetic and maternal predictors of cognitive and behavioral trajectories in females with fragile X syndrome. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 10:22.

Ezell, J., Hogan, A., Fairchild, A., Hills, K., Klusek, J., Abbeduto, L., & Roberts, J. (2018). Prevalence and Predictors of Anxiety Disorders in Adolescent and Adult Males with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Fragile X Syndrome. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. doi: 10.1007/s10803-018-3804-6.

Klusek, J., Porter, A., Abbeduto, L., Adayev, T., Tassone, F., Mailick, M., Glicksman, A., Tonnsen, B., Roberts, J.E. (2018). Curvilinear Association between Language Disfluency and FMR1 CGG Repeat Size across the Normal, Intermediate, and Premutation Range. Frontiers in Genetics.

Matherly, S.M., Klusek, J., Thurman, A.J., McDuffie, A., Abbeduto, L., & Roberts, J.E. (2018). Cortisol profiles differentiated in adolescents and young adult males with fragile X syndrome versus autism spectrum disorder. Developmental Psychobiology, 60, 78-89.

McDuffie, A., Banasik, A., Bullard, L., Nelson, S., Tempero Feigles, R., Hagerman, R.J., Abbeduto, L. (2018). Distance delivery of a spoken language intervention for school-aged and adolescent boys with fragile X syndrome. Developmental Neurorehabilitation, 21, 48-63.

Nelson, S., McDuffie, A., Banasik, A., Tempero Feigles, R., Thurman, A.J., & Abbeduto, L. (2018). Inferential language use by school-aged boys with fragile X syndrome: Effects of a parent-implemented spoken language intervention. Journal of Communication Disorders, 72, 64-76.

Roberts, J.E., Ezell, J. Fairchild, A. Klusek, J., Thurman, A.J., McDuffie, A., & Abbeduto, L. (2018). Biobehavioral Composite of Social Aspects of Anxiety in Young Adults with Fragile X contrasted to Autism Spectrum Disorder. American Journal of Medical Genetics: Part B. Neuropsychiatric Genetics, 177, 665-675.

Thurman, A.J., Kover, S.T., Brown, W.T., Harvey, D.J., & Abbeduto, L. (2017). Noncomprehension signaling in males and females with fragile X syndrome. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 60, 1606-1621.

Thurman, A.J., McDuffie, A., Josol, C., Hagerman, R.J., & Abbeduto, L. (2017). Language skills of males with fragile X syndrome or nonsyndromic autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 47, 728-743.