James J. Li

James Li Picture
Assistant Professor

Ph.D. 2013, University of California, Los Angeles

Social and Behavioral Development Lab

Research Interests

My lab investigates genetic and environmental factors that contribute to the development of child externalizing disorders (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, and conduct disorder). Research in my lab utilizes advanced molecular genetic approaches (e.g., genome-wide association scans, gene-pathway analysis) to advance understanding about the genetic architecture underlying complex developmental phenomena. We also focus on rigorous measurement of early environmental influences as they relate to child behavioral problems, not only for risk factors such as negative parenting and maltreatment, but also for enriched factors such as positive parenting and social support. The goal of this research is to understand how genes and environments independently and interactively influence variation in child behavioral development, and to ultimately bridge the fairly substantial gap between genetics/neuroscience and prevention/intervention.

The specific goals of my research program include:

1) Examining natural variations in child behavioral problems using a prospective longitudinal design.

2) Identifying genes and other socioemotional factors (i.e., early childhood temperament) that may enhance sensitivity to positive and negative rearing environments.

3) Testing how variations in these markers may affect how sensitive a child might be to psychosocial treatments.

Representative Publications

Li, J. J., Chung, T. A., Vanyukov, M. M., Wood, D. S., Ferrell, R., & Clark, D. B. (2015). A hierarchical factor model of executive functions in adolescents: Evidence of gene-environment interplay. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 21, 62-73. 

Tung, I., Brammer, W. A., Li, J. J., & Lee, S. S. (2014). Parenting behavior mediates the intergenerational association of parent and child offspring ADHD symptoms.ÿJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.

Li, J. J. & Lee, S. S. (2014). Negative emotionality mediates the association between 5-HTTLPR genotype and depression symptoms in children with and without ADHD. Psychiatry Research, 215, 163 - 169.

Li, J. J., Berk, M. S. & Lee, S. S. (2013). Differential susceptibility in prospective models of gene-environment interaction for depression. Development and Psychopathology, 25, 991 - 1003.

Li, J. J. & Lee, S. S. (2013). Interaction of dopamine transporter gene and observed parenting behaviors on attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: A structural equation modeling approach. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 31, 174-186.

Li, J. J., & Lee, S. S. (2012a). Association of positive and negative parenting behavior with childhood ADHD: Interactions with offspring monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) genotype. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 40, 165-175.

Li, J. J. & Lee, S. S. (2012b). Interaction of dopamine transporter (DAT1) genotype and maltreatment for ADHD: A latent class analysis. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 53, 997-1005.

Li, J. J. & Lee, S. S. (2010). Latent class analysis of antisocial behavior: Interaction of serotonin transporter genotype and maltreatment. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 38, 789-801.

Li, J. J., Cutting, L. E., Ryan, M., Zilioli, M., Denckla, M. B. & Mahone, E. M. (2009). Response variability in rapid automatized naming predicts reading comprehension. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 31, 877-888.