Melissa A Alderfer, PhD

Center Director/Principal Research Scientist - DV Operations

Nemours Children's Hospital, Delaware 1600 Rockland Road Wilmington, DE 19803

Biography

I am Center Director and Principal Research Scientist at the Center for Healthcare Delivery Science at Nemours Children's Hospital of Delaware, Professor of Pediatrics at Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, and a licensed Clinical Psychologist with over 25 years of research experience. My research focuses on improving the health care experiences of families of children with chronic illness. I combine qualitative and quantitative methods in my community-engaged work to conceptualize family adjustment and develop and test multi-level interventions and models of care. I have received research funding for my work from various NIH institutes (NCI, NIDDK, NIGMS) and national foundations and am currently an MPI for the Research Expanding Access to Child Health (REACH) Center of Biomedical Research Excellence. I have authored over 140 manuscripts and chapters based on my work and have mentored many successful junior faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students from a range of disciplines (e.g., psychology, medicine, nursing) on research grants, early career awards, and training grants (e.g., K12s, F31).

Medical/Dental School

  • Ph.D. - The University of Utah, Department of Psychology, 2001

  • Inconsistent, uncoordinated, and reactive: The current state of sibling psychosocial care; Pediatric Blood and Cancer; (2023).

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  • Bringing Together a Transdisciplinary Team to Create and Advance a Shared Vision for Research and Support for Siblings of Youth With Cancer; Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nursing; (2023).

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  • The Social Networks and Social Support of Siblings of Children with Cancer; Children; (2022).

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  • Psychosocial care providers' perspectives: Barriers to implementing services for siblings of children with cancer; Pediatric Blood and Cancer; (2022).

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  • Initial validation of a new psychosocial screener for siblings of youth with cancer: The Psychosocial Assessment Tool Sibling Modules; Psycho-Oncology; (2022).

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  • Health-related and cancer risk concerns among siblings of childhood cancer survivors: a report from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS); Journal of Cancer Survivorship; (2022).

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  • Family-centered communication in pediatric sickle cell disease; Pediatric Blood and Cancer; (2022).

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  • Ethical Challenges in Qualitative Methods to Improve Pediatric Clinical Care: Researcher Perspectives; Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology; (2022).

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  • COVID-19 Exposure and Family Impact Scales for Adolescents and Young Adults; Journal of Pediatric Psychology; (2022).

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  • Adaptation and pilot implementation of the Psychosocial Assessment Tool for Autism Spectrum Disorders (PAT-ASD); Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders; (2022).

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  • Validation of the COVID-19 Exposure and Family Impact Scales; Journal of Pediatric Psychology; (2022).

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  • Transdisciplinary Care for Adolescents With Type 1 Diabetes: Development of a Provider Cross-Discipline Training Curriculum; Diabetes Spectrum; (2021).

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  • Topical Review: Crowdsourcing as a Novel Approach to Qualitative Research; Journal of pediatric psychology; (2021).

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  • Survey Research With Families in the Context of Pediatric Chronic Health Conditions: Key Considerations and Future Directions; Journal of Family Nursing; (2021).

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  • Social support and siblings of children with cancer: A scoping review; Psycho-Oncology; (2021).

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  • Psychologists in pediatric palliative care: Clinical care models within the United States.; Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology; (2021).

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  • Parental post-traumatic stress, overprotective parenting, and emotional and behavioural problems for children with critical congenital heart disease; Cardiology in the Young; (2021).

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  • Online patient portal use by caregivers in pediatric oncology: Are we widening sociodemographic disparities?; Pediatric Blood and Cancer; (2021).

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  • Method Matters: Comparing Cancer-Related Adjustment of Siblings to Norms and Well-matched Peers; Journal of Pediatric Psychology; (2021).

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  • Editorial: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Reporting Race and Ethnicity in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology; Journal of Pediatric Psychology; (2021).

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  • Creating a Pathway for Psychosocial Support in Siblings of Youth with a Chronic Illness: Findings from an International Summit; Journal of developmental and behavioral pediatrics : JDBP; (2021).

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  • COVID-19 Exposure and Family Impact Scales: Factor Structure and Initial Psychometrics; Journal of Pediatric Psychology; (2021).

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  • Pediatric resident knowledge, experience, comfort, and perceived competency in providing sibling psychosocial support; International journal of medical education; (2020).

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  • Change Across Time in Cancer-Related Traumatic Stress Symptoms of Siblings of Children with Cancer: A Preliminary Investigation; Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings; (2020).

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  • Bereavement Accommodations in the Classroom: Experiences and Opinions of School Staff; Journal of School Health; (2020).

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  • Family Consequences of Potentially Traumatic Pediatric Medical Events: Implications for Trauma-Informed Care; Journal of Family Psychology; (2019).

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  • Child and Parent Access to Transplant Information and Involvement in Treatment Decision Making; Western Journal of Nursing Research; (2019).

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  • Integrating play in trauma-informed care: Multidisciplinary pediatric healthcare provider perspectives; Psychological Services; (2019).

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  • Introduction to the special issue: Trauma-informed care for children and families; Psychological Services; (2019).

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  • Improving support to siblings of children with cancer through a community-academic partnership; Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology; (2019).

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  • The Influence of Adolescence on Parents' Perspectives of Testing and Discussing Inherited Cancer Predisposition; Journal of Genetic Counseling; (2018).

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  • Let's Work Together: Collaborative Research Is Needed to Overcome Difficulty Enrolling Families for Bereaved Sibling Research; Journal of Pain and Symptom Management; (2018).

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  • Problem-solving skills, parent-adolescent communication, dyadic functioning, and distress among adolescents with cancer; Pediatric Blood and Cancer; (2018).

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  • Parent-child communication surrounding genetic testing for Li-Fraumeni syndrome: Living under the cloud of cancer; Pediatric Blood and Cancer; (2018).

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  • Development of a psychosocial risk screener for siblings of children with cancer: Incorporating the perspectives of parents; Journal of Pediatric Psychology; (2018).

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  • Are on-line patient portals meeting test result preferences of caregivers of children with cancer? A qualitative exploration; Pediatric Blood and Cancer; (2018).

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  • Psychosocial functioning and risk factors among siblings of children with cancer: An updated systematic review; Psycho-Oncology; (2018).

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  • Family strategies to support siblings of pediatric hematopoietic stem cell transplant patients; Pediatrics; (2017).

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  • Couple functioning after pediatric cancer diagnosis: a systematic review; Psycho-Oncology; (2017).

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  • Commentary: Family processes and outcomes: Research advances and future directions; Journal of Pediatric Psychology; (2017).

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  • Caregiver distress and patient health-related quality of life: psychosocial screening during pediatric cancer treatment; Psycho-Oncology; (2017).

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  • Introduction to special issue: Improving clinical practices in pediatric psychology through qualitative research.; Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology; (2017).

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  • Systematic review: Associations between family functioning and child adjustment after pediatric cancer diagnosis: A meta-analysis; Journal of Pediatric Psychology; (2017).

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  • Psychosocial screening for siblings of children with cancer: Barriers and preferences.; Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology; (2017).

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  • Should Genetic Testing be Offered for Children? The Perspectives of Adolescents and Emerging Adults in Families with Li-Fraumeni Syndrome; Journal of Genetic Counseling; (2017).

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  • Measuring medication adherence in pediatric cancer: An approach to validation; Journal of Pediatric Psychology; (2017).

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  • Using qualitative research methods to improve clinical care in pediatric psychology; Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology; (2016).

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  • Tobacco Use Among Siblings of Childhood Cancer Survivors: A Report From the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study; Pediatric Blood and Cancer; (2016).

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  • Systematic Review: A Reevaluation and Update of the Integrative (Trajectory) Model of Pediatric Medical Traumatic Stress; Journal of Pediatric Psychology; (2016).

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  • Socioeconomic status (SES) and childhood acute myeloid leukemia (AML) mortality risk: Analysis of SEER data; Cancer Epidemiology; (2016).

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  • Family rituals, financial burden, and mothers' adjustment in ediatric cancer; Journal of Family Psychology; (2016).

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  • A qualitative analysis of the impact of childhood cancer on the lives of siblings at school, in extracurricular activities, and with friends; Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology; (2016).

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  • Parent decision-making around the genetic testing of children for germline TP53 mutations; Cancer; (2015).

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  • Major lessons learned from a nationally-based community-academic partnership: Addressing sibling adjustment to childhood cancer; Families, Systems and Health; (2015).

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  • Electronic monitoring of medication adherence in early maintenance phase treatment for pediatric leukemia and lymphoma: Identifying patterns of nonadherence; Journal of Pediatric Psychology; (2015).

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  • Coping and coping assistance among children with sickle cell disease and their parents; Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology; (2015).

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  • The social functioning of siblings of children with cancer: A multi-informant investigation; Journal of Pediatric Psychology; (2015).

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  • Supporting Siblings as a Standard of Care in Pediatric Oncology; Pediatric Blood and Cancer; (2015).

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  • Adjustment in parents of children undergoing stem cell transplantation; Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation; (2014).

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  • A mixed methods assessment of coping with pediatric cancer; Journal of Psychosocial Oncology; (2014).

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  • Themes reported by families as important when proceeding with pediatric hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; Pediatric Blood and Cancer; (2014).

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  • The cellie coping kit for sickle cell disease: Initial acceptability and feasibility; Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology; (2014).

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  • Systematic review: Family resilience after pediatric cancer diagnosis; Journal of Pediatric Psychology; (2014).

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  • Unmet needs of siblings of pediatric stem cell transplant recipients; Pediatrics; (2014).

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  • The role of contextual threat in predicting self-reported distress among siblings of children with cancer; Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings; (2013).

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  • Cumulative family risk predicts sibling adjustment to childhood cancer; Cancer; (2013).

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  • Cancer-related traumatic stress reactions in siblings of children with cancer; Families, Systems and Health; (2013).

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  • Cancer prevention and screening practices of siblings of childhood cancer survivors: A report from the childhood cancer survivor study; Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention; (2012).

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  • Acceptability and feasibility of family use of the Cellie Cancer Coping Kit; Supportive Care in Cancer; (2012).

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  • Shared decision-making in pediatric allogeneic blood and marrow transplantation: What if there is no decision to make?; Oncologist; (2012).

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  • Resilience in children undergoing stem cell transplantation: Results of a complementary intervention trial; Pediatrics; (2012).

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  • Neuropsychological Sequelae of Childhood Cancer; Pediatric Psycho-Oncology: Psychosocial Aspects and Clinical Interventions: Second Edition; (2012).

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  • Screening for psychosocial risk in pediatric cancer; Pediatric Blood and Cancer; (2012).

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  • Screening for psychosocial risk at pediatric cancer diagnosis: The psychosocial assessment tool; Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology; (2011).

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  • Introduction to special issue: Advancing the science of family assessment in pediatric psychology; Journal of Pediatric Psychology; (2011).

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  • Psychological outcomes of siblings of cancer survivors: A report from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study; Psycho-Oncology; (2011).

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  • Psychometric properties of the FACES-IV in a pediatric oncology population; Journal of Pediatric Psychology; (2011).

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  • Determining readiness for predoctoral internship training: The process of developing a screening measure; Journal of Clinical Psychology; (2011).

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  • Coping with pediatric cancer: Strategies employed by children and their parents to manage cancer-related stressors during treatment; Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing; (2011).

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  • Complementary therapies for children undergoing stem cell transplantation: Report of a multisite trial; Cancer; (2010).

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  • Supporting Siblings of Children with Cancer: A Need for Family-School Partnerships; School Mental Health; (2010).

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  • Psychosocial adjustment of siblings of children with cancer: A systematic review; Psycho-Oncology; (2010).

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  • Family Psychology in the Context of Pediatric Medical Conditions; The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Family Psychology; (2010).

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  • Family psychosocial risk, distress, and service utilization in pediatric cancer: Predictive validity of the psychosocial assessment tool; Cancer; (2009).

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  • Parental depression and family environment predict distress in children before stem cell transplantation; Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics; (2009).

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  • Brief report: Problem solving and maternal distress at the time of a childs diagnosis of cancer in two-parent versus lone-parent households; Journal of Pediatric Psychology; (2009).

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  • Conducting a randomized clinical trial of an psychological intervention for parents/caregivers of children with cancer shortly after diagnosis; Journal of Pediatric Psychology; (2009).

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  • Family Functioning and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Adolescent Survivors of Childhood Cancer; Journal of Family Psychology; (2009).

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  • Acute stress in parents of children newly diagnosed with cancer; Pediatric Blood and Cancer; (2008).

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  • The ethical justification for minor sibling bone marrow donation: A case study; Oncologist; (2008).

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  • The Psychosocial Assessment Tool (PAT2.0): Psychometric properties of a screener for psychosocial distress in families of children newly diagnosed with cancer; Journal of Pediatric Psychology; (2008).

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  • Interventions to improve neuropsychological functioning in childhood cancer survivors; Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews; (2008).

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  • Evidence-based assessment in pediatric psychology: Family measures; Journal of Pediatric Psychology; (2008).

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  • Evidence-based assessment, intervention and psychosocial care in pediatric oncology: A blueprint for comprehensive services across treatment; Journal of Pediatric Psychology; (2007).

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  • In reply [2]; Journal of Clinical Oncology; (2006).

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  • Use of family management styles in family intervention research; Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing; (2006).

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  • Posttraumatic growth in adolescent survivors of cancer and their mothers and fathers; Journal of Pediatric Psychology; (2006).

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  • Identifying patterns of managing chronic conditions: Family management styles; Handbook of Families and Health: Interdisciplinary Perspectives; (2006).

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  • Identifying and addressing the needs of siblings of children with cancer; Pediatric Blood and Cancer; (2006).

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  • Consensus statements: The Family Management Style Framework and its use with families of children with cancer; Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing; (2006).

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  • An integrative model of pediatric medical traumatic stress; Journal of Pediatric Psychology; (2006).

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  • Patterns of posttraumatic stress symptoms in parents of childhood cancer survivors; Journal of Family Psychology; (2005).

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  • Feasibility and preliminary outcomes from a pilot study of a brief psychological intervention for families of children newly diagnosed with cancer; Journal of Pediatric Psychology; (2005).

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  • Posttraumatic stress symptoms during treatment in parents of children with cancer; Journal of Clinical Oncology; (2005).

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  • Cancer-related parental beliefs: The Family Illness Beliefs Inventory (FIBI); Journal of Pediatric Psychology; (2004).

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  • Treatment of posttraumatic stress symptoms in adolescent survivors of childhood cancer and their families: A randomized clinical trial; Journal of Family Psychology; (2004).

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  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms (PTSS) in families of adolescent childhood cancer survivors; Journal of Pediatric Psychology; (2004).

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  • Parental decision-making in congenital heart disease; Cardiology in the Young; (2004).

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  • Identifying psychosocial risk indicative of subsequent resource use in families of newly diagnosed pediatric oncology patients; Journal of Clinical Oncology; (2003).

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  • Brief report: Does posttraumatic stress apply to siblings of childhood cancer survivors?; Journal of Pediatric Psychology; (2003).

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  • Predictors of the peer acceptance of children with diabetes: Social behavior and disease severity; Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings; (2002).

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  • The Psychosocial assessment tool (PAT)©: Pilot data on a brief screening instrument for identifying high risk families in pediatric oncology; Families, Systems and Health; (2001).

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  • Social behaviour and illness information interact to influence the peer acceptance of children with chronic illness; British Journal of Health Psychology; (2001).

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  • Posttraumatic stress in survivors of childhood cancer and mothers: Development and validation of the impact of traumatic stressors interview schedule (ITSIS); Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings; (2001).

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  • Behavioral Self-Regulation in Adolescents With Type I Diabetes: Negative Affectivity and Blood Glucose Symptom Perception; Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology; (1994).

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  • Young Adolescent Cancer Survivors and Their Parents: Adjustment, Learning Problems, and Gender; Journal of Family Psychology; (1994).

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