Elissa Jelalian, PhD (Candidate Statement)
Elissa Jelalian is an associate professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior and Pediatrics at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Her NIH-funded research focuses on innovative weight control interventions for children and adolescents, as well as evaluation of policy initiatives to promote healthier nutrition and physical activity. Her research has had a significant impact on the development of behavioral weight control interventions for adolescents.
Jelalian has served as a mentor for predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees in pediatric psychology at Brown for the past 15 years. She is strongly committed to training and was the recipient of a departmental award for outstanding mentor in 2004 and the Martin P. Levin Mentorship Award from Division 54 in 2010.
Jelalian is a Fellow in both Division 54 and the Obesity Society, and has served on more than 20 ad hoc and special-emphasis review panels for the National Institutes of Health. She also serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Pediatric Psychology, the Journal of Family Psychology, and Health Psychology.
Jelalian received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Miami University in 1991. She completed her internship at the University of Rochester and a postdoctoral fellowship in Pediatric Psychology at Brown.
I am honored to be nominated for the position of Division 54 president. During my 18 years as a member of the Society of Pediatric Psychology, the scope and influence of the Division have grown significantly to remain current with the compelling health and policy issues impacting children of today.
As an obesity researcher, I am invested in health promotion across a continuum of health levels and care settings—from studying physical activity interventions for obese adolescents to adapting the Livestrong program to enhance the well being of pediatric cancer survivors. Division 54 has made tremendous strides in moving science into real-world practice and enhancing health outcomes of families from low-income and diverse backgrounds. Continued growth in these directions requires dissemination as well as adaptation of evidence-based strategies to the communities where children live and play.
If given the opportunity, I would build upon the Division’s strong focus on evidence-based practice to extend to community dissemination. We will work toward this goal by training pediatric psychologists to have the foresight and critical thinking skills to enhance existing interventions to better meet the needs of children and families. It would be a privilege to serve as Division 54 president.