Diabetes Special Interest Group


The Diabetes Special Interest Group promotes the use of evidenced-based approaches to assess and treat the biopsychosocial factors associated with morbidity in diabetes.

Our specific goals are to:

  1. Increase collaborative opportunities between pediatric psychologists who conduct research and provide clinical care to pediatric patients with diabetes and their families.

  2. Promote an integrated team approach to the medical management of pediatric patients with diabetes and their families.

  3. Provide assessment and treatment resources to researchers and clinicians who work with pediatric patients with diabetes and their families.

  4. Train and mentor new diabetes-focused researchers and clinicians using scientific approaches to the medical and psychological management of diabetes.


Our membership includes a diverse group of Division 54 members. These individuals include trainees, faculty members, and hospital/clinic-based practitioners. Interested in joining the D-SIG? Contact Kathryn Jeter, PhD, D-SIG Secretary.


Senior co-Chair: Ellen O'Donnell, PhD (2017-2019)

Ellen is an Associate Psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and an Instructor at Harvard Medical School in Boston. She has been the pediatric psychologist in the MGH for Children Pediatric Diabetes Center since 2009, providing individual, family and group behavioral health interventions to patients and consultation to the endocrine team. She is currently working on a number of clinical initiatives including the development of a Transitions Program, a multidisciplinary diabetes clinic day, and multimedia outreach programs. As part of the pediatric behavioral medicine program at MGH, she is working to expand training in pediatric psychology in diabetes. Ellen also specializes in neuropsychological assessment. Her research interests are in evaluating clinical programming and in better understanding the impact of learning disabilities such as ADHD on diabetes management. She also consults to diabetes organizations including the New England Chapter of JDRF, ADA, The College Diabetes Network, and diabetes camps Clara Barton and Camp Joslin. She earned her BA in Psychology from Boston College and her PhD in Child Clinical Psychology from Clark University in Worcester. She completed her internship and postdoc in child clinical psychology at MGH.


Co-Chair: Sarah Westen, PhD (2018-2020)

Sarah Westen, PhD, is a pediatric psychology fellow in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology at the University of Florida. She is a recipient of the 2018-2019 National Psychology Fellowship through JDRF (formerly known as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), and is a 2018 Children with Diabetes Friends for Life® fellow. Dr. Westen completed her doctoral training and psychology internship/residency at the University of Florida Health Science Center. She is currently leading projects examining perceived patient barriers to participation in clinical trials; depression screening in pediatric diabetes clinics; the feasibility of telehealth psychological interventions for adolescents with type 1 diabetes; and, sleep, glycemic control, and adherence in pediatric type 1 diabetes. Dr. Westen is further interested in the biopsychosocial aspects of chronic illness in children, young adults, and families (e.g., quality of life, adherence, coping, family management, transition from pediatric to adult care, treatment of comorbid mental health and behavioral conditions). Her research has been awarded multiple grants and recognitions, including the 2018 Society of Pediatric Psychology Drotar-Crawford Postdoctoral Fellowship Research Grant in Pediatric Psychology, 2015 Society of Pediatric Psychology Mary Jo Kupst Trainee Grant for Research in Resilience, and the University of Florida’s prestigious Geoffrey Clark-Ryan Memorial Award for Pediatric Research. She is honored to serve as Co-Chair of the Society of Pediatric Psychology’s Special Interest Group in Diabetes.

Secretary: Kathryn Jeter, PhD (2018-2020)

Kathryn is currently an Assistant Professor in the Section of General & Community Pediatrics at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC). She is a member of the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center (HHDC), which is Oklahoma’s largest diabetes care center. Kathryn provides clinical services in the Pediatric Diabetes and Endocrinology clinic at OU Children’s Physicians to youth with diabetes/endocrine disorders and their families. She also provides inpatient consultation services for the Endocrinology team at OU Children’s Hospital. Kathryn currently participates in a number of diabetes-related clinical and research initiatives, such as the Wavelengths Transition program. She also provides consultation and participates in diabetes camp activities sponsored by HHDC, including Camp Blue Hawk residential summer camp and Camp Blue Hawk Teen Retreat. Kathryn received her Ph.D. from the Combined-Integrated Clinical & Counseling Psychology program at the University of South Alabama. She completed her internship and postdoctoral fellowship specializing in pediatric psychology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. 

Senior Trainee MAL: Carolyn Turek (2017-2019)

Carolyn is a fourth year clinical psychology doctoral student at DePaul University. Carolyn works within a lifespan diabetes center at a local hospital, providing consults and short-term interventions. She also enjoys working with the teen panel at the diabetes center and volunteering with her local JDRF chapter. Carolyn’s research interests include diabetes-specific distress, fear of hypoglycemia, parent-child relationships related to diabetes management, and psychosocial aspects of diabetes technology use. She is looking forward to continuing her involvement in type 1 diabetes research and clinical work, and is thrilled to be a part of the Diabetes SIG Board! Originally from the Chicago suburbs, Carolyn received her BA in psychology from the University of Notre Dame.

Senior Trainee MAL: Sara Turner (2017-2019)

As a doctoral student in Clinical Health Psychology at the University of Utah, Sara’s research and clinical work focus on family management of type 1 diabetes. 

Trainee MAL: Arwen Marker, MA (2018-2020)

Arwen is a fourth year doctoral student in clinical child psychology at the University of Kansas. Arwen is primarily interested in identifying and treating internalizing concerns (e.g. depression and anxiety) in youth with type 1 diabetes and their parents. She currently works with Dr. Susana Patton to administer a group-based intervention to reduce fear of hypoglycemia in parents of young children with type 1 diabetes, helped to develop video educational materials for parents of young children with type 1 diabetes, and is now helping to develop an intervention for caregiver depression in diabetes. Her dissertation work is focused on evaluating depression screening measures that can best identify youth in need of additional treatment during routine diabetes care, and she hopes to work towards better interventions for depression within the context of type 1 diabetes in her future work.  She is excited to be a part of the Diabetes SIG Board and is looking forward to continuing research and clinical work in type 1 diabetes.



Dissemination Committee

Chair: Jessica Parrish, Ph.D.

The dissemination committee is focused on collecting and disseminating resources relevant to pediatric psychologists working with diabetes. These resources might include assessment instruments, intervention materials, training protocols, quality improvement projects, program development ideas, technology resources (apps, games, etc.), and more.  Our role on the committee is to determine the best way to collect and share the materials in the most interactive manner.  It is a great way to discover new tools for your research or clinical work.  If you are interested in joining the Dissemination Committee, please email Jessica: JParrish@psvcare.org

Online & Advocacy Committee

Chair: Jessica Pierce, Ph.D.

The Diabetes Special Interest Group Online and Advocacy Committee promotes the integration of pediatric psychology into diabetes online and advocacy efforts and the dissemination of relevant behavioral/ psychosocial topics related to living with diabetes. The goals are to: 1) increase awareness of the role of pediatric psychologists and other mental health professionals in an integrated approach to diabetes care, 2) share best practices, evidence-based guidelines, and relevant empirical research with the broader diabetes community, 3) promote advocacy efforts among pediatric psychologists for diabetes in general and diabetes related psychological/behavioral issues, and 4) collaborate with the Dissemination Committee to develop a toolbox of diabetes online community resources for patients and their families. If you are interested in joining the Dissemination Committee, please email Jessica: jessica.pierce@nemours.org


Resource Bank (coming soon)

Past Newsletters:
Fall 2018
Fall 2015
Spring 2015
Fall 2014

Progress Notes

Share This Page :