Yelena Wu, PhD

Research Interests

  • Pediatric Psychology
  • Clinical Child Psychology
  • Risk Communication
  • Familial Melanoma
  • Treatment Adherence
  • Cancer Genetics


  • English

Academic Information

  • Departments: Family and Preventive Medicine - Assistant Professor, Pediatrics - Adjunct Assistant Professor, Population Health Sciences - Adjunct Assistant Professor
  • Divisions: Cancer Population Science, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Public Health
  • Cancer Center Programs: Cancer Control & Population Sciences

Academic Office Information

  • 375 Chipeta Way, Room: Suite A
    Salt Lake City, UT 84108

Academic Bio

Dr. Wu is a pediatric and clinical child psychologist. She is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Public Health, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, and an Associate Member of the Cancer Control and Population Sciences Program at Huntsman Cancer Institute. The overall goal of her research is to improve children’s health outcomes by promoting self-management and disease management. In particular, Dr. Wu is interested in improving adherence to medical recommendations among adolescents and young adults with cancer and children who are at elevated risk for melanoma.Dr. Wu’s research interests fall within three main areas:The first area is examining the socioecological factors that influence adherence, including individual, family, and systems-level factors. She is especially interested in patient developmental influences, the role of patient and family social networks, barriers to engagement in critical health behaviors, and provider communication with families.The second area includes using a socioecological framework to design and test developmentally-appropriate psychosocial and multidisciplinary interventions that promote optimal development, physical health, and psychosocial outcomes. These behavioral interventions address modifiable patient, family, and provider factors that influence child and family self-management. For example, Dr. Wu's work in this area includes testing new family-focused behavioral interventions for children who are at-risk for melanoma that incorporate risk communication and behavioral strategies to promote adherence. Dr. Wu also has interests in using eHealth and mHealth to deliver assessments and health promotion interventions.The third area comprises of advancing translation of evidence-based assessments and interventions into clinical practice, including interventions that increase adherence to medical regimens, as strategies to improve health and psychosocial outcomes. This work includes testing the effectiveness of evidence-based interventions in practice, spreading interventions to a wider range of healthcare providers, and addressing barriers to intervention implementation.Read more at:

Education History

Type School Degree
Postdoctoral Fellowship Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Center for Adherence and Self-Management, Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology
Postdoctoral Fellow
Internship Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology
Predoctoral Internship
Doctoral Training University of Kansas
Clinical Child Psychology, Minor in Quantitative Psychology
Graduate Training University of Kansas
Clinical Child Psychology
Undergraduate University of California Berkeley

Selected Publications

Journal Article

  1. Wu YP, Yi J, McClellan J, Kim J, Tian T, Grahmann B, Kirchhoff AC, Holton A, Wright J (2015). Barriers and facilitators of healthy diet and exercise among adolescent and young adult cancer survivors: Implications for behavioral interventions. J Adolesc Young Adult Oncol, 4(4), 184-191.
  2. Wu YP, Reiter-Purtill J, Zeller MH (2014). The role of social support for promoting quality of life among persistently obese adolescents: importance of support in schools. J Sch Health, 84(2), 99-105.
  3. Wu YP, Hommel KA (2014). Using technology to assess and promote adherence to medical regimens in pediatric chronic illness. J Pediatr, 164(4), 922-7.
  4. Wu YP, Rohan JM, Martin S, Hommel K, Greenley RN, Loiselle K, Ambrosino J, Fredericks EM (2013). Pediatric psychologist use of adherence assessments and interventions. J Pediatr Psychol, 38(6), 595-604.
  5. Wu YP, Pai AL, Gray WN, Denson LA, Hommel KA (2013). Development and reliability of a correction factor for family-reported medication adherence: Pediatric inflammatory bowel disease as an exemplar. J Pediatr Psychol, 38(8), 893-901.
  6. Wu YP, Steele RG (2013). Predicting health-related quality of life from the psychosocial profiles of youth seeking treatment for obesity. J Dev Behav Pediatr, 34(8), 575-82.
  7. Wu YP, Geldhof J, Roberts MC, Parikshak S, Amylon MD (2013). Initial examination of a new questionnaire assessing perceived social support in summer camp and home environments for children with cancer and their siblings. Child Health Care, 42(1), 67-84.
  8. Steele RG, Wu YP, Cushing CC, Jensen CD (2013). Evaluation of child health matters: a web-based tutorial to enhance school nurses' communications with families about weight-related health. J Sch Nurs, 29(2), 151-60.
  9. Wu YP, Hilliard ME, Rausch J, Dolan LM, Hood KK (2013). Family involvement with the diabetes regimen in young people: The role of adolescent depressive symptoms. Diabetic Medicine Online, 30(5), 596-602.
  10. Modi AC, Wu YP, Guilfoyle SM, Glauser TA (2012). Uninformed clinical decisions resulting from lack of adherence assessment in children with new-onset epilepsy. Epilepsy Behav, 25(4), 481-4.
  11. Wu YP, Prout K, Roberts MC, Parikshak S, Amylon MD (2011). Assessing experiences of children attending a camp for children with cancer and their siblings: A preliminary study. Child Youth Care Forum, 40, 121-133.
  12. Wu YP, Steele RG (2011). The development and evaluation of a measure assessing school nurses' perceived barriers to addressing pediatric obesity. J Sch Nurs, 27(5), 372-9.
  13. Wu YP, Aylward BS, Steele RG (2010). Associations between internalizing symptoms and trajectories of medication adherence among pediatric renal and liver transplant recipients. J Pediatr Psychol, 35(9), 1016-27.
  14. Wu YP, Aylward BS, Steele RG, Maikranz JM, Dreyer ML (2008). Psychosocial functioning of pediatric renal and liver transplant recipients. Pediatr Transplant, 12(5), 582-7.


  1. Wu YP, Pai AL (2014). Health care provider-delivered adherence promotion interventions: a meta-analysis. [Review]. Pediatrics, 133(6), e1698-707.
  2. Wu YP, Roberts MC (2008). A meta-analysis of interventions to increase adherence to medication regimens for pediatric otitis media and streptococcal pharyngitis. [Review]. J Pediatr Psychol, 33(7), 789-96.