Adolescent and Young Adult Interest Group


Adolescent/Young Adult Interest Group

Mission: The mission of the Adolescent and Young Adult (AYAs) Interest Group is to provide a structure for Society for Health Psychology Members to have an active role in the advancement of research, practice, policy, social justice and advocacy (e.g., access to care) for AYAs with chronic health conditions, and to raise awareness of the unique developmental needs and challenges that are commonly present in this population.

Primary Goals:

  1. Support training, best practices, and professional development needs of psychologists and allied professionals working with AYAs with chronic health conditions, such as:
    1. Psychosocial and physical health issues specific to AYAs
    2. Psychosocial and systemic issues that impact access to care and transition to adult care
    3. Promote development of standards, guidelines, competencies, and processes that strengthen and advance clinical and professional practice of those working with AYAs
  2. Promote research endeavors that contribute to the growing body of literature in AYA care
    1. Identify research priorities for AYAs with chronic health conditions
    2. Utilize research to address gaps in understanding and/or providing developmentally appropriate clinical care, including considerations of the unique developmental needs for AYAs
    3. Identify and promote the development of new theoretical models, measurement tools, methodological approaches, and interventions specific to AYAs and their unique developmental needs
  3. Boost networking and collaboration amongst AYA care providers
    1. Encourage research and professional partnerships between pediatric and health psychologists, adult-based health care societies, and professionals of other disciplines interested in AYAs
  4. Engage in advocacy efforts, including local and national policy initiatives, and address diversity, inclusion, equality, and social justice issues

Examples of Previous Activities

02/17/21 Webinar: Navigating Challenges in Healthcare Transition for Adolescents and Young Adults (AYAs) with Chronic Pain and Illness: Perspectives and Recommendations for Psychologists

AYA Leadership Team:

Chair: Lila Pereira, PhD

Chair Elect: Jennifer Allen, PhD

Measurement Chair: John Salsman, PhD

Interventions Chair: Megan McComas, MA

Policy Chair: vacant

Adult Representative: Shreela Palit, PhD

Pediatric Representative: Stephanie Hullmann, PhD

Student Representative: Elise McKelvey, MA

**If you are interested in joining the AYA IG, please email