David Janicke, Ph.D.
Dr. Janicke’s research efforts have focused on building a successful program of research related to pediatric obesity, including a specific emphasis on translation and dissemination of treatments for pediatric obesity, psychosocial adjustment of overweight and obese youth, and health service utilization in overweight and obese youth. A secondary focus of his research is on psychosocial adjustment and treatment adherence in children with acute and chronic health conditions (for more details, see Research Narrative below). He has also made significant contributions to the scientific literature; pursued and received extramural funding; provided research opportunities for undergraduate students, graduate students, psychology interns, and post-doctoral fellows; participated in multidisciplinary collaborative research with investigators from the College of Public Health and Health Professions (Behavioral Science and Community Health; Health Services Research, Management and Policy; Epidemiology and Biostatistics; Physical Therapy; Florida Center for Medicaid and the Uninsured), College of Medicine (Endocrinology; Gastroenterology; General Pediatrics), and IFAS.
Dr. Janicke’s clinical efforts have centered on assessment and treatment of pediatric related health conditions and adjustment to such conditions. These include developmental and psychoeducational evaluations, organ transplant evaluations, assessment and treatment of children and adolescents suffering from gastroenterological related disorders, assessment and treatment of pediatric obesity, and psychosocial interventions addressing treatment regimen adherence and psychosocial adjustment in children with acute and chronic health conditions. He is also a member of the multi-disciplinary Feeding Aversion Clinic.
Graduate level courses in pediatric psychology and child treatment; teaching, clinical supervision, and professional mentorship of graduate students, pre-doctoral psychology interns, and post-doctoral fellows; supervision of master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation research; supervision of undergraduates, including honors theses and senior theses.
Dr. Janicke follows a mentorship model in providing research supervision. He has served as Chair on thirteen completed doctoral dissertations. He currently is serving as Chair or co-Chair on eight additional doctoral dissertations. His students continue to produce dissertation research in a variety of pediatric focused areas including obesity, sleep, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, sickle cell disease, HIV-AIDS, and pediatric transplantation. His students have also used virtual human technology to examine the potential impact of physician bias (i.e., race, gender, weight) on health disparities. In 2007 and 2011 Dr. Janicke was awarded the “Graduate Research Mentor of the Year Award” by the doctoral students in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology. In 2014, Dr. Janicke was awarded the College of Public Health and Health Professions’ “Doctoral Mentor of the Year”.
Dr. Janicke’s empirical work centers around the area of children’s health, with a particular focus on childhood obesity. His research has four major foci: (1) translational research on behavioral family treatment of pediatric obesity, (2) factors impacting psychosocial functioning in pediatric obesity, (3) psychosocial adjustment of families of children with chronic health conditions and (4) health service utilization and pediatric obesity. For a list of publication, see Dr. Janicke’s Curriculum Vita.
Translational Research on Behavioral Treatment of Obesity
Dr. Janicke’s main area of interest is translational research intended to promote the dissemination of obesity interventions for individuals in underserved settings, with a primary focus on children. Unique aspects of his work include: (a) comparing family-based vs. parent-only interventions to address lifestyle change in children, and (b) designing interventions (group leader training protocol) to be delivered to families in underserved rural settings through the cooperative extension service. Financial support for Dr. Janicke’s work in the treatment of pediatric obesity has come from Federally (NIH) and State (Florida Agency for Health Care Administration) funded grants. Dr. Janicke is currently the PI on an NHLBI randomized clinical trial examining the efficacy of a cognitive behavioral intervention in improving sleep in overweight and obese youth with sleep problems. Secondarily, this study is examines if changes in sleep are associated with changes in dietary intake and physical activity.
Psychosocial Adjustment of Children Who are Overweight or Obese
Dr. Janicke is also conducting on-going research examining psychosocial adjustment and barriers to treatment adherence in overweight and obese children. This includes factors impacting quality of life, self-esteem, weight-based stigmatization, extreme versus health weight control behaviors, perceptions of weight status, and rates of psychiatric diagnosis associated with pediatric obesity. His students have also developed, and are currently testing, a measure of cyber-bullying in youth.
Adjustment and Treatment Adherence in Children with Acute/Chronic Health Conditions.
Dr. Janicke also conducts broad based research on adjustment and treatment adherence related to acute and chronic pediatric health conditions. Representative research in this area includes adherence to dietary interventions, post-traumatic stress reactions subsequent to diagnosis of a chronic illness, quality of life research, psychosocial functioning and adherence related GI difficulties/conditions.
Pediatric Health Service Utilization
One of Dr. Janicke’s earliest lines of research focuses on factors related to pediatric health service utilization, most notably the impact of child and parent psychosocial functioning on health service use. Recently, this line of research has expanded to examine the impact of child weight status and obesity on health service use and expenditures. Financial support for his recent research in this area has come from two grants from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. He is currently conducting a longitudinal study examining the impact of child weight status and psychosocial functioning on health service use and expenditures. This project will be useful in informing policy makers of the potential cost savings associated with financial support for obesity prevention and treatment.