Ric G. Steele , Ph.D., ABPP

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - Clinical Child Psychology Program
Professor and Director, Clinical Child Psychology Program
Primary office:
Dole Human Development Center
Room 2013
University of Kansas
1000 Sunnyside Avenue
Lawrence, KS 66045


Dr. Steele received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Georgia in 1998. Following his APA-approved Clinical Internship at the University of Tennessee Psychology Internship Consortium, he completed a 2-year Post-doctoral fellowship in the Division of Behavioral Medicine at the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. Steele is a professor of Psychology and Applied Behavioral Science, and Directs the APA Accredited Clinical Child Psychology Program. Steele has published more than 90 empirical articles, approximately 40 chapters and reviews, and 6 books. Steele's empirical research has been funded by grants from the US DHHS Maternal Child Health Bureau, the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City, and the NIH. He currently serves on the editorial boards for Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, and he has served as an Associate Editor for Health Psychology and the Journal of Pediatric Psychology. Steele is a recipient of the Byron Alexander Graduate Mentor Award (University of Kansas; 2013), the Martin P. Levin Mentorship Award (Society of Pediatric Psychology, 2012), and the W.T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence (University of Kansas, 2006).


Dr. Steele teaches courses and mentors students in the Clinical Child Psychology Program at the University of Kansas.  He will be accepting applications this fall for a new graduate student for the 2019-2020 academic year.  Potential students interested in digital health, measurement, and health-related quality of life are encouraged to apply.  The deadline for applications is December 1, 2018. 

Teaching Interests

  • Pediatric Health Promotion
  • Clinical Child Psychology
  • Therapeutic Interventions for Children
  • Child Behavior and Personality Assessment


Dr. Steele's program of research is broadly concerned with the promotion of physical and mental health in children, adolescents, and families across a continuum of health risk categories. Within this broad area, his research has focused on adherence to medical treatments in children with chronic illness, the promotion of weight-related health in children and adolescents, and correlates and predictors of health-related quality of life in healthy children and those with chronic illness. Past grant-funded projects have included a clinic-based intervention for school-aged children with obesity and their families (Positively Fit), and a web-based intervention to help school nurses deliver weight-related health counseling to school-aged children and their families (Responding to the Crisis). Dr. Steele is currently exploring factors associated with digital stress and digital health in adolescents and young adults. A current funded project seeks to develop a valid and reliable measure of digital stress. Using this measure, future work will examine predictors and correlates of digital stress in the larger context of pediatric quality of life. Steele will be accepting applications this fall for a new graduate student for the 2019-2020 academic year. Potential students interested in digital health, measurement, and health-related quality of life are encouraged to apply.

Research Interests

  • Pediatric Health Promotion
  • Digital Stress
  • Health-related Quality of Life
  • Pediatric Psychology


American Psychological Association

  • Division 12, Society of Clinical Psychology (Member)
  • Division 38, Society for Health Psychology (Fellow)
  • Division 53, Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (Fellow)
  • Division 54, Society of Pediatric Psychology (Fellow)

Selected Publications

Selected Books

Steele, R.G. & Roberts, M.C. (Eds.). (in development). Handbook of evidence-based therapies for children and adolescents (2nd ed.).  New York: Springer.

Roberts, M.C., & Steele, R.G. (Eds.). (2017). Handbook of pediatric psychology (5th ed.). New York: Guilford. ISBN: 978-1-4625-2978-0

Jelalian, E., & Steele, R.G. (Eds.). (2008). Handbook of childhood and adolescent obesity.  New York: Springer.  ISBN: 978-0-387-76922-6

Steele, R.G., Elkin, T.D., & Roberts, M.C. (Eds.). (2008). Handbook of evidence-based therapies for children and adolescents.  New York: Springer. ISBN: 978-0-387-73690-7

Steele, R.G., & Roberts, M.C. (Eds.). (2005). Handbook of mental health services for children, adolescents, and families. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.  ISBN: 978-0-306-48560-2

Selected Articles

*Marker, A.M, Steele, R.G., & *Noser, A.E. (in press).  Physical activity and health-related quality of life in children and adolescents: A systematic review and meta-analysis.  Health Psychology.  doi: 10.1037/hea0000653

*Mitchell, T.M. & Steele, R.G. (2017).  Latent profiles of physical activity and sedentary behavior in elementary school-age youth: Associations with health-related quality of life. Journal of Pediatric Psychology. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsx149

Steele, R.G., *Gayes, L.A., Dalton, W.T., Maphis, L., Conway-Williams, E., & Smith, C. (2016).  Change in health-related quality of life in the context of pediatric obesity interventions: A meta-analytic review. Health Psychology, 35(10), 1097-1109. doi: 10.1037/hea0000362

*McGuire, A.B. & Steele, R.G. (2016). Impact of social networking sites on children in military families. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 19(3), 259-269. doi: 10.1007/s10567-016-0206-1

Steele, R.G., Wu, Y.P., Cushing, C.C., & Jensen, C.D. (2013).   Child Health Matters: Evaluation of a web-based tutorial to enhance school nurses’ communications with families about weight-related health. Journal of School Nursing, 29(2), 151-160. doi:10.1177/1059840512446070

Steele, R.G., *Aylward, B.S., *Jensen, C.D., *Cushing, C.C., Davis, A.M., & Bovaird, J.A. (2012).  Comparison of a family-based group intervention for youths with obesity to a brief family intervention: A practical clinical trial of Positively Fit. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 37(1), 53-63.  doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/JSR057  


Selected Awards & Honors

  • 2003 Center for Teaching Excellence Recognition for Graduate Instruction, University of Kansas
  • 2006  W.T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence, University of Kansas
  • 2012  Martin P. Levin Mentorship Award, Levin Foundation and APA Division 54
  • 2012 Diane J. Willis Award for Outstanding Article in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology
  • 2013 Byron Alexander Graduate Mentor Award, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Kansas
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