Dr. Ric Steele earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Georgia in 1998 following an APA-approved Clinical Internship at the University of Tennessee Psychology Internship Consortium. After earning the Ph.D., he completed a 2-year post-doctoral fellowship in the Division of Behavioral Medicine at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. In 2000, Dr. Steele joined the faculty of the University of Kansas, where he currently directs the APA-Accredited Clinical Child Psychology Doctoral Program. Dr. 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, and the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City. Steele is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, and currently serves on the editorial boards for Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, and Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review. Steele is Board Certified (ABPP) in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology and serves as a member of the Psychology Advisory Committee of the Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board.
Post-doctoral Fellowship, Pediatric Psychology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Ph.D., Psychology (Clinical) , University of Georgia
M.S., Psychology (Clinical), University of Georgia
B.S., Psychology , Texas A&M University
Dr. Steele’s teaching preparations include Pediatric Health & Health Promotion (ABSC/PSYC 469), Therapeutic Interventions for Children (ABSC/PSYC 976), and Professional Ethics in Clinical Psychology (PSYC 975). Steele also provides clinical supervision to students in the KU Child and Family Services Clinic. Steele has received several recognitions for his teaching and mentorship including the Byron T. Alexander Graduate Mentor Award (University of Kansas), the Martin P. Levin Mentorship Award (Society of Pediatric Psychology), and the W.T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence (University of Kansas).
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 2020-2021 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, 2019.
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 is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association through Division 38 (Society for Health Psychology), Division 53 (Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology), and Division 54 (Society of Pediatric Psychology). He currently serves on the editorial boards for Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, and Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review. He has served as an Associate Editor for Health Psychology and the Journal of Pediatric Psychology. Steele is Board Certified (ABPP) in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology and serves as a member of the Psychology Advisory Committee of the Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board.
Steele, R. G., Hall, J. & Christofferson, J. (2020). Conceptualizing digital stress in adolescents and young adults: Development of an empirically based model. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 23(1), 15-26. DOI:10.1007/s10567-019-00300-5
Roberts, M. C., & Steele, R. G. (2017). Handbook of pediatric psychology (5th edition), New York: NY: Guilford Press.
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
Mitchell, T. B., Amaro, C. & Steele, R. G. (2016). Pediatric weight management interventions in primary care settings: A meta-analysis. Health Psychology, 35(7), 704-713. DOI:10.1037/hea0000381
Gayes, L. A., & Steele, R. G. (2014). A meta-analysis of motivational interviewing interventions for pediatric health behavior change. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 82(3), 521-535. DOI:10.1037/a0035917
Janicke, D. M., Steele, R. G., Gayes, L. A., Lim, C. S., Clifford, L. M., Schnieder, E. M., Carmody, J. K., & Westen, S. C. (2014). Systematic review and meta-analysis of comprehensive behavioral family lifestyle interventions addressing pediatric obesity. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 39(8), 809-825. DOI:10.1093/jpepsy/jsu023
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
Jelalian, E. & Steele, R. G. (2008). Handbook of childhood and adolescent obesity, New York: Springer.
Steele, R. G., Elkin, T. D., & Roberts, M. C. (2008). Handbook of evidence-based therapies for children and adolescents, New York: Springer.
Selected Awards & Honors
Byron Alexander Graduate Mentor Award
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Kansas
Diane J. Willis Award for Outstanding Article in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology
Society of Pediatric Psychology, American Psychological Association (Division 54)
Fellow, American Psychological Association, Division 54
2008 - Present
Fellow, American Psychological Association, Division 53
2010 - Present
Fellow, American Psychological Association, Division 38
2014 - Present