Garland Hall

Current Research Areas

Broadly, the Child Stress and Coping Lab (CSCL) conducts research addressing issues related to the coping and adaptation of children and families experiencing extreme stress, such as pediatric chronic illness. The vast majority of our data is collected via online survey. Community emerging adults (18- to 25-years-old) and parents of young children are recruited to participate by students in an upper level laboratory course. At this time, our research projects primarily fall into one of more of the below Special Interest Groups (SIGs). Within each SIG, we aim to incorporate cultural perspectives, as well as team science approaches to research projects.

  1. Pain led by Nina LinnemanThe Pain SIG broadly encompasses research issues and projects in pediatric pain including treatment and management of acute and chronic pain, psychosocial functioning, family functioning, adherence, provider perspectives, multidisciplinary team science, and ethics of pain treatment efforts from a biopsychosocial model.
  2. Transition to Adulthood led by Amy Lang ( The Transition to Adulthood SIG focuses on research aimed to promote a more successful transition to adulthood for adolescents and young adults with chronic health conditions. Current projects include the influence of diagnosis disclosure, symptom dismissal, illness identity, and health competence on emerging adults’ health-related quality of life.
  3. Pediatric Feeding and Sleep led by Paulina Lim ( The Feeding and Sleep SIG promotes the study of psychological aspects in three key areas of pediatric behavioral health: 1) parent-child sleep behaviors, 2) bed-sharing perspectives and practices, and 3) feeding problems and disorders.
  4. Medical Communication and Family Processes led by Katie Balistreri ( This SIG aims to understand medical communication and family processes in order to improve outcomes for children with medical conditions and their families. Current projects include perceptions of medical communication in the PICU and/or when prescribed medication, sibling caregivers, family psychological safety, and the impact of pediatric medical conditions on child and family distress.
  5. Sleep led by W. Hobart Davies ( The Sleep SIG focuses on the contributing factors for poor sleep quality and quantity, as well as negative consequences of poor sleep quality and quantity among young adults and parents.

Key External Collaborators

The Child Stress and Coping Lab has multiple ongoing collaborative research projects. Below is a list of our current key external research collaborators:

  1. Gastroenterology (GI)/Feeding Clinic (Medical College of Wisconsin): Research topics in the Children’s Wisconsin GI/Feeding Clinic include quality of life of youth with constipation and enuresis, treatment outcomes for youth with elimination disorders, quality of life with feeding disorders, parenting stress and meal time behaviors, and coding of feeding observations.
  2. Jane B. Pettit Pain & Headache Center (Medical College of Wisconsin and Children’s Wisconsin): Research topics with the CHW Pain Clinic include long term treatment outcomes, sibling relationships, quality of life, anxiety sensitivity, complementary and alternative medicine, and experiences of pain dismissal.
  3. Critical Care (Medical College of Wisconsin and Children’s Wisconsin): Research related to critical care is being conducted in collaboration with the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and the Special Needs Program at Children’s Wisconsin and focuses on improving the well-being of children with serious complex medical conditions and their families. Research topics include family stress/distress, provider and interpreter secondary traumatic stress, provider communication, measure development, and the use of text-based data collection with parents.
  4. Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science (RFUMS): There are multiple ongoing research projects being conducted with RFUMS faculty and students, primarily focused on adherence and transitional services for adolescents and young adults with chronic health conditions.
  5. Primary Care Pediatrics (Children’s Wisconsin and Midtown Pediatrics Clinic): Utilizing an integrated behavioral health approach, research projects within these pediatric clinics focus on interventions aimed to promote child and adolescent sleep, primarily Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I).
  6. Next Door Foundation: Next Door is a community foundation focused on supporting child development through family-based interventions aimed to promote academic, physical, and emotional success. Current projects with Next Door Foundation are focused on supporting healthy sleep.
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