A photo of Meghan McGrady.

Meghan E. McGrady, PhD

  • Program Leader, Young Adult Oncology Psychosocial Program
  • Pediatric Psychologist, Research, Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology
  • Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics



I am a pediatric psychologist and researcher whose work focuses on promoting health behavior change, including medication adherence, among adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with cancer.

For many adolescents and young adults with cancer, treatment includes a variety of complex health behaviors, such as taking multiple medications at varied dosing schedules. Following treatment recommendations can be difficult, but it can result in better health outcomes. The goal of my research is to develop and test new interventions to help make it easier for adolescents and young adults with cancer to adhere to their treatment recommendations.

I first became interested in this line of research as a psychology doctoral student when I volunteered at a camp for teens with type 1 diabetes. I watched teens balance their day-to-day activities, such as hiking, sports, and spending time with friends, with the tasks required for self-management — things like checking their blood sugar and administering insulin. As I gained an appreciation of the challenges of managing a medical condition as an adolescent or young adult, I began to consider how I could contribute to adherence science.

To prepare me for a career in adherence science, I obtained specialized training in this field, including a National Institutes of Health T32 postdoctoral fellowship. Since starting my faculty position at Cincinnati Children's in 2014, I have developed a research career focused on finding solutions that will help make it easier for adolescents and young adults with cancer adhere to treatment recommendations.

I'm also a proud mom, hiking enthusiast, triathlete, and music lover.

BA: Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, IL, 2006.

MA: University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, 2009.

PhD: University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, 2012.

Internship: Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, 2012.

Fellowship: NIH T32 Postdoctoral Fellowship (T32HD068223), Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, 2014.


Treatment adherence; adolescents and young adults; oncology

Research Areas

Clinical Psychology


Editorial: Recommendations on inclusive language and transparent reporting relating to diversity dimensions for the Journal of Pediatric Psychology and Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology. Modi, AC; Beal, SJ; Becker, SP; Boerner, KE; Burton, ET; Chen, D; Crosby, LE; Hilliard, ME; Hood, AM; Kahhan, NA; et al. Journal of Pediatric Psychology. 2024; 49:1-12.

Ethical considerations in using sensors to remotely assess pediatric health behaviors. Psihogios, AM; King-Dowling, S; Mitchell, JA; McGrady, ME; Williamson, AA. American Psychologist. 2024; 79:39-51.

Feasibility of Electronic Medication Monitoring Among Adolescents and Emerging Adults with Sickle Cell Disease. Hildenbrand, AK; Kidwell, KM; McGrady, ME; Quinn, CT; Crosby, LE; Mara, CA. Patient Preference and Adherence. 2023; 17:3167-3171.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion within Pediatric Adherence Science. Williford, DN; Sweenie, R; Ramsey, RR; McGrady, ME; Crosby, LE; Modi, AC. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings. 2023; 30:330-341.

Barriers to medication adherence among adolescents and young adults with cancer. McGrady, ME; Ketterl, TG; Norris, RE; Perentesis, JP; Pettee, D; Mara, CA; Breen, G; Pai, AL H. Pediatric Blood and Cancer. 2023; 70:e30186.

Systematic Evaluation of the Behavior Change Techniques and Quality of Commercially Available Cancer Self-Management Apps. McGrady, ME; Schwartz, LE; Noser, AE; Klages, KL; Sweenie, R; Breen, G; Ramsey, RR. 2023; 19:e228-e237.

Barriers to medication adherence in children, adolescents, and young adults prescribed anticoagulation. Todd, K; Luchtman-Jones, L; Blackmore, A; Hennessey, C; McGrady, ME. Pediatric Blood and Cancer. 2023; 70:e30076.

Effects of Loss and Gain Incentives on Adherence in Pediatric Weight Management: Preliminary Studies and Economic Evaluation of a Theoretical Trial. Siegel, R; McGrady, ME; Dynan, L; Kharofa, R; Stackpole, K; Casson, P; Siegel, F; Kasparian, NA. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2023; 20:584.

Adherence and Barriers to Inpatient Physical Therapy Among Adolescents and Young Adults with Hematologic Malignancies. McGrady, ME; Perez, MN; Bernstein, J; Strenk, M; Kiger, MA; Norris, RE. Journal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology. 2022; 11:605-610.

Development and Preliminary Validation of a Multidimensional Psychosocial Assessment Strategy for Young Adults With Cancer. McGrady, ME; Mara, CA; Beal, SJ; Chan, SF; Sorge, CE; Pai, AL H. Journal of Pediatric Psychology. 2022; 47:952-963.

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