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Melissa A. Young, MA, PsyD

  • Attending Psychologist, Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology
  • Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics
I always strive to provide the highest level and quality of care for my patients and families.
Melissa A. Young, MA, PsyD



As a pediatric psychologist, my areas of expertise are health psychology and working within multi-disciplinary teams to provide integrated behavioral healthcare for patients and families. I always strive to provide the highest level and quality of care for my patients and families.

I began my clinical training within the Joint Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in January of 2017. During that time, I had the privilege of working with pediatric patients diagnosed with cancer, non-hematological disorders or neurofibromatosis, as well as their siblings and primary caregivers. Through this experience, I unearthed a passion for pediatric health psychology and integrated behavioral healthcare.

I believe every patient and their family's unique experiences and preferences are an integral component of the treatment process. As a provider, I’m afforded the opportunity to spend a snapshot of time with my patients and their families. When I provide care, I feel that there is a bidirectional learning process that occurs. Although my goal is always to empower patients and impart knowledge to them, I feel that it is just as important that I learn and grow as a provider through every interaction with patients and families.

My colleagues and I were recently honored to be awarded the following grants:

  • Society of Pediatric Psychology (SPP): Diversity Anti-Racism Grant. The purpose of this project is to provide underrepresented minority (URM) students research experience, mentoring and networking, as well as the opportunity to co-author a peer-reviewed publication.
  • Sick Kids Pain Centre, A Pilot Feasibility Trial of Problem-Solving Skills Training [Bright IDEAS] Delivered Virtually to Support Caregivers of Youth Living with Chronic Pain during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The purpose of this study is to 1) evaluate the acceptability and feasibility of adapting and virtually delivering the Bright IDEAS program, via videoconferencing, to caregivers of children and adolescents diagnosed with chronic pain, and 2) to assist caregivers with solving challenges and reducing distress during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

At this time, my research interests include assessing and reducing the adverse impact of healthcare disparities on pediatric patients diagnosed with chronic health conditions. I’m also interested in adapting and/or developing evidence-based interventions to target underserved youth and their families to enhance short- and long-term health outcomes.

Prior to beginning my graduate studies, I spent many months studying wild humpback whales in Boston, dusky dolphins in New Zealand, ecotourism in India and Samango monkeys in South Africa! I am very passionate about marine mammals and would spend all of my free time on a boat if we lived near the ocean!

PsyD: Clinical Psychology, Medaille College, Buffalo, NY.

Post-Doctoral Fellowship: The Hospital for Sick Children, Ontario, Canada.

Residency: Joint Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Buffalo, NY.


Pediatric psychology

Services and Specialties

Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology, Adolescent Medicine

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Pediatric Brain Tumor Survivors' Understanding of Friendships: A Qualitative Analysis of ADOS-2 Interview Responses. Desjardins, L; Young, M; Hancock, K; Lai, M; Bartels, U; Vorstman, J; Barrera, M. Journal of Pediatric Psychology. 2022; 47:662-673.

The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Clinical Care: Considerations for Providing Virtual Evidence-Based Care to Youth With High Levels of Needle Fear. Young, MA; Kawamura, J; Patten, J; Goldstein-Leever, A; Loren, D; Gold, A; Munns, C; Barrera, M. Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology. 2022; 10:99-106.

Early trajectory of psychosocial risk in families of children and adolescents newly diagnosed with cancer. Barrera, M; Young, MA; Hancock, K; Chung, J. Supportive Care in Cancer. 2022; 30:1815-1822.

Bright IDEAS problem-solving skills training for caregivers of children with sickle cell disease: A two-site pilot feasibility trial. Young, M; Voll, M; Noll, RB; Fairclough, DL; Flanagan-Priore, C. Pediatric Blood and Cancer. 2021; 68:e28822.

Mindfulness and Acceptance Interventions for Parents of Children and Adolescents Diagnosed with Chronic Medical Conditions: A Systematic Review. Ruskin, D; Young, M; Sugar, C; Nofech-Mozes, J. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2021; 27:120-135.

The Impact of COVID-19 on Pediatric Adherence and Self-Management. Plevinsky, JM; Young, MA; Carmody, JK; Durkin, LK; Gamwell, KL; Klages, KL; Ghosh, S; Hommel, KA. Journal of Pediatric Psychology. 2020; 45:977-982.

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