Willis Awardees

On behalf of the Willis Award Review Committee, it is our pleasure to announce the winner of the Diane Willis Award for Outstanding Article published during 2023 in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology and the Clinical Practice of Pediatric Psychology.

This award honors Diane J. Willis, who served SPP as President and founding Editor of the Journal of Pediatric Psychology and the SPP Newsletter Progress Notes. Articles are selected for this award based on: 

  • Potential to significantly contribute to scholarship in the science and practice of pediatric psychology as evidenced by having a positive impact on the field/topic area by influencing or guiding future research, or having implications for policy, practice, training, and professional developments.
  • Potential for long-lasting utility and value to the field.
  • Demonstration of particular innovation and excellence in approaching the topic for usefulness in application, development of theory, and appropriateness or advancement of methodology and design.
  • Providing an exemplar for others to model.
  • Utilizing a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens in their work.

Journal of Pediatric Psychology 

Winner - Commentary
Competencies for Psychology Practice in Pediatric Palliative Care

Amanda L. Thompson, Megan R. Schaefer, Sarah R. McCarthy, Aimee K. Hildenbrand, Melissa K. Cousino, Meghan L. Marsac, Jill Majeski, Karen Wohlheiter, and Rachel A. Kentor

Winner - Research
Self-Management in Youth With Spina Bifida: Associations With Parent Factors in the Context of a Summer Camp Intervention

Colleen F. Bechtel Driscoll and Grayson N. Holmbeck


Clinical Practice of Pediatric Psychology

Development of an Online Peer Support Program for Adolescents with Food Allergies

Melissa L. Engel, Christopher M. Warren, and Ruchi S. Gupta

Honorable Mention
Referral Outcomes From a Neurocognitive Screening Program for Pediatric Sickle Cell Disease

Jeffrey S. Karst, Meghan Miller, Amy K. Heffelfinger, Robert F. Newby and J. Paul Scott


We encourage the membership to log into the Journal of Pediatric Psychology and the Clinical Practice of Pediatric Psychology to read these outstanding articles.


A huge congratulations to all of the authors on these papers for their outstanding work! And a special thanks to the other members of the Willis Award Review Committee: Maru Barrera, Christina Low Kapalu, and Larry Mullins, for their time and effort in serving in this role.