John M. Chaney's Pediatric Psychology Behavioral Health Lab

About the lab

Dr. Chaney's primary area of research addresses psychosocial adjustment challenges in youth with a variety of pediatric chronic illnesses. Currently, Dr. Chaney and his lab are initiating a collaborative investigation with faculty at the OU Health Sciences Center that examines adjustment outcomes in youth with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This line of research is intended to examine a variety of variables associated with youth outcomes from a resource model of self-regulation perspective. It is hoped that through examining variables such as stigma, illness uncertainty, and thwarted belongingness, and their relation to youth depressive symptoms, new insights will emerge and contribute to our understanding of adjustment issues faced by youth with IBD.

Featured projects (1)

This study seeks to identify how parent and child cognitive appraisals as well as parenting capacity variables contribute to emotional, behavioral, and social adjustment in youth diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and their parents. We are also interested in examining the influence of perceived illness-related stigma on social functioning, and its impact on youth and parent adjustment outcomes.

Featured research (9)

Objective Illness stigma, or perceived stigma related to a chronic health condition, is pervasive among youth with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). However, no studies exist examining the psychometric properties of illness stigma measures in this population. Using a modified version of the Child Stigma Scale originally developed for youth with epilepsy, the current study investigated the factor structure and validity of this adapted measure (i.e., Stigma Scale - Child; SS-C) in youth with IBD. Methods Factor analyses were conducted to determine the most parsimonious factor structure for the adapted 8-item Stigma Scale – Child in a sample of 180 youth with IBD. Correlations were conducted to assess convergent validity, and a multiple regression was conducted to further evaluate the measure's predictive validity of child depressive symptoms. Results The most parsimonious model for the SS-C is a one-factor solution with an error covariance between the two items assessing concealment/disclosure of IBD diagnosis. Conclusions The SS-C is a psychometrically sound illness stigma measure in pediatric IBD that demonstrates strong convergent validity with psychosocial adjustment factors such as thwarted belongingness, illness uncertainty, and illness intrusiveness, as well as strong predictive validity with youth depressive symptoms. The SS-C is a viable option for use as a brief screener in youth with IBD across clinical and research settings.
Purpose The stigmatizing nature of IBD symptoms may place youth at risk for being targets of peer victimization, potentially resulting in a decreased sense of social belongingness and poorer emotional adjustment. The present study tested a series of mediation and moderated mediation models examining the associations among peer victimization, thwarted social belongingness, and depressive symptoms, as well as the moderating role of IBD stigma in these associations. We hypothesized peer victimization would have an indirect effect on youth depressive symptoms through thwarted belongingness, and this effect would be amplified for youth endorsing greater IBD stigma. Design and methods Seventy-five youth (10–18 yrs.) diagnosed with IBD were recruited from a pediatric gastroenterology clinic. Participants completed self-report measures of IBD stigma, peer victimization, thwarted belongingness, and depressive symptoms. Results As anticipated, mediation analyses revealed a significant peer victimization → thwarted belongingness → depressive symptoms indirect path. Moderated mediation analyses indicated that this indirect effect was moderated by IBD stigma and was significantly greater among youth reporting higher IBD stigma. Conclusions Youth who experience higher levels of IBD-related stigma are at increased risk for depressive symptoms as a function of the socially isolating effects of peer victimization. Practice implications Our findings highlight the need for routine screening and identification of the socioemotional challenges faced by youth with IBD. Clinical interventions that incorporate coping strategies aimed at minimizing youths' stigmatizing self-perceptions and improving overall social skills and social engagement may lessen the negative impact of peer victimization on youths' social and emotional adjustment.
Objective Examine the indirect association between parents’ experience of stigma (i.e., associative stigma) and youth depressive symptoms through the serial effects of associative stigma on parent and youth illness intrusiveness in pediatric inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Methods During routine clinic visits, 150 youth with well-controlled IBD (ages 10–18 years) completed measures of perceived illness intrusiveness and depressive symptoms. Parents completed measures of associative stigma and illness intrusiveness. Pediatric gastroenterologists provided ratings of IBD disease severity. Results Structural equation modeling revealed significant direct associations for associative stigma → parent illness intrusiveness, parent illness intrusiveness → youth illness intrusiveness, and youth illness intrusiveness → youth depressive symptoms. Results also revealed a significant associative stigma → parent illness intrusiveness → youth illness intrusiveness→ youth depressive symptoms serial mediation path, indicating that parents’ experience of associative stigma indirectly influenced youth depressive symptoms through its sequential effects on parent and youth perceived illness intrusiveness. Conclusions Parents who face stigma related to their child’s IBD (i.e., associative stigma) are more likely to experience IBD-induced lifestyle intrusions (i.e., illness intrusiveness), which in turn is associated with youths’ illness intrusiveness and ultimately youth depressive symptoms. These findings provide further evidence for the important role of illness-related stigma in pediatric IBD, particularly the transactional relation between parents’ associative stigma and youths’ illness appraisals and emotional functioning. The clinical implications of our results for addressing adjustment difficulties in youth with IBD are also discussed.
Background: Youth who experience IBD-associated stigma may manifest increased worry about aversive symptoms that can intrude on their participation in routine activities (e.g., school, social events), potentially resulting in limited opportunities for reinforcement and increased depressive symptoms. The present study examined an IBD stigma → IBD worry → illness intrusiveness → depressive symptoms serial mediation model, in which stigma was hypothesized to confer an indirect effect on youth depressive symptoms through the serial effects of stigma on IBD worry and illness intrusiveness. Methods: Youth with IBD (N = 90) between the ages of 10-18 years were recruited from a pediatric gastroenterology clinic and completed measures of IBD stigma, IBD worry, illness intrusiveness, and depressive symptoms. Results: In addition to several independent direct effects among the modeled variables, results revealed a significant IBD stigma → IBD worry → illness intrusiveness → depressive symptoms serial mediation path (effect = 0.63, 95% CI = 0.22 to 1.20), controlling for youth sex and IBD severity. Conclusions: The experience of IBD-related stigma may prompt increased worry about IBD symptoms, independent of the influence of disease activity. Further, heightened worry appears to amplify youths' experience of IBD-imposed limitations on routine and rewarding activities, increasing their risk for experiencing depressive symptoms. Our findings highlight the importance of regular screening for depressive symptoms, as well as the identification of potential risk factors associated with emotional adjustment difficulties. Stigma-specific treatment modules could be integrated within existing cognitive-behavioral approaches for reducing worry and depressive symptoms in youth with IBD.
Perceived illness stigma is associated with increased depressive symptoms in youth with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), but the mechanisms by which stigma influences emotional adjustment remain unclear. It is possible that youth with IBD who are more present-focused and better able to come to terms with aspects of their disease that are less controllable (i.e. are mindful) may develop more adaptive strategies when facing illness uncertainty, resulting in more positive emotional adjustment. The present study examined the indirect association between illness stigma, illness uncertainty, depressive symptoms, and the potential moderating effect of mindfulness on this process. One hundred and seven youth (56 female, 51 male; Mage = 14.73) with IBD completed measures of illness stigma (SS-C), illness uncertainty (CUIS), depressive symptoms (CDI-2), and trait mindfulness (MAAS-A). Analyses revealed a significant SS-C → CUIS → CDI-2 indirect path (β = .686, 95% CI = .1346 to 1.489), which was moderated by MAAS-A (β = −.445, 95% CI = −.972 to −.083). Results indicate that the SS-C → CUIS → CDI-2 indirect path was significant at low, but not medium or high, levels of MAAS-A. Illness uncertainty appears to be a potential route through which stigma impacts emotional adjustment in youth with IBD, particularly for youth characterized by low mindfulness. Clinical interventions that emphasize mindfulness training along with acknowledgement/acceptance of IBD illness factors may help diminish the negative effects of stigma and illness uncertainty on adjustment in this population.

Lab head

John M. Chaney Regents Professor - Oklahoma State
  • Department of Psychology
About John M. Chaney Regents Professor - Oklahoma State
  • John M. Chaney, PhD, is a Regents Professor of Psychology at Oklahoma State University - Stillwater. John's primary research focus is in Pediatric Psychology, particularly youth with chronic inflammatory diseases. He and his lab are currently working on a number of studies examining disease parameters, illness appraisals, and psychosocial adjustment in youth with IBD and their parents.

Members (4)

Caroline M. Roberts
  • Texas Children's Hospital
Marissa Baudino
  • Oklahoma State University - Stillwater
Clayton Scot Edwards
  • Oklahoma State University - Stillwater
Colton Vance Parker
  • Oklahoma State University - Stillwater

Alumni (3)

Kevin Hommel
  • Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Janelle Wagner
  • Medical University of South Carolina
Rachelle R Ramsey
  • Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center