Lamia P. Barakat, PhD

Lamia P. Barakat, PhD, is the director of psychosocial services at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She coordinates psychosocial programs for CHOP’s Division of Oncology.

Areas of Expertise: Adolescents and young adults with cancer, Pediatric psychology, Post-traumatic stress disorder
Locations: Main Campus
Appointments and Referrals: 1-800-TRY-CHOP (1-800-879-2467)

  • Background

    My role is to coordinate psychosocial programs for the Division of Oncology at Children's Hospital to provide the most effective support to our patients and their families. The child’s primary oncologist and/or social worker consult psychologists when they believe children with cancer and their families might benefit from additional support and intervention.

    As the director of Psychosocial Services, I’m proud of the comprehensive, integrated psychosocial care we provide to children with cancer and their families. These services include social work, child life, teacher and school support -- as well as creative arts therapists and psychologists. Our psychosocial staff members are leaders in the field in psychosocial research on child, sibling and family adaptation to cancer and its treatment. They also excel in psychosocial assessment approaches to guide supportive interventions and interventions that promote resilience during treatment and into survivorship.

    Through multiple psychosocial programs for all members of the family, the Division of Oncology provides essential services to help children and their families successfully navigate the diagnosis and treatment process. Typically, every child and family is assigned a social worker and child life specialist. They also have access to hospital teachers and educational liaison to aid school reentry.

    In the Division of Oncology at Children's Hospital, psychological services consider the whole child in the context of their developmental level, family and home life, school and community supports and unique strengths and resources. We're interested in understanding who the child and family were before the diagnosis of cancer and what their hopes and dreams are for the future. Together, after standard psychological and behavioral assessment, we work to establish a plan to meet a set of common goals around management of the cancer and treatment, adaptation to hospitalization and transition back to home and school.

    My own expertise lies in how children and their families come together to address cancer diagnosis and treatment: how they can collaborate and support each other to meet the challenges of childhood cancer, while improving their quality of life. My research involves examining both risk and resilience when chronic medical conditions in childhood are present, particularly within the family and in the larger cultural context.

    In addition to child and caregiver competencies, my work also seeks to understand health disparities relating to follow-up care and participation in clinical research. The ultimate goal is to improve access to the best possible medical and psychosocial treatment for all our children with cancer and their families.


  • Education and Training


    University of Medicine / Dentistry New Jersey, Newark, NJ


    United Healthcare System

    Graduate Degree

    PhD - University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, SC

  • Titles and Academic Titles


    Professor of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

  • Departments and Services
  • Publications



    Hocking MC, Hobbie WL, Deatrick JA, Lucas MS, Szabo MM, Volpe EM, et al. Neurocognitive and family functioning and quality of life among young adult survivors of childhood brain tumors. Clin Neuropsychol. Epub 2011 Jul 4. Cited in PubMed: PMID 21722062. Read the abstract

    Zidani MS, Patterson CA, Pulgarón ER, Robinson MR, Barakat LP. Health-related quality of life and adaptive behaviors of adolescents with sickle cell disease: stress processing moderators. J Clin Psychol Med Settings. Epub 2011 Jun 18. Cited in PubMed: PMID 21681659. Read the abstract

    Kazak AE, Barakat LP, DiTaranto S, Biros D, Hwant WT, Beele D, et al. Screening for psychosocial risk at pediatric cancer diagnosis: the psychosocial assessment tool. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2011 May;33(4):289-94. Cited in PubMed: PMID 21516024. Read the abstract

    Kazak AE, Barakat LP, Hwang WT, DiTaranto S, Biros D, Beele D, et al. Association of psychosocial risk screening in pediatric cancer with psychosocial services provided. Psychooncology. 2011 Jul;20(70:715-23. doi: 10.1002/pon.1972. Epub 2011 Apr 7. Cited in PubMed: PMID 21480432. Read the abstract

    Barakat LP, Alderfer MA. Introduction to special issue: advancing the science of family assessment in pediatric psychology. J Pediatr Psychol. 2011 Jun;36(5):489-93. Epub 2011 Jan 11. No abstract available

    Patterson CA, Barakat LP, Henderson PK, Nall F, Westin A, Dampier CD, et al. Comparing abstract numerical and visual depictions of risk in survey of parental assessment of risk in sickle cell hydroxyurea treatment. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2011 Jan;33(1):4-9. Cited in PubMed: PMID 21178705. Read the abstract


    Pulgarón ER, Salamon KS, Patterson CA, Barakat LP. A problem-solving intervention for children with persistent asthma: a pilot of a randomized trial at a pediatric summer camp. J Asthma. 2010 Nov;47(9):1031-9. Cited in PubMed: PMID 20858029. Read the abstract

    Barakat LP, Schwartz LA, Salamon KS, Radcliffe J. A family-based randomized controlled trial of pain intervention for adolescents with sickle cell disease. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2010 Oct;32(7):540-7. Epub 2010 Aug 3. Cited in PubMed: PMID 20686425.  Read abstract.

    Daniel LC, Grant M, Kothare SV, Dampier C, Barakat LP. Sleep patterns in pediatric sickle cell disease. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2010 Sep;55(3):501-7. Cited in PubMed: PMID 20658622.  Read the abstract  

    Posters and Presentations



    Barakat LP, Marmer P, Schwartz LA. Quality of life of adolescents with cancer: family risks and resources [presentation]. Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association; 2010 Aug; San Diego, CA.

    Kazak AE, Barakat LP, Hocking M, DiTaranto S, Beele D, Mougianis E, et al. Screening for psychological risk in pediatric cancer is feasible and informative for intervention [presentation]. 5th Biennial Cancer Survivorship Research Conference; 2010 Jun; Washington, DD.

    Robinson MR, Daniel LC, Patterson CA, Barakat LP. Moderation of pain, functional ability, and quality of life by SES among youth with sickle cell disease [presentation]. Health Disparities in Children: The Effect of Socioeconomic Status, Education, Race, Parenting, and Neighborhoods. Annual Meeting of the Society for Behavioral Medicine; 2010 Apr; Seattle, WA.

    Schwartz LA, Barakat LP. Minority status, income, and health-related hindrance of goals in adolescents with cancer [presentation]. Health Disparities in Children: The Effect of Socioeconomic Status, Education, Race, Parenting, and Neighborhoods. Annual Meeting of the Society for Behavioral Medicine; 2010 Apr; Seattle, WA.

    Barakat LP, Patterson CA, Robinson MR, Daniel LC. Problem-solving intervention for disease management and school functioning for school-age children with sickle cell disease and their families [presentation]. Health Disparities in Children: The Effect of Socioeconomic Status, Education, Race, Parenting, and Neighborhoods. Annual Meeting of the Society for Behavioral Medicine; 2010 Apr; Seattle, WA.


    Allen SL, O'Hara EA, LeGoff D, Chute D, Barakat LP. Mental state attribution and adaptive social functioning in children with Asperger's disorder [presentation]. Annual Meeting of the National Association of Neuropsychology; 2009 Nov; New Orleans, LA.

    Robinson MR, Barakat LP, Daniel L, O'Hara EA, Nash C, Szabo M. Pain, physical activity, functional abilities and quality of life among youth with sickle cell disease [presentation]. Midwest Conference on Pediatric Psychology; 2009 Apr; Kansas City, MO.

    O'Hara EA, Barakat LP, Robinson MR. Exploring functional ability measures among children and adolescents with sickle cell disease; the functional disability inventory and the child activity limitations questionnaire [presentation]. Midwest Conference on Pediatric Psychology; 2009 Apr; Kansas City, MO.

    Barakat LP, Kazak A. Translating psychological research into practice in pediatrics [presentation]. 117th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association; 2009 Aug; Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

    Invited lectures


    Barakat LP. Family research in pediatric oncology [invited lecture]. N818 Families and Research Doctoral/Postdoctoral Seminar, University of Pennsylvania Nursing Program; 2010 Feb; Philadelphia, PA.

    Barakat LP. Securing your first professional position [invited lecture]. Postdoctoral Psychology Fellows Forum, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia; 2010 Jan; Philadelphia, PA.

  • Editorial and Academic Positions

    Editorial positions

    2008-2013, Associate Editor, Journal of Pediatric Psychology

    2010-2012, Editor, Special Issue on Culture and Families, Journal of Pediatric Psychology

    2008-2010, Editor, Special Issue on Family Assessment, Journal of Pediatric Psychology

    Ad Hoc Reviewer

    Clinical Journal of Pain
    Health Psychology
    Journal of Behavioral Medicine
    Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
    Journal of Family Psychology
    Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
    Pediatric Blood and Cancer
    The Journal of Pain