Texas Tech University

Jason Van Allen, Ph.D.

Associate Professor; Director of Clinical Training
Clinical Psychology Program

Email: jason.vanallen@ttu.edu

Phone: (806) 834-7703

Office: 201 Lab: 402


Ph.D., 2013, Clinical Child Psychology,
University of Kansas

Dr. Van Allen will be reviewing applications for the 2022-2023 class.

Jason Van Allen, Ph.D.

Current and Previous Funding

Current NIH/Federal Grant Support

Title: The Effect of Pet Dog Ownership on Empirical Measures of Child Activity
Sponsor: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R03HD095218)
Role: Principal Investigator (Multiple PI with Nathaniel Hall, Ph.D.)

Title: Effectiveness of a Childcare Hands-On Gardening Component for Preventing Preschool Obesity in Different Climatic Zones and Demographic Areas
Sponsor: United States Department of Agriculture/National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Role: Co-I (PI: Muntazar Monsur, Ph.D.)

Title: Dynamic Regulatory Processes in the Transition from Suicidal Ideation to Action: The Roles of Cognitive Control, Emotion-Related Impulsivity, and Sleep
Sponsor: National Institute of Mental Health (R21MH124794)
Role: Co-I (PI: Sarah E. Victor, Ph.D.)

Previous Funding

Title: A Pilot Parent-Focused Telemedicine Intervention for Obesity among Preschoolers in Rural West Texas
Sponsor: Society of Pediatric Psychology (Division 54 of the American Psychological Association)
Role: Principal Investigator

Title: Using Functional Imaging to Examine Mechanisms of the Relative Reinforcing Value of Food
Sponsor: Texas Tech University, Obesity Research Cluster
Role: Principal Investigator (Multiple PI with Tyler Davis, Ph.D.)

Title: Testing an Obesity Intervention Website Using Eye-Tracking and Theory-Based Psychological Measures
Sponsor: Texas Tech University, Obesity Research Cluster
Role: Co-Investigator

Research Interests

My research projects inform the work of our ENERGY (Examining Nutrition, Exercise, and Rest in Growing Youth) Lab.

The ENERGY Lab is dedicated to the study of health behaviors and health behavior change among children, adolescents, and their families. I am motivated to strike a balance between basic science and intervention development/implementation, by conducting research that builds upon the bidirectional relationship of these two components and incorporating basic research into my own intervention design. Specifically, my research program primarily will be focused on the role of goal-attainment processes (including expectations, motivation, and self-control) in health behavior among children with obesity (and health conditions generally), and how the manipulation of these processes through various levels of intervention is associated with health behavior change. Secondarily, I am interested in the use of technology to facilitate behavior change and improve the dissemination of interventions, and in the development and validation of psychological measures related to the above areas of inquiry.

Early projects in my lab are described below, and have 4 overarching objectives:

  1. Understanding the associations - and mechanisms of association - between physical activity, nutrition, and sleep in youths and their caregivers.
  2. To develop and disseminate interventions designed to improve children's health, particularly in the areas of obesity prevention and treatment.
  3. To use advances in technology, including Telemedicine and eHealth, to reach youths in rural areas and to promote engagement in health promoting interventions.
  4. To investigate the role of positive psychology constructs in child and adolescent functioning and health, and to improve the assessment of these constructs in research and clinical settings.

Some key words and phrases that reflect my research interests include pediatric psychology, health psychology, positive psychology, obesity/weight-management interventions, physical activity promotion, and sleep medicine.

Selected Research

  • Schroeder, K., Van Allen, J., Dhurandhar, E., Lancaster, B., Heidari, Z., Cazenave, K., Boone, D., & Erdman, P. (2019). Riding into Health: A case study of an equine-assisted childhood obesity intervention. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16, 4835. doi:10.3390/ijerph16234835
  • Heidari, Z., & Van Allen, J. (2019). Bidirectional effects of sleep and sedentary behavior: Implications for future research. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 44(3), 286-288. doi:10.1093/jpepsy/jsz013
  • Weiss, D., Ostrowski-Delahanty, S., Van Allen, J., Seegan, P., & Marsac, M.L. (2019). Opportunities for nurses to support recovery following pediatric injury: Relationships among posttraumatic stress, hope, and quality of life. Journal for Specialists in Pediatric Nursing, 24(1), e12234. doi:10.1111/jspn.12234
  • Van Allen, J., Littlefield, A. K., & Schmidt, A. T. (2018). Developing a science of training in health service psychology: contextual factors and recommendations for improvement. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 12(4), 262-268.
  • Marsac, M. L., Weiss, D., Kohser, K. L., Van Allen, J., Seegan, P., Winston, F. K., Kassam-Adams, N. (2018). The Cellie Coping Kit for children with injury: initial feasibility, acceptability, and outcomes. Child: Care, Health & Development, 44, 599-606. doi:10.1111/cch.12565
  • Van Allen, J., Noser, A. E., Littlefield, A. K., Seegan, P. L., Clements, M., & Patton, S. R. (2018). Measuring self-efficacy in the context of pediatric diabetes management: psychometric properties of the self-efficacy for diabetes scale. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 43(2), 143-151.
  • Van Allen, J., Lancaster, B., & Seegan, P. L. (2017). A qualitative examination of contributing factors and treatment considerations for pediatric obesity among parents of rural preschoolers. Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology, 5(4), 353-363.
  • Early, M. C., Biggs, B. K., Makanui, K. P., Legerski, J. P., Van Allen, J., Elledge, A. R., & Whiteside, S. P. H. (2017). Specificity of peer difficulties to social anxiety in early adolescence: categorical and dimensional analyses with clinical and community samples. Anxiety, Stress, and Coping, 30(6), 647-660.
  • Van Allen, J., Seegan, P. L., Haslam, A., & Steele, R. G. (2016). Hope mediates the relationship between depression and quality of life among youths enrolled in a family-based pediatric obesity intervention. Children's Health Care.
  • Noser, A. E., Patton, S. R., Van Allen, J., Nelson, M. B., & Clements, M. (2016). Evaluating parents' self-efficacy for diabetes management in pediatric type 1 diabetes. Journal of Pediatric Psychology.
  • Van Allen, J., Steele, R. G., Nelson, M. B., Peugh, J., Egan, A., Clements, M., & Patton, S. (2016). A longitudinal examination of hope and optimism and their role in type 1 diabetes in youths. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 41, 741-749.
  • Mitchell, S. M., Cukrowicz, K. C., Van Allen, J., Seegan, P. L. (2015). The moderating role of trait hope in the relation between painful and provocative events and acquired capability for suicide. Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, 36(4), 249-256.
  • Van Allen, J., Borner, K. B., Gayes, L. A., & Steele, R. G. (2014). Weighing Physical Activity: The Impact of a Family-Based Group Lifestyle Intervention for Pediatric Obesity on Participants' Physical Activity.Journal of pediatric psychology, doi:10.1093/jpepsy/jsu077.
  • Van Allen, J., Kuhl, E. S., Filigno, S. S., Clifford, L. M., Connor, J. M., & Stark, L. J. (2014). Changes in Parent Motivation Predicts Changes in Body Mass Index z-Score (zBMI) and Dietary Intake Among Preschoolers Enrolled in a Family-Based Obesity Intervention. Journal of pediatric psychology, doi:10.1093/jpepsy/jsu052.
  • Van Allen, J., & Steele, R.G. (2012). Associations between changes in hope and changes in physical activity in a pediatric weight-management program. Children's Health Care, 41(4), 344-359.
  • Van Allen, J., & Roberts, M. C. (2011). Critical incidents in the marriage of psychology and technology: A discussion of potential ethical issues in practice, education, and policy. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 42(6), 433-439.
  • Steele, R. G., & Van Allen, J. (2011). Introduction to the special issue on the treatment of pediatric obesity: Bringing contexts and systems into focus. Children's Health Care, 40(3), 171-178.
  • Van Allen, J., Davis, A. M., & Lassen, S. R. (2011). The use of telemedicine in pediatric psychology: Research review and current applications. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 20, 55-66.

Honors and Awards

2019    Excellence in Research Award (College of Arts and Sciences; Texas Tech University)

2011    Marion and Donald Routh Student Research Grant Award (Society of Pediatric Psychology)

2011    Pioneer Classes Dissertation Research Award (University of Kansas) 

2011    Brown Kirschman Award for Research Excellence (University of Kansas)