Bethany Jane Gaffka

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University: 
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
Unit: 
Medicine
Department: 
Child Behavioral Health
Title: 
Clinical Associate Professor
Short bio: 

Bethany J. Gaffka, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Child Behavioral Health and Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases at the University of Michigan.  Dr. Gaffka earned her bachelor’s degree from Bates College and her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Maine.  She completed her internship in pediatric psychology at the University of Florida, and then completed a specialized fellowship in pediatric obesity intervention and research at the University of Florida in 2007.  Dr. Gaffka currently serves as the Associate Director for Psychological Services at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital Pediatric Comprehensive Weight Management Center at the University of Michigan.  Her clinical interests include the behavioral treatment of pediatric obesity, assessment and treatment of psychological comorbidities influencing pediatric obesity, and behavioral health interventions for youth with chronic illness.  Dr. Gaffka’s research focuses on evaluating weight management treatment outcomes, mechanisms by which parents influence child weight status during participation in a pediatric weight management program, barriers to long term retention in weight management intervention, and psychosocial predictors of weight status change.  Dr. Gaffka is funded by the American Heart Association Midwest Affiliate to implement and evaluate a parent-based obesity intervention for parents of obese preschoolers attending Head Start.  Dr. Gaffka is a member of The Obesity Society, American Heart Association, American Psychological Association, and Society of Pediatric Psychology.  Dr. Gaffka also participates on several subcommittees with the Children’s Hospital Association’s FOCUS on a Fitter Future.

Research summary: 

Dr. Gaffka’s research interests include development and evaluation of pediatric weight management interventions, mechanisms by which parents influence child weight status during participation in a pediatric weight management program, barriers to long term retention in weight management intervention, and psychosocial predictors of weight status change. 

Recent publications: 

Sarah Hampl; Michelle Demeule; Ihuoma Eneli; Maura Frank; Mary Jane Hawkins; Shelley Kirk; Patricia Morris; Bethany J. Sallinen; Melissa Santos; Wendy L. Ward; et al. Parent perspectives on attrition from tertiary care pediatric weight management programs. Clinical Pediatrics. 2013;52(6):513-519.

Bethany J. Sallinen; Fauziya Hassan; Amy Olszewski; Angela Maupin; Timothy F. Hoban; Ronald D. Chervin; Susan J. Woolford. Longer weekly sleep duration predicts greater 3-month BMI reduction among obese adolescents attending a clinical multidisciplinary weight management program. Obesity Facts. 2013;6(3):239-246.

Daniel E. Ehrmann; Bethany J. Sallinen; Heidi B. Iglayreger; Paul M. Gordon; Susan J. Woolford. Slow and steady: Readiness, pretreatment weekly strengthening activity, and pediatric weight management program completion. Childhood Obesity. 2013;9(3):193-199.