Sarah Westen, Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. Sarah Westen

Clinical Assistant Professor


Sarah Westen_CV


Ph.D. 2017, University of Florida

M.S. 2015, University of Florida


Sarah Westen, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology at the University of Florida, where she also completed her doctoral training and psychology residency specializing in type 1 diabetes clinical care and research. Dr. Westen is currently the Director of Diabetes Behavioral Medicine and Psychology at UF Health, Chair of the American Psychological Association’s Special Interest Group in Diabetes, and is a member of the JDRF Psychosocial Advisory Committee and a former JDRF National Psychology Fellowship recipient. Prior to coming to the University of Florida, Dr. Westen completed a fellowship at the National Institute of Mental Health as an Intramural Research Training Award recipient.

Professional Memberships

  1. American Psychological Association Division 54
    Chair, Diabetes Special Interest Group
    Member, Adherence Special Interest Group
    Member, Sleep Special Interest Group
  2. JDRF Psychosocial Advisory Committee
  3. Diabetes Consortium in Depression and Psychosocial Screening
  4. American Diabetes Association

Clinical Interests

Dr. Westen’s clinical interests involve the assessment and treatment of biopsychosocial components related to disease management, particularly in type 1 diabetes. For example, she is interested in treating comorbid mental health conditions in patients with type 1 diabetes and in improving overall health outcomes, quality of life, and adjustment. She sees patients and families for outpatient psychotherapy in the UF Psychology Specialties clinic, for outpatient psychology consults in the UF Pediatric Diabetes Clinic, and for inpatient psychology consults. Dr. Westen is passionate about clinical training and supervisors graduate students, psychology interns, and postdoctoral fellows.

Research Focus

Dr. Westen’s clinical research focuses on understanding the biopsychosocial components related to disease management, particularly in type 1 diabetes. She is currently leading projects examining perceived patient barriers to participation in clinical trials; depression screening in pediatric diabetes clinics; the feasibility of telehealth psychological interventions for adolescents with type 1 diabetes; and, sleep, glycemic control, and adherence in pediatric type 1 diabetes. Dr. Westen is also interested how technology and diabetes device downloads may optimize adherence and health outcomes in type 1 diabetes. Her ultimate research goals are to develop interventions to improve quality of life in individuals and families. Dr. Westen’s research has been awarded multiple grants and recognitions, including an NIDDK LRP Grant, Society of Pediatric Psychology Drotar-Crawford Postdoctoral Fellowship Research Grant in Pediatric Psychology, Society of Pediatric Psychology Mary Jo Kupst Trainee Grant for Research in Resilience, and the University of Florida’s prestigious Geoffrey Clark-Ryan Memorial Award for Pediatric Research.

Courses Taught

  1. CLP4302: Introduction to Clinical Psychology
  2. Diabetes Clinic Advanced Practicum
  3. TBD: Resilience in Pediatric Psychology
  4. TBD: Adherence in Pediatric Psychology

Select Honors and Awards

  1. Recipient, NIDDK LRP Grant, Sleep Adherence and Glycemic Control in Pediatric Type 1 Diabetes
  2. Recipient, JDRF National Psychology Fellowship
  3. Recipient, Drotar-Crawford Postdoctoral Research Grant in Pediatric Psychology
  4. Recipient, Mary Jo Kupst Trainee Award for Research in Resilience
  5. Recipient, Geoffrey Clark-Ryan Memorial Award for Pediatric Research

Representative Publications

  1. Westen, S.C., Mitchell, T., Mayer-Brown, S., Resmini Rawlinson, A., Ding, K., & Janicke, D. M. (in press). Mother and Father Controlling Feeding Behaviors and Associations with Observed Family Mealtime Functioning. Journal of Pediatric Psychology.
  2. Albanese-O’Neill, A., Schatz, D.A., Thomas, N., Bernhardt, J.M., Cook, C.L., Haller, M.J., Bernier, A.V., Silverstein, J.H., Westen, S.C., & Elder, J.H. (2019). Designing Online and Mobile Diabetes Education for Fathers of Children with Type 1 Diabetes: Mixed Methods Study. JMIR Diabetes, 4(3):e13724. DOI: 10.2196/13724
  3. Westen, S. C., Warnick, J., Albanese-O’Neill, A., Schatz, D., Haller, M., Entessari, M., & Janicke, D. 2019). Objectively-measured adherence in adolescents with type 1 diabetes on multiple daily injections and insulin pump therapy. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 44(1), 21-31. Doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsy064.
  4. Albanese-O’Neill, A., Beauchamp, G., Thomas, N., Westen, S.C., Johnson, N., Schatz, D., Haller, M.J. (2018). Transition Education for Young Adults with Type 1 Diabetes: Pilot Feasibility Study for a Group Telehealth Intervention. JMIR Diabetes,3(4):e10909. doi: 10.2196/10909.
  5. Balkhi, A., Reid, A., Westen, S. C., Olsen, B., Janicke, D., & Geffken, G. (2015). Teleheath interventions to reduce management complications in type 1 diabetes: A review. World Journal of Diabetes, 15:6(3), 371-379.