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Julie Boergers, Ph.D.

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Julie Boergers

Title: Associate Professor (Clinical)
Department: Psychiatry & Human Behavior; Pediatrics

+1 401 444 8945

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Overview | Grants/Awards | Teaching | Publications

Dr. Boergers conducts research on childhood sleep disorders, pediatric chronic illnesses (including cancer and inflammatory bowel disease), and adolescent health risk behaviors, such as smoking.


Julie Boergers, Ph.D., earned her doctorate in Child Clinical Psychology from the University of Denver. She completed an internship in Child Clinical/Pediatric Psychology at Children's National Medical Center, and a fellowship in Pediatric Psychology at Brown Medical School before joining the faculty in 1998. Dr. Boergers is a pediatric psychologist who works primarily with children and families who have both medical issues and psychological concerns. She is the Co-Director of the Pediatric Sleep Disorders Clinic, and also provides clinical services to the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic and the Pediatric Gastroenterology Feeding Team, all at Hasbro Children's Hospital. Dr. Boergers participates in the training of interns, residents, and fellows in psychology, psychiatry, and pediatrics at Alpert Medical School. Her primary research interests focus on sleep, pediatric chronic illnesses (including cancer and inflammatory bowel disease), and adolescent health risk behaviors, including smoking.


Teaching Recognition Award, Brown Medical School, 2005


Newsletter Editor, Behavioral Emergencies Update (APA Division 12/Section VII), 1999-2001

Task Force on Pediatric Psychology Training, Society of Pediatric Psychology (APA Division 54), 1999-2000

Program Committee, Pediatric Sleep Medicine National Conference, 2000-present

Funded Research

Asthma and School Functioning in Urban Children (NICHD, 10/1/2009-9/30/2014). Co-investigator (D. Koinis Mitchell, PI). This project assesses the co-occurrence of asthma and allergic rhinitis symptoms, and sleep quality in urban school-aged children using actigraphy and hand-held spirometry.

Development of the Pediatric IBD Behavioral Health Registry (NICHD, 9/1/09-8/31/11). Co-investigator (D. Lobato & N. LeLeiko, co-PI's). This project developed a psychosocial registry of data for Pediatric IBD patients to establish a template for coordinated data collection of behavioral and medical data in pediatric gastrointestinal disorders (Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis).

Nicotine Dependence: Phenotype, Endophenotype and Contexts (Measures and Methodology Core; NCI, 10/01/04-9/30/09). Co-Investigator (R. Niaura, PI). The goal of this project was to identify biopsychosocial pathways involved in nicotine dependence and smoking trajectories across the lifespan.

Family Based Treatment of Early Childhood OCD (NIMH, 7/1/07-6/30/12). Independent Evaluator (J. Freeman, PI). The goal of this project was to compare the relative efficacy of family-based CBT to family- based relaxation treatment in reducing OCD symptoms and associated disability in young children.

Sleep Problems, Mood, and Postpartum Smoking Relapse (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 9/1/04-8/31/07). Principal Investigator. This study examined the role of insufficient sleep and mood problems on smoking relapse during the postpartum period.

Nicotine Dependence: Risk and Recovery over Generations (Measures and Methodology Core; NCI, 10/01/00-9/30/04). Co-investigator (D. Abrams, PI). This project developed a transdisciplinary center for tobacco research, investigating psychosocial and genetic factors in acquisition of and cessation from nicotine dependence.

Immunizing Against Tobacco Use in Pediatric Health Care (NIDA, 9/30/98-8/31/04). Project Director (R. Niaura, PI). This study tested the efficacy of a tailored smoking prevention counseling intervention in 8-13 year old children who presented for health services in an urban primary care clinic.

Biopsychosocial Model of Sleep Medicine (NHLBI, 9/1/01 – 8/31/03). Co-investigator (J. Owens, PI). This project developed a program in sleep medicine education with an emphasis on the biopsychosocial nature of sleep and sleep problems across the lifespan.

Teaching Experience

Dr. Boergers' clinical and teaching interests focus on children and adolescents with pediatric health conditions, including sleep disorders, cancer, feeding disorders, and chronic pediatric illnesses. She presents seminars and provides clinical supervision for interns, residents, and fellows in Psychology and Psychiatry, as well as the Triple Board program. She provides communication skills training for Pediatrics residents. She coordinated the Pediatric Psychology Seminar Series from 1999-2002. Dr. Boergers was the recipient of the Teaching Recognition Award in 2005.

Selected Publications

  • LeLeiko, N.S., Lobato, D., Hagin, S., McQuaid, E., Seifer, R., Kopel, S.J., Boergers, J., Nassau, J., Suorsa, K., Shapiro, J., & Bancroft, B. (2013). Rates and predictors of oral medication adherence in pediatric patients with IBD. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, 19 (4), 832-839.(2013)
  • LeLeiko, N.S., Lobato, D., Hagin, S., Hayes, C., McQuaid, E.L., Seifer, R., Kopel, S.J., Boergers, J., Nassau, J., Suorsa, K., Shapiro, J., & Bancroft, B. (2013 Oct 7, epub ahead of print). 6-Thioguanine levels in pediatric IBD patients: Adherence is more important than dose. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.(2013)
  • Reed-Knight, B., Lobato, D., Hagin, S., McQuaid, E., Seifer, R., Kopel, S.J., Boergers, J., Nassau, J., Suorsa, K., Shapiro, J., Bancroft, B., & LeLeiko, N.S. (in press). Stability of emotional and behavioral functioning in youth with inflammatory bowel disease. Children's Healthcare.(2013)
  • Boergers, J., Gable, C.J., & Owens, J.A. (in press). Later school start time is associated with improved sleep and daytime functioning in adolescents. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.(2013)
  • Colby, S.M., Clark, M., Rogers, M.L., Ramsey, S., Graham, A.L., Boergers, J., Kahler, C.W., Papandonatos, G.D., Buka, S., Niaura, R.S., Abrams, D.B. (2012). Development and reliability of the Lifetime Interview on Smoking Trajectories (LIST). Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 14 (3), 290-298.(2012)
  • Daniel, L.C., Boergers, J., Kopel, S.J., & Koinis-Mitchell, D. (2012). Missed sleep and asthma morbidity in urban children. Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, 109 (1), 41-46.(2012)
  • Greene Welch, J., Mannix, M.M., Boergers, J., Jelalian, E., Barbosa, F., Fujii-Rios, H., Forman, E.N. (2012). Parental interest in a bereavement support visit when a child dies from cancer. Omega: Journal of Death and Dying, 65 (4), 335-346.(2012)
  • Clark, M.A., Rogers, M.L., Boergers, J., Kahler, C., Ramsey, S., Saadeh, F.M., Abrams, D.B., Buka, S.L., Niaura, R., & Colby, S.M. (2012). A transdisciplinary approach to protocol development for tobacco control research: A case study. Translational Behavioral Medicine: Practice, Policy and Research, 2 (4), 431-440.(2012)
  • Boergers, J., & Koinis-Mitchell, D. (2010). Sleep and culture in children with medical conditions. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 35, 915-926.(2010)
  • Donaldson, D., Spirito, A. & Boergers, J. (2010). Treatment engagement with adolescent suicide attempters. In D. Castro-Blanco & M.S. Karver (Eds.), Elusive alliance: Treatment engagement strategies with high-risk adolescents (pp. 207-225). Washington, D.C.: APA Books.(2010)
  • Kahler, C.W., Leventhal, A.M., Daughters, S.B., Clark, M.A., Colby, S.M., Ramsey, S.E., Boergers, J., Abrams, D.B., Niaura, R., & Buka, S.L. (2010). Relationships of personality and psychiatric disorders to multiple domains of smoking motives and dependence in middle-aged adults. Nicotine and Tobacco Research, 12, 381-389.(2010)
  • Mannix, M.M., & Boergers, J. (2010). Late effects of childhood cancer: Neurocognitive, psychological, educational, and socioemotional. The Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter, 26(6).(2010)
  • Gilman, S.E., Rende, R., Boergers, J., Abrams, D.B., Buka, S.L., Clark, M.A., Colby, S.M., Hitsman, B., Kazura, A.N., Lipsitt, L.P., Lloyd-Richardson, E.E., Rogers, M.L., Stanton, C.A., Stroud, L.R., & Niaura, R.S. (2009). Parental smoking and adolescent smoking initiation: an intergenerational perspective on tobacco control. Pediatrics, 123(2), e274-81.(2009)
  • Kahler, C.W., Daughters, S.B., Leventhal, A.M., Rogers, M.L., Clark, M.A., Colby, S.M., Boergers, J., Ramsey, S.E., Abrams, D.B., Niaura, R., & Buka, S.L. (2009). Personality, psychiatric disorders, and smoking in middle aged adults. Nicotine and Tobacco Research, 11, 833-841.(2009)
  • Kahler, C.W., Strong, D.R., Papandonatos, G.D., Colby, S.M., Clark, M.A., Boergers, J., Niaura, R., Abrams, D.B., Buka, S.L. (2008). Cigarette smoking and the lifetime alcohol involvement continuum. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 93, 111-120.(2008)
  • Boergers, J., Hart, C., Owens, J.A., Streisand, R., & Spirito, A. (2007). Child sleep disorders: Associations with parental sleep duration and daytime sleepiness. Journal of Family Psychology, 21, 88-94.(2007)
  • Spirito, A., Valeri, S., Boergers, J., & Donaldson, D. (2003). Predictors of continued suicidal behavior in adolescents following a suicide attempt. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 32, 284-289.(2003)
  • Stanton, C., Spirito, A., Donaldson, D., & Boergers, J. (2003). Risk-taking behavior and adolescent suicide attempts. Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior, 33, 74-79.(2003)
  • Jelalian, E., Boergers, J., Spirito, A., & Sourkes, B. (2003). Psychologic aspects of leukemia and hematologic disorders. In D.G. Nathan, S.H. Orkin, D. Ginsburg, & A.T. Look (Eds.), Nathan and Oski's Hematology of Infancy and Childhood, 6th Edition (pp. 1671-1683). Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders.(2003)
  • Jelalian, E., Boergers, J., Alday, C.S., & Frank, R. (2003). Survey of physician attitudes and practices related to pediatric obesity. Clinical Pediatrics, 42, 235-245.(2003)
  • Esposito, C., Spirito, A., Boergers, J., & Donaldson, D. (2003). Affective, behavioral, and cognitive functioning in adolescents with multiple suicide attempts. Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior, 33, 389-399.(2003)
  • Boergers, J., & Spirito, A. (2003). Follow-up studies of child and adolescent suicide attempters. In R.A. King and A. Apter (Eds.), Suicide in Children and Adolescents (pp. 271-293). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.(2003)
  • Spirito, A., Stanton, C., Donaldson, D., & Boergers, J. (2002). Treatment-as-usual for adolescent suicide attempters: Implications for the choice of comparison groups in psychotherapy research. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 31, 41-47.(2002)
  • Spirito, A., Boergers, J., Donaldson, D., Bishop, D., & Lewander, W. (2002). An intervention trial to improve adherence to community treatment by adolescents after a suicide attempt. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 41, 435-442.(2002)
  • Perez-Smith, A., Spirito, A., & Boergers, J. (2002). Neighborhood predictors of hopelessness among adolescent suicide attempters: A preliminary investigation. Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior, 32, 139-145.(2002)
  • Pearce, M.J., Boergers, J., & Prinstein, M.J. (2002). Adolescent obesity, overt and relational peer victimization, and romantic relationships. Obesity Research, 10, 386-393.(2002)
  • Boergers, J., & Spirito, A. (2002). The outcome of suicide attempts among adolescents. In A. Spirito and J. Overholser (Eds.), Evaluating and Treating Adolescent Suicide Attempters: From Research to Practice (pp. 261-276). Academic Press.(2002)
  • Prinstein, M.J, Boergers, J., & Spirito, A. (2001). Adolescents' and their friends' health-risk behavior: Factors that alter or add to peer influence. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 26, 287-298.(2001)
  • Guertin, T., Lloyd-Richardson, E., Spirito, A., Donaldson, D., & Boergers, J. (2001). Self-mutilative behavior in adolescents who attempt suicide by overdose. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 40, 1062-1069.(2001)
  • Prinstein, M.J., Boergers, J., & Vernberg, E. (2001). Overt and relational aggression in adolescents: Social-psychological adjustment of aggressors and victims. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 30, 479-491.(2001)
  • Prinstein, M.J., Boergers, J., Spirito, A., Little, T.D., & Grapentine, W.L (2000). Peer functioning, family dysfunction, and psychological symptoms in a risk factor model for adolescent inpatients' suicidal ideation severity. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 29(3), 392-405.(2000)
  • Mehlenbeck, R., Spirito, A., Owens, J., & Boergers, J. (2000). The clinical presentation of childhood partial arousal parasomnias. Sleep Medicine, 1, 307-312.(2000)
  • Shirk, S.R., Boergers, J., Eason, A., & Van Horn, M. (1998). Dysphoric interpersonal schemata and preadolescents' sensitization to negative events. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 27, 54-68.(1998)
  • Boergers, J., Spirito, A., & Donaldson, D. (1998). Reasons for adolescent suicide attempts: Associations with psychological functioning. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 37(12), 1287-1293.(1998)
  • Coyne, J.C., Downey, G., & Boergers, J. (1992). Depression in families: A systems perspective. In D. Cicchetti and S.L. Toth (Eds.), Rochester symposium on developmental psychopathology, Volume 4. Developmental perspectives on depression (pp. 211-249). Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press.(1992)