College of Humanities and Social Sciences
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Robyn Mehlenbeck

Robyn Mehlenbeck

Robyn Mehlenbeck

Director- GMU Center for Psychological Services

Clinical Psychology: adolescent, medical, eating, diabetes

Dr. Robyn Mehlenbeck is a pediatric psychologist who specializes in working with adolescents and kids with medical conditions, including eating disorders and diabetes. Her research also focuses on helping overweight teens lose weight. Currently, she is a Clinical Associate Professor at GMU and the Director of the GMU Center for Psychological Services, a clinic committed to training graduate students and providing evidence-based, accessible services for the community.

Prior to coming to GMU, she was a Clinical Associate Professor at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and worked at the Hasbro Children’s Partial Hospital Program, where she served as the Director of Training. Committed to the Clinical Science Model, Mehlenbeck engages in clinical work, teaching and research, with a multidisciplinary focus. She has trained medical students, psychology interns and fellows, pediatrics and psychiatry residents and fellows and developmental behavioral pediatricians.

Dr. Mehlenbeck has several publications and has presented nationally and internationally in the areas of pediatric obesity and eating disorders. She is currently the co-chair for the annual conference of the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics (SDBP).  Mehlenbeck is also a reviewer panel member and mentor reviewer for the Journal of Pediatric Psychology, the International Journal for Eating Disorders and the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.  In the last several years, Mehlenbeck has also begun working with university law clinics to provide PTSD and/or TBI psychological assessments to veterans, and has presented on this collaboration.

Current Research

Co-Investigator, Parent Involvement as a Strategy to Enhance Teen Weight Loss, funded through National Institute for Child Health and Development and Brown Medical School (PI: Elissa Jelalian, PhD; 8/09 – 8/12)

Completing manuscripts examining eating disorder symptomatology in adolescents diagnosed with Type I Diabetes; eating disorder symptoms in school age children; parental roles in adolescent weight loss; development of an illness beliefs questionnaire.

Selected Publications

Owens, J., Mehlenbeck, R., Lee, J., & King, M. (2008). Behavioral outcomes in children with sleep disordered breathing: Impact of weight, sleep duration and co-morbid sleep disorders. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 162(4), 313-321.

Jelalian, E., Hart, C., Mehlenbeck, R., Lloyd-Richardson, E., Kaplan, J., Flynn-O’Brien, K., & Wing, R. R. (2008). Predictors of attrition and weight loss in an adolescent weight control program. Obesity, 16(6), 1318-1323.

Mehlenbeck, R.S., Jelalian, E.J., Lloyd-Richardson, E.E., and Hart, C. (2009). Effects of Behavioral Weight Control Intervention on Binge Eating Symptoms Among Overweight Adolescents. Psychology in the Schools, 46(8), 776-786.

Hart, C., Jelalian, E., Raynor, H., Mehlenbeck, R.S., Lloyd-Richardson, E.E., Kaplan, J., Flynn-O’Brien, K., & Wing, R.R. (in press). Early Patterns of Food Intake as Predictors of BMI Change in an Adolescent Weight Loss Trial. Eating Behaviors.

Jelalian, E., Lloyd-Richardson, E.E., Mehlenbeck, R.S., Hart, C., Flynn-O’Brien, K., Kaplan, J., Neill, M. & Wing, R. (in press). Randomized Controlled Trial Comparing Behavioral Weight Control Treatment Combined with Supervised Exercise or Peer Enhanced Activity Intervention for Overweight Adolescents. The Journal of Pediatrics.

Courses Taught

Seminars presented as part of graduate student training at the GMU Center for Psychological Services

Advanced Practicum - Third Year Clinical Practicum

Psy 461 - Special Topics - Undergraduate Practicum in Psychology at the GMU CPS

Recent Presentations

“Entering adolescence: What parents want to know.” Mehlenbeck, R.S. Invited panel member presenter to the Gordon School, East Providence, RI, April 2010.

“Eating Disorders and the workplace.” Mehlenbeck, R.S. Invited presentation to Lifespan Learning Institute, Providence, RI, May 2010.

“Sensitivity to Eating Issues: Everything a school should know.” Mehlenbeck, R.S. Invited faculty development presentation to Gordon School, East Providence, RI, May 2010.

“ Initial report on the Illness Belief Questionnaire: A new instrument to measure family perceptions of child illness.” Nassau, J., Mehlenbeck, R.S., High, P., Roesler, T., Rickerby, M., & Dermarderosian, D., Poster presented at Pediatric Academic Societies' Annual Meeting, Honolulu, Hawaii., May 2008.

“Eating Attitudes and Behaviors in a Clinical Sample of Adolescents with Type I Diabetes Mellitus versus Eating Disorders” Tortolani, C., Mehlenbeck, R.S., Nassau, J., DerMarderosian, D., Houlihan, E., Goldbach, H. , Poster accepted for presentation at the International Academy of Eating Disorders Annual Conference, Cancun, Mexico, May 2009. Conference cancelled due to H1N1 virus outbreak.

Jelalian, E.J., Hart, C., Lloyd Richardson, E.E., Mehlenbeck, R.S., Neil, M., & Wing, R. (2009, October). The influence of parent behaviors on adolescent weight control. Poster presented at The Obesity Society Annual Meeting, Washington, DC.

“Eating Attitudes and Behaviors in a Clinical Sample of Adolescents with Type I Diabetes Mellitus versus Eating Disorders” Tortolani, C., Mehlenbeck, R.S., Nassau, J., DerMarderosian, D., Houlihan, E., Goldbach, H. , Poster presented at the Society for Adolescent Medicine, Toronto, Canada, April 2010.

“Two Year Follow Up of a Behavioral Adolescent Weight Control Intervention”, Jelalian, E.J., Sato, A.,Hart, C.,Lloyd Richardson, E.E., & Mehlenbeck, R.S., Poster accepted for presentation at The Obesity Society Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, October 2010.

In the Media

“Blogs and eating issues,” Marie Claire, scheduled article release September 2010.

“Make clear limits for prom night well in advance, “The Denver Post, 4/7/10

“Prom: Dancing away from the drama,” Chicago Tribune, 4/18/10

“It’s not just young women who suffer from Anorexia,” The Providence Journal, 11/2/04