Cecelia Valrie, Ph.D.


Associate Professor
Health Psychology
808 W Franklin, rm 201
(804) 827-1562

Associate Professor (tenured)
Ph.D. (2006), University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Doctoral Program Affiliation

Health Psychology


Research Interests

My research focuses on improving the health and well-being of youth and young adults at high risk for poor health outcomes, with a focus on youth with sickle cell disease (SCD), Black youth, and youth living in low resource environments. My primary research line focuses on exploring the biopsychosocial factors and processes that influence pain, sleep, and adjustment in youth with SCD. While my secondary research line focuses on exploring the role that sleep plays in promoting the development and maintenance of pediatric health disparities. I am also focused on translating my research through collaborations with health care providers, community members and groups, and youth and their families to create programs that can work in both health care, community, and school settings. My work is grounded in health psychology and developmental theories, and uses a mix of methodologies, including survey, interviews, and mobile health (mhealth) technology (e.g., ecological momentary assessments and sleep actigraphy) that allows for time-sensitive assessments in the environments youth live in. It also spans the range of bio-behavioral research (e.g., focused on individual factors and processes) to community-engaged research (e.g., informed by, in partnership with, or lead by community members).

Select Publications

Valrie, C. R., Kilpatrick, R. L., Alston, K., Trout, K., Redding-Lallinger, R., Sisler, I., & Fuh, B. (2019). Investigating the sleep-pain relationship in youth with sickle cell disease utilizing ecological momentary assessment, Actigraphy, and Overnight Pulse Oximetry. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 44(3):323-332.
Valrie, C. R., Trout, K., Bond, K. E., Ladd, R., Huber, N., Alston, K., Sufrinko, A., Everhart, E., & Fuh, B. (2018). Sleep problem risk in adolescents with sickle cell disease: Socio-demographic, physical, and disease-related correlates. Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, 40(2), 116-121. PMCID: PMC5820179.
Alston, K. J., Valrie, C. R., Warner, T. D., Walcott, C., & Fuh, B. (2015). Experiences of pediatric patients with sickle cell disease in rural emergency departments. Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, 37, 195-199.
Sufrinko, A. M., Valrie, C., Lanzo, L., Bond, K., Trout, K., Ladd, R., & Everhart, D. E. (2015). Empirical validation of a short version of the Adolescent Sleep Wake Scale using a sample of ethnically diverse adolescents from an economically disadvantaged community. Sleep Medicine, 16, 1204-1206.
Valrie, C. R., Exum, K., Lutes, L. D., Carraway, M., & Collier, D. N. (2015). Relationship of sleep quality, baseline weight status and weight loss responsiveness in obese adolescents in an immersion treatment program. Sleep Medicine, 16, 432-434.
Valrie, C. R., Bromberg, M. H., Palermo, T. M., & Schanberg, L. (2013). A systematic review of sleep in pediatric pain populations. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 34, 120-128.
Valrie, C. R., Gil, K. M., Redding-Lallinger, R., & Daeschner, C. (2007). Sleep in children with sickle cell disease: An analysis of daily diaries utilizing multilevel models. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 32, 857-861.

Recent Grants

A School-Based Health Center in Petersburg, VA During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Adolescent Health and Stakeholder Perspectives

Amount: $47,000
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Source: VCU Children's Health Research Institute
Period: 8/2021 - 1/2023

Prevalence and Predictors of the Chronic Sickle Cell Pain Phenotype

Amount: $150,000
Role: Principal Investigator
Source: American Society of Hematology Bridge Grant
Period: 2/2018 – 8/2019

Project Sickle CIA: Cultivating Informed Activated Adolescents with Sickle Cell 

Amount: $228,000
Role: Co-Investigator
Source: National Institute of Nursing Research
Period: 9/2014 – 7/2017

Sleep in Children and Adolescents with Sickle Cell Disease

Amount: $618,586
Role: Principal Investigator
Source: National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
Period: 7/2010 – 6/2015