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Karla Fehr

Karla Fehr, Associate Professor

Clinical Psychology

Dr. Fehr received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, with specialized training in both pediatric psychology and child clinical psychology. She completed her predoctoral internship in child clinical and pediatric psychology at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in pediatric psychology at the Minnesota Epilepsy Group in St. Paul, Minnesota. Dr. Fehr is interested in psychosocial outcomes for children with medical conditions, including risk and resiliency factors, coping, and intervention development and dissemination.

Her primary program of research is the development of targeted interventions for pediatric populations by using pretend play as a developmentally-appropriate therapeutic approach to teach cognitive-behavioral coping skills. Currently, she is developing a targeted cognitive-behavioral play intervention for preschoolers with sleep difficulties. Other research interests include the importance of pretend play for children’s socioemotional development and the development of play intervention protocols to improve pretend play skills.


Pediatric psychology, cognitive-behavioral play interventions, pretend play, behavioral sleep medicine


Psychology 451                       Advanced Child Psychology

Psychology 556                       Child Psychotherapy

Psychology 559                       Behavioral Child Therapy

Psychology 585                       Advanced Seminar: Pediatric Psychology

Psychology 594                       Practicum in Psychology


Representative Publications

Fehr, K. (in press). Ethical Considerations and Treatment Decision-Making when Parental Adherence Difficulties Impact Treatment Outcomes: Comment on Bruni, Lancaster, and Kullgren (2017). Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology.

Fehr, K., Hazen, R., & Nielsen, B. (2017). Ethical decision making for psychology trainees in the clinical pediatric setting: Case examples and practical solutions for trainees and supervisors. Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology, 5(1), 123-136.

Hazen, R., Fehr, K., & Nielsen, B. (2017). Spotlight on the Pediatric Bioethics Special Interest Group. Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology, 5(1), 121-122.

Fehr, K., Russ, S., & Ievers-Landis, C. (2016). Treatment of sleep problems in young children: A case series report of a cognitive-behavioral play intervention. Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology, 4(3), 306-317.

Fehr, K., & Russ, S. (2016). Pretend play and creativity in preschool-aged children: Associations and brief intervention. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 10(3), 296-308.

Russ, S., & Fehr, K. (2016). The use of pretend play to overcome anxiety in school age children. In A. Drewes & C. Schaefer (Eds.) Play Therapy in Middle Childhood (pp. 77-95). American Psychological Association.

Hazen, R., Fehr, K., Ievers-Landis, C., MacLeish, S. (2015). Sleep parameters and diabetes-related considerations for children and adolescents with Type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Management, 5(6), 449-456.

Ievers-Landis, C., Hazen, R., & Fehr, K. (2015). Competencies in training at the graduate student level: Example of a pediatric psychology seminar course. Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology, 3(3), 197-204.

Hazen, R., Fehr, K., Fidler, A., Cousino, M., MacLeish, S., & Gubitosi-Klug, R. (2015). Sleep disruption in adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus: Relationships with adherence and diabetes control. Diabetes Management, 5(4), 257-265.

Chuang, J., Fehr, K., Ievers-Landis, C., Narasimhan, S., Uli, Naveen, & O’Riordan, M.A. (2015). Associations of sleep duration and regularity with level of obesity among youth in a weight loss program. Translational Issues in Psychological Science, 1(1), 45-56.

Fehr, K., & Russ, S. (2014).Assessment of pretend play in preschool-aged children: Validation and factor analysis of the Affect in Play Scale-Preschool versions. Journal of Personality Assessment, 96(3), 350-357.

Fehr, K., & Russ, S. (2013). Aggression in pretend play and aggressive behavior in the classroom.Early Education and Development, 24(3), 332-345.

Russ, S., & Fehr, K. (2013). The role of pretend play in child psychotherapy.In M. Taylor (Ed.) The Oxford Handbook of the Development of Imagination (pp. 516-528). New York: Oxford University Press.

Russ, S., Fehr, K., & Hoffmann, J. (2013). Helping children develop pretend play skills: Implications for giftedness and talented programs. In K.H. Kim, J. Kaufman, J. Baer, & B. Sriraman (Eds.) Advances in Creativity and Giftedness: Vol. 2. Creatively gifted students are not like other gifted students: Research, theory, and practice (pp. 73-91). Rotterdam, Netherland: Sense Publishers.

SIU Psychology Karla Fehr

Office: Life Science II, 271F
Phone: 618-453-3554
Curriculum Vitae

Educational History

Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University