Abby Hughes-Scalise

Program Director and Assistant Professor

CB 42


Dr. Hughes-Scalise specializes in health psychology and has worked with a variety of medical populations in medical inpatient, outpatient, and primary care settings. She previously worked as an Assistant Professor at the Minnesota School of Professional Psychology and was also a faculty member in Allina Health’s United Family Medicine Residency Program, where she trained family medicine residents in behavioral health. Her research interests include physician/provider wellness, connecting curricular initiatives to learner outcomes in the fields of medicine and psychology, and community-oriented primary care. She enjoys being outside at all times in all seasons, and playing music with her family.


Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Case Western Reserve University in 2014

MA from Case Western Reserve University

BA from Saint Olaf College

Research Interests:

Content areas:  Clinical Health Psychology (particularly Pediatric Psychology and Integrated Behavioral Health); relationships between mental and physical health in the context of chronic illness; somatic disorders (e.g., conversion disorder, chronic pain); impact of family mental health/family coping on youth functioning; clinician wellness/well-being

Research methodology:  varied, though most experience is quantitative, experimental, or retrospective

Population(s):  medical populations; children, adolescents, and families

Professional Contributions:

Presented poster by her and Dr. Sarah Addicks at the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology 2024 Mid-Winter: Development of an Anti-Racist Pedagogy and Leadership Program for Teaching Assistants in Cognitive Assessment.

Internal Research Grant Program (Children’s Minnesota): 2022. This $25,000 award will be titled: Treatment of Pediatric CRPS: Impact of Gender on the Provider Diagnostic and Intervention Process in an Interdisciplinary Outpatient Chronic Pain Clinic

Recipient of the 2021 Kenneth B. and Mamie P. Clark Fund.  The award amount is $8,000 and the project goal is to understand the impact of a group intervention run by Little Women of Color (LWOC) for female- and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)-identifying youth between the ages of 6 and 12. The groups are run exclusively by female- and BIPOC-identifying individuals, and are a safe space for girls of color to discuss self-esteem and explore interests in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) careers. Importantly, in order to promote positive development for girls of color, it is necessary to center the experiences of girls of color and  empower LWOC participants to express their unique perspectives as members of the BIPOC community. The current study will explore relationships between self-identity, academic self-confidence, and academic performance for LWOC participants. Additionally, as caregivers are central figures for pre-adolescents, the study will explore how caregivers influence the development of self-confidence and academic identity for LWOC participants.

Recipient of the 2021-2022 Augsburg Scholarship Grant. This $3200 award will support her research on the Feasibility and Acceptability of ‘Little Women of Color’ (LWOC): A group for female- and BIPOC-identifying 6-13 year-olds. The groups promote self-esteem and STEM education, and are run entirely by BIPOC women.

Received an award of $1600 Institutional Innovation Grant from Augsburg University to collaboratively develop (with our graduate students) a Community Mentor Speaking Series that focuses on increasing connections between Augsburg students and BIPOC professionals in health service fields. The speaker series includes panel-style forums on topics like surviving graduate school, managing imposter syndrome, navigating early career choices, and balancing work and life commitments. These forums feature BIPOC community mentors serving health-service positions and are moderated by Dr. Hughes-Scalise and Dr. Hopkins-Smith. There are other discussion groups run by Dr. Hughes-Scalise and Dr. Hopkins-Smith that allow graduate students to discuss forum topics and increase connections with each other.


Co-authored a textbook chapter, “Individual therapy for children and adolescents: Play therapy and interpersonal therapy as developmentally-centered change modalities” for the 5th edition of Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics (edited by Feldman), and currently in press.

Dakoji, S., Hughes-Scalise, A., & Ayanle, M. (2021). Healthcare utilization in an East African refugee community in Central Minnesota: Emergency room utilization compared to local residents.  Submitted for peer review to the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health.

Hughes-Scalise, A., Reger, K., & O’Connor, M. (2020). Pilot data and case example of the initial visit in a multidisciplinary transition-age program (TAP). Epilepsy & Behavior, 111.  Pilot data and case example of the initial visit in a multidisciplinary transition-age program (TAP)

Reger, K., Hughes-Scalise, A., & O’Connor, M. (2018). Development of the transition-age program (TAP): Review of a pilot psychosocial multidisciplinary transition program in a Level 4 epilepsy center. Epilepsy & Behavior, 89, 153-158.

Connell, A. M., McKillop, H., Patton, E., Klostermann, S., & Hughes-Scalise, A. (2015). Actor-partner model of physiology, negative affect, and depressive symptoms in mother-child dyadic interactions. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 32, 1012-1033.

Hughes-Scalise, A., & Connell, A. (2014). The role of adolescent attentional bias and parental invalidation of sadness in significant illness: A comparison between eating disorders and chronic pain. Eating Behaviors, 15, 493-501.

Hughes-Scalise, A., & Przeworski, A. (2013). All in the family: Family-based behavioral treatment of child obsessive-compulsive disorder and oppositional defiant disorder within the context of marital and family discord. Clinical Case Studies, 13, 52-67.

Connell, A., Patton, E., Klostermann, S., & Hughes-Scalise, A. (2013). Attention bias in youth: Associations with youth and mother’s depressive symptoms moderated by emotion regulation and affective dynamics during family interactions. Cognition and Emotion, 27, 1522-1534.

Connell, A.M., Hughes-Scalise, A., Klostermann, S., & Azem, T. (2011). Maternal depression and the heart of parenting: Respiratory sinus arrhythmia and affective dynamics during parent-adolescent interactions. Journal of Family Psychology, 25, 653-662.