Department: Pediatrics
Division: Oncology

Primary Address:
Division of Oncology
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
CHOP North #1484
34th and Civic Center Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19104


Developmental, psychosocial, and health outcomes of pediatric cancer survivors; adolescents and young adults with cancer; health behaviors, health promotion, and transition to adult medical care.


Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology in Pediatrics at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia


Ph.D., Clinical Psychology (specialty in pediatric psychology), Case Western Reserve University (2005)
M.A., Clinical Psychology (specialty in pediatric psychology), Case Western Reserve University (2002)
B.S., Human Development and Family Studies, Cornell University (1997)


Lisa A. Schwartz, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the Psychologist for the Cancer Survivorship Program. Dr. Schwartz studies the adaptation and health of pediatric cancer patients and their families. Specifically, she examines developmental, health, and psychological outcomes, as well as health behaviors and engagement in health care. Most of her research focuses on adolescents and young adults (AYAs), both on and off treatment, with an emphasis on facilitating optimal transition to adulthood and adult-based health care for this vulnerable population. Dr. Schwartz’s research includes descriptive, measurement development, and intervention designs. One current project is studying AYA survivor readiness for transition to adult care from the perspectives of the patients, parents, and providers. She recently completed a study examining the impact of cancer on adolescent goal setting and achievement. Dr. Schwartz is also involved in multi-site studies examining girls with genetic risk for cancer and testing an intervention for parents of children receiving a hematopoietic stem cell transplant. Almost all of Dr. Schwartz’s research is funded by the National Cancer Institute.

Extended Bio

When a child has cancer, the patient and family can be affected for life. The cancer experience can promote long-term negative and positive changes. A positive aspect of the experience is that it can highlight and promote resiliency and strengths within a family. As a clinical psychologist, I listen carefully and empathetically to patients’ and families’ concerns while also assessing their strengths, coping strategies and goals.

Sometimes patients and families have goals related to the treatment, while other times they have goals in their personal and family lives that they would like to maintain and pursue. I try to answer questions such as: "Do they have goals they would like to accomplish, are their goals realistic, what strengths do they have to help them achieve their goals, and do they need extra support to accomplish them?" For adolescents and young adults, I consider how the experience affects their identity development and transition to adulthood. I also help in their transition to adult-oriented care for long-term follow-up after treatment.

My research broadly focuses on how patients and families adapt when they are affected by pediatric cancer. I most often conduct research with adolescent and young adult patients. Adolescents and young adults with cancer are a vulnerable and underserved population -- both medically and psychosocially. The experience of cancer during this developmentally fragile period makes adjustment more difficult for some patients. I'm looking closely at the impact of health on goals, from personal goals to the role of health-related goals in health behaviors. I also focus on patient symptoms and future health risks, compliance with provider recommendations, quality of life and transition to adult care. I'm developing new assessment tools to better understand the impact of cancer on adolescents and young adults and plan to develop interventions to improve their adjustment and health outcomes.

My ultimate objective is to help young cancer patients reach their potential as they transition to adulthood, whether they are on treatment or are long-term cancer survivors. I also hope my research will help clinicians better understand the unique needs, concerns and health behaviors of young cancer patients. This understanding will help facilitate better care that can improve psychological and health outcomes in pediatric cancer survivorship.



Schwartz, L., & Drotar, D. (2006). Defining the nature and impact of goals in children and adolescents with a chronic health condition: A review of research and a theoretical framework. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, 13, 393-405.

Schwartz, L., & Drotar, D. (2006). Posttraumatic stress and related impairment in survivors of childhood cancer in early adulthood compared to healthy peers. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 31, 356-366.

Rourke, M. T., Hobbie, W. L., Schwartz, L. A., & Kazak, A. E. (2007). Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in young adult survivors of childhood cancer. Pediatric Blood and Cancer, 49. 177-182.

Schwartz, L.A., & Drotar, D. (2009). Health-related hindrance of personal goal pursuit and well-being of young adults with cystic fibrosis, pediatric cancer survivors, and physically healthy peers. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 39, 954-965.

Jacobs, L. A., Palmer, S., Schwartz, L. A., DeMichele, A., Mao, J., Carver, J., Gracia, C., Hill-Kayser, C., Metz, J., Hampshire, M., Vachani, C., Pucci, S., Meadows, A. T. (2009). Adult cancer survivorship: Evolution, research, care plans. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 59, 391-410.

Hobbie, W., Hudson, M., Rowland, J., & Schwartz, L. A. (2009). Pediatric Cancer Survivors: Moving Beyond Cure. In Wiener, L., Pao, M., Kazak, A. E., & Kupst (Eds.), Quick Reference for Pediatric Oncology Clinicians: The Psychiatric and Psychological Dimensions of Pediatric Cancer Symptom Management (pp. 245-259). Charlottesville, VA: IPOS Press.

Schwartz, L. A., Kazak, A.E., & Mougianis, I. (2009). Cancer. In O’Donohue, W., & Tolle, L.W. (Eds.), Behavioral Approaches to Chronic Disease in Adolescence (pp. 197-217). Springer Publishing.

Schwartz, L. A., Werba, B., & Kazak, A.E. (2010). Adult Survivors of Childhood Cancer. In Holland, J. C., Breibert, W. S., Jacobsen, P. B., Lederberg, M. S., Loscalzo, M. J., & McCorkle, R (Eds.), Psycho-Oncology (pp. 562-566). Oxford University Press.

Kazak, A. E., DeRosa, B. W., Schwartz, L. A., Hobbie, W., Carlson, C., Ittenbach, R. F., Mao, J. J., & Ginsberg, J. P. (2010). Psychological outcomes and health beliefs in adolescent and young adult survivors of childhood cancer and controls. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 28, 2002-2007.

Schwartz, L. A., Mao, J. J., Werba, B. E., Ginsberg, J. P., Hobbie, W. L., Carlson, C. A., Mougianis, I. D., Ogle, S. K., & Kazak, A. E. (2010). Self-reported health problems of young adults in clinical settings: Survivors of childhood cancer and healthy controls. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, 23, 306-314.

Barakat, L.P., Marmer, P., & Schwartz, L.A. (2010). Quality of life of adolescents with cancer: Family risks and resources. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 8: 63. doi: 10.1186/1477-7525-8-63.

Werba, B., Kazak, A. E., Doshi, K., Schwartz, L. A., Ginsberg, J., Mao, J. J., Straton, J., Hobbie, W., Rourke, M. T., Carslon, C., & Ittenbach, R. (2011). Beliefs about health and wellbeing in young adults with and without a history of childhood cancer. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 41, 48-58