In This Section

Melissa S. Xanthopoulos, MS, PhD
Phto of Melissa S. Xanthopoulos Headshot
Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Xanthopoulos's research focuses on the development, implementation, and adherence to medical and lifestyle interventions, including non-invasive ventilation (CPAP/BPAP), eating habits, physical activity, and sleep. She has a particular interest in the interactions among behavioral, lifestyle, psychosocial and physiologic factors as they relate to health and neurobehavioral functioning and quality of life in youth and families.



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Dr. Xanthopoulos has been a collaborative and interdisciplinary clinical researcher since joining Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in 2007. Her expertise is in pediatric obesity, lifestyle and self-management, intervention development, adherence, and quality of life. She has been an active and prolific collaborator on numerous grants (internal, NIH, industry) and manuscripts.

As part of her research program she collaborates with multidisciplinary research teams involving psychiatry, endocrinology, pulmonology, developmental pediatrics, and gastroenterology, and nutrition. Her contributions to projects include developing, training, and supervising the implementation of behavioral interventions to improve health, or consulting on neurocognitive, emotional, and behavioral predictors and outcomes of various conditions and interventions. In addition, she has been involved in several projects examining these variables in youth with neurodevelopmental differences, such as Trisomy 21.

Education and Training

BS, Pennsylvania State University (Kinesiology), 1998

MS, East Stroudsburg University (Clinical Exercise Physiology), 1999

MS, Drexel University (Clinical Psychology-Health Psychology), 2003

PhD, Drexel University (Clinical Psychology), 2006

Clinical Internship, Clinical Psychology Training Consortium at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University Child/Pediatric Psychology Specialization, 2005-06

Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Obesity Research and Education and Department of Kinesiology, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, 2006-07

Titles and Academic Titles

Clinical Psychologist

Director, CPAP Adherence Program

Professional Memberships

Division 54: Society for Pediatric Psychology, 2004-

Sleep Research Society, 2012-

Pediatric Behavioral Sleep Medicine Network, 2017-


Publication Highlights

Kang EK, Xanthopoulos MS, Kim JY, Arevalo C, Shults J, Marcus CL, Tapia IE. Adherence to positive airway pressure for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea in children with developmental disabilities. J Clin Sleep Med. 2019 Jan; (Accepted)
Xanthopoulos MS, Walega R, Xiao R, Pipan, MM, Zemel B, Berkowitz RI, Magge S, Kelly A. Caregiver-reported quality of life in youth with Down syndrome. J Pediatr. 2017 Oct; 189:98-104.e1. PMID: 28751125
Xanthopoulos MS, Kim JY, Chang MY, Blechner M, Shults J, Weaver T, Menello MK, Brown C, Matthews E, Marcus CL. Self-efficacy and short-term adherence to positive airway pressure treatment. Sleep. 2017 Jul; 40(7). doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsx096. PMID: 28541508
Xanthopoulos MS, Bradford R, Gallagher P, Berkowitz RI, Radcliffe J, Marcus CL. Neurobehavioral functioning in adolescents with and without obesity and obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep. 2015 Mar; 38(3):401-10. PMID: 25325469
Xanthopoulos MS, Moore RH, Wadden TA, Bishop-Gilyard C, Gehrman CA, Berkowitz, RI. The association between weight loss in caregivers and adolescents in a treatment trial of adolescents with obesity. J Pediatr Psychol. 2013 Aug; 38(7):766-74. PMID: 23629145

Links of Interest