UF mourns passing of dedicated teacher and child psychologist

Eyberg-BoggsStephen R. Boggs, Ph.D., beloved teacher, colleague and clinician, died suddenly August 13. He was 61.

An associate professor in the department of clinical and health psychology, the director of the UF Center for Pediatric Psychology and Family Studies, and the director of the doctoral program in clinical psychology, Boggs joined the faculty of the College of Public Health and Health Professions in 1986. He quickly impressed his UF colleagues with his passion for teaching and commitment to his patients.

“Steve was a thoughtful and caring teacher, a dedicated and compassionate clinician, and a kind and gentle man,” said Michael G. Perri, Ph.D., dean of the college and the Robert G. Frank endowed professor of clinical and health psychology. “He will be missed greatly by his students, colleagues and friends.”

In his research, Boggs focused on the use of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy for the treatment of child behavior issues. Developed by Boggs’ UF colleague Sheila Eyberg, Ph.D., Parent-Child Interaction Therapy is a live-coached parent-training model that is designed to improve parenting skills, decrease child behavior problems and enhance the quality of the parent-child relationship. Boggs published more than 60 peer-reviewed journal articles and scholarly chapters on this technique and other child health psychology issues. In 2009 he received the National Award for Significant Contributions to Parent-Child Interaction Therapy from PCIT International.

For all his many achievements at the local, state and national levels, fellow faculty members said that Boggs’ most lasting legacy may be the 184 doctoral and master’s students he mentored over the past 25 years, twice winning his department’s teaching excellence award.

“Steve’s commitment and energy for student training and for the department of clinical and health psychology, among so many other things, will be dearly missed both personally and professionally,” said David Janicke, Ph.D., an associate professor and interim chair of the department.

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