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Anka A. Vujanovic, Ph.D.

Anka A. Vujanovic, Ph.D.

Research Professor
Clinical Psychology
Ph.D., University of Vermont


Biographical Summary

Dr. Vujanovic maintains an appointment as Research Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Houston, after serving on the faculty for over seven years (2016-2023). Dr. Vujanovic is Professor and Director of Clinical Training at Texas A&M University, where she is also Director of the Trauma and Stress Studies Center and the First Responder Consortium. Dr. Vujanovic received a doctoral degree (Ph.D.) in clinical psychology from the University of Vermont and completed the pre-doctoral clinical psychology internship program at the Brown University Clinical Psychology Training Consortium. She is a licensed clinical psychologist.

Dr. Vujanovic’s research program is focused on understanding the complexity of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and some of its most prevalent and high-risk correlates, including substance use disorders (SUD) and suicide risk, through the study of underlying psychological mechanisms relevant to treatment development. Her work is comprised of interrelated lines of inquiry: (1) investigation of psychological and behavioral processes relevant to the etiology and maintenance of (a) PTSD symptoms and (b) PTSD/SUD; (2) examination of suicide risk among trauma-exposed populations; and (3) development of theoretically and empirically driven, novel interventions for PTSD and co-occurring conditions that target the psychological mechanisms isolated in more basic research. She has utilized various methodological approaches, including clinical trials, longitudinal methods, ecological momentary assessment, and experimental laboratory paradigms. Dr. Vujanovic’s studies have been conducted in academic clinical research centers, first responder departments, medical and mental health clinics, and acute-care psychiatric inpatient hospitals. Her work encompasses populations exposed to diverse types of trauma, including sexual trauma survivors, adults receiving psychiatric inpatient services, military veterans, first responders, and human trafficking survivors. Dr. Vujanovic has received research funding from the National Institutes of Health and private foundations. Dr. Vujanovic is an Associate Editor for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Mindfulness, and she serves on the editorial boards of seven additional journals. Dr. Vujanovic has authored over 220 publications, including journal articles, books, and book chapters.

Recent Publications

Vujanovic, A. A., Back, S. E., Leonard, S. J., Zoller, L., Kaysen, D. L., Norman, S. B., Flanagan, J. C., Schmitz, J. M., & Resick, P. (in press). Mental health clinician practices and perspectives on treating adults with co-occurring posttraumatic stress and substance use disorders. Journal of Dual Diagnosis.

Stanley, I. H., Lebeaut, A., Betz, M. E., Wright, A., & Vujanovic, A. A. (2023). Firearm ownership and storage practices among US firefighters and emergency medical services personnel. Psychological Services. doi: 10.1037/ser0000780 

Brooks Stephens, J. R., Lebeaut, A., Jewell, R. D., Zegel, M., Walker, R. L., & Vujanovic, A. A. (2023). Living in the present moment: The role of mindfulness in the association between impulsivity and suicidality among Black adults. Mindfulness. doi: 10.1007/s12671-023-02180-x 

Vujanovic, A. A., Lebeaut, A., Zegel, M., & Buser, S. J. (2022). Mindful attention training workshop for firefighters: Design and methodology of a pilot randomized clinical trial. Contemporary Clinical Trials Communications, 27, 100905. doi: 10.1016/j.conctc.2022.100905 

Zemestani, M., Mohammed, A. F., Ismail, A. A., & Vujanovic, A. A. (2022). A pilot randomized clinical of a novel, culturally adapted, trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral intervention for war-related PTSD in Iraqi women. Behavior Therapy, 53, 656-672. doi: 10.1016/j.beth.2022.01.009 

Vujanovic, A. A., Webber, H., Wardle, M. C., Green, C. E., Lane, S. D., & Schmitz, J. M. (2022). Nonjudgmental acceptance: Associations with substance-related cue reactivity in adults with substance use disorders and posttraumatic stress. Addictive Behaviors, 126, 107211. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2021.107211 

Vujanovic, A. A., Gordon, M., Coverdale, J., & Nguyen, P. (2022). Applying telemental health services for adults experiencing human trafficking. Public Health Reports, 137, 17S-22S. doi: 10.1177/00333549221085243 

Vujanovic, A. A., Webber, H., McGrew, S. J., Green, C. E., Lane, S. D., & Schmitz, J. M. (2022). Distress tolerance: Prospective associations with cognitive-behavioral therapy outcomes in adults with posttraumatic stress and substance use disorders. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 51, 326-342. doi: 10.1080/16506073.2021.2007995 

Vujanovic, A. A., McGrew, S. J., Walton, J. L., & Raines, A. M. (2022). Posttraumatic stress and substance use among military veterans: Associations with distress intolerance and anxiety sensitivity. Addictive Behaviors, 126, 107177. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2021.107177 

Vujanovic, A. A., & Tran, J. K. (2021). Providing psychological services to firefighters. Journal of Health Service Psychology, 47, 137-148. doi: 10.1007/s42843-021-00041-6 

Vujanovic, A. A., & Back, S. E. (Eds.). (2019). Posttraumatic stress and substance use disorders: A comprehensive clinical handbook. New York: Routledge.