Virginia Commonwealth University

Make it real.

Featured Researcher

Research Expertise and Focus

  • Factors that affect the trajectory of symptoms after exposure to potentially traumatic events
  • Stress-induced drinking in Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans: the role of combat history and PTSD. Funded 2010-2015; $982,470 through 2012 by National Institutes of Health for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), R01 AA020179-01. Principal  investigator.
  • Genetic substrates of adolescent post-traumatic stress disorder. Funded 2010-2011 by NIMH, R01 MH081056-03S1. Primary investigator
  • Behavioral technologies for predicting HIV risk. Funded 2010-2015, NIDA, R01 DA018647-06. In collaboration with colleagues from University of Maryland College Park and Yale University. Genetics consultant
  • Web-based intervention for disaster-affected youth and families. Funded 2008-2012 by NIMH, R01 MH081056-01A1. Co-investigator

Professional Highlights


  • Chaim and Bela Danieli Young Professional Award, International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, 2010
  • Medical University of South Carolina Psychology Internship Program Outstanding Research Mentor Award, 2010
  • Anxiety Disorder Association of America, Career Development Award Recipient, 2010
  • International Society for Psychiatric Genetics Early Career Award, 2009
  • NIH/National Institutes for Mental Health post-doctoral National Research Service Award, 2008
  • National Institute of Health Diversity Investigator Professional Development Recipient, 2008
  • Research Society of Alcoholism Student Merit Award, 2007
  • Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy Disaster and Trauma Graduate Research Award, 2005

Education and Training

  • Ph.D., Auburn University, Auburn, Ala.
  • B.A., University of Washington, Seattle
  • Pre-doctoral NIH fellow, Department of Psychiatry, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, 2006-2008
  • Graduate Clinician, Auburn University, Department of Psychology, 2004-2006
  • Graduate Research Coordinator, Auburn University, Department of Psychology, 2003-2004
  • Research Assistant, University of Washington, Department of Psychology, 1999-2003

Selected Publications

Amstadter AB, Maes HH, Sheerin CM, Myers JM, Kendler KS. The relationship between genetic and environmental influences on resilience and on common internalizing and externalizing psychiatric disorders. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2015 Dec 21.

Stratton KJ, Wells BD, Hawn SE, Amstadter AB, Cifu DX, Walker WC. Pain Descriptors Used by Military Personnel Deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan Following Combat-Related Blast Experience. Mil Psychol. 2015 Nov;27(6):376-383. PMCID: PMC4696602

Brown RC, Nugent NR, Hawn SE, Koenen KC, Miller A, Amstadter AB, Saxe G. Predicting the Transition From Acute Stress Disorder to Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Children With Severe Injuries. J Pediatr Health Care. 2016 Jan 14. pii: S0891-5245(15)00428-9.

Danielson CK, Sumner JA, Adams ZW, McCauley JL, Carpenter M, Amstadter AB, Ruggiero KJ. Adolescent Substance Use Following a Deadly U.S. Tornado Outbreak: A Population-Based Study of 2,000 Families. J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2015 Nov 25:1-14. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26605673.

Berenz EC, Cho SB, Overstreet C, Kendler K, Amstadter AB, Dick DM. Longitudinal investigation of interpersonal trauma exposure and alcohol use trajectories. Addict Behav. 2016 Feb;53:67-73. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2015.09.014. Epub 2015 Sep 25. PubMed PMID: 26454552.

Lind MJ, Aggen SH, Kendler KS, York TP, Amstadter AB. An Epidemiologic Study of Childhood Sexual Abuse and Adult Sleep Disturbances. Psychol Trauma. 2015 Sep  21. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26390111.

Ruggiero KJ, Price M, Adams Z, Stauffacher K, McCauley J, Danielson CK, Knapp  R, Hanson RF, Davidson TM, Amstadter AB, Carpenter MJ, Saunders BE, Kilpatrick DG, Resnick HS. Web Intervention for Adolescents Affected by Disaster: Population-Based Randomized Controlled Trial. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2015 Sep;54(9):709-17. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2015.07.001. Epub 2015 Jul 11. PubMed PMID: 26299292; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4548271.

Lind MJ, Aggen SH, Kirkpatrick RM, Kendler KS, Amstadter AB. A Longitudinal Twin Study of Insomnia Symptoms in Adults. Sleep. 2015 Sep 1;38(9):1423-30. doi: 10.5665/sleep.4982. PubMed PMID: 26132482; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4531410.

Hawn SE, Paul L, Thomas S, Miller S, Amstadter AB. Stress reactivity to an electronic version of the Trier Social Stress Test: a pilot study. Front Psychol. 2015 May 29;6:724. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00724. eCollection 2015. PubMed PMID: 26074862; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4447999.

Logue MW, Amstadter AB, Baker DG, Duncan L, Koenen KC, Liberzon I, Miller MW,  Morey RA, Nievergelt CM, Ressler KJ, Smith AK, Smoller JW, Stein MB, Sumner JA, Uddin M. The Psychiatric Genomics Consortium Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Workgroup: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Enters the Age of Large-Scale Genomic Collaboration. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2015 Sep;40(10):2287-97. doi: 10.1038/npp.2015.118. Epub 2015 Apr 23. Review. PubMed PMID: 25904361; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4538342.

Dunn EC, Brown RC, Dai Y, Rosand J, Nugent NR, Amstadter AB, Smoller JW. Genetic determinants of depression: recent findings and future directions. Harv Rev Psychiatry. 2015 Jan-Feb;23(1):1-18. doi: 10.1097/HRP.0000000000000054. Review. PubMed PMID: 25563565; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4309382.

Ruggiero KJ, Davidson TM, McCauley J, Gros KS, Welsh K, Price M, Resnick HS,  Danielson CK, Soltis K, Galea S, Kilpatrick DG, Saunders BE, Nissenboim J, Muzzy W, Fleeman A, Amstadter AB. Bounce Back Now! Protocol of a population-based randomized controlled trial to examine the efficacy of a Web-based intervention with disaster-affected families. Contemp Clin Trials. 2015 Jan;40:138-49. doi:10.1016/j.cct.2014.11.018. Epub 2014 Dec 3. PubMed PMID: 25478956; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4314324.

Brown RC, Clark SL, Dahne J, Stratton KJ, MacPherson L, Lejuez CW, Amstadter AB. Testing the temporal relationship between maternal and adolescent depressive  and anxiety symptoms in a community sample. J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2015;44(4):566-79. doi: 10.1080/15374416.2014.883927. Epub 2014 Apr 4. PubMed PMID: 24702257; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4185251.

Dahne J, Stratton KJ, Brown R, Amstadter AB, Lejuez CW, MacPherson L. Race as a moderator of the relationship between distress tolerance and cigarette smoking. Subst Use Misuse.  2014 May;49(6):708-14. PMID: 24328840 ; PMCID: PMC4046504 [Available on 2015/5/1]

Walsh K, Nugent NR, Kotte A, Amstadter AB, Wang S, Guille C, Acierno R, Kilpatrick DG, Resnick HS. Cortisol at the emergency room rape visit as a predictor of PTSD and depression symptoms over time. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2013 Nov;38(11):2520-8. PMID: 23806832; PMCID: PMC3812422 [Available on 2014/11/1]

Amstadter AB, Sumner JA, Acierno R, Ruggiero KJ, Koenen KC, Kilpatrick DG,  Galea S, Gelernter, J. Support for association of RORA variant and post traumatic stress symptoms in a population-based study of hurricane exposed adults. Mol Psychiatry, 2013 Nov;18(11):1148-9. PMID: 23319003

York TP, Brumelle J, Juusola J, Kendler KS, Eaves LJ, Amstadter AB, Aggen SH, Jones KH, Ferreira-Gonzalez A, Jackson-Cook C. Increased frequency of micronuclei in adults with a history of childhood sexual abuse: a discordant monozygotic twin study. PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e55337. Epub 2013 Jan 30. PMCID: PMC3559336

Amstadter AB, Aggen SH, Knudsen GP, Reichborn-Kjennerud T, Kendler KS. A population-based study of familial and individual-specific environmental contributions to traumatic event exposure and posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms in a Norwegian twin sample. Twin Res Hum Genet. 2012 Oct;15(5):656-62. PMID: 22877512

Amstadter AB, Macpherson L, Wang F, Banducci AN, Reynolds EK, Potenza MN, Gelernter J, Lejuez CW. The relationship between risk-taking propensity and the COMT Val158Met polymorphism among early adolescents as a function of sex. J Psychiatr Res. 2012 Jul;46(7):940-5. PMCID: PMC3687344

Zinzow HM, Amstadter AB, McCauley JL, Ruggiero KJ, Resnick HS, Kilpatrick DG. Self-rated health in relation to rape and mental health disorders in a national sample of college women. J Am Coll Health. 2011;59(7):588-94. doi: 10.1080/07448481.2010.520175. PMCID: PMC3206265

Wolitzky-Taylor KB, Resnick HS, Amstadter AB, McCauley JL, Ruggiero KJ, Kilpatrick DG. Reporting rape in a national sample of college women. J Am Coll Health. 2011;59(7):582-7. PMCID: PMC3211043 

Amstadter AB, Begle AM, Cisler JM, Hernandez MA, Muzzy W, Acierno R. Prevalence and correlates of poor self-rated health in the United States: The national elder mistreatment study. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2010 Jul;18(7):615-23. PMID: 20220579

Zinzow HM, Resnick HS, Amstadter AB, McCauley JL, Ruggiero KJ, Kilpatrick DG. Drug- or alcohol-facilitated, incapacitated, and forcible rape in relationship to mental health among a national sample of women. J Interpers Violence. 2010 Dec;25(12):2217-36. PMCID: PMC2967593

Amstadter AB, Zinzow HM, McCauley JL, Strachan M, Ruggiero KJ, Resnick HS, Kilpatrick DG. Prevalence and correlates of service utilization and help seeking in a national college sample of female rape victims. J Anxiety Disord. 2010 Dec;24(8):900-2. PMCID: PMC3687342

Amstadter AB, Koenen KC, Ruggiero KJ, Acierno R, Galea S, Kilpatrick DG, Gelernter J. NPY moderates the relation between hurricane exposure and generalized anxiety disorder in an epidemiologic sample of hurricane-exposed adults. Depress Anxiety. 2010 Mar;27(3):270-5. PMID: 20037921

Acierno R, Hernandez MA, Amstadter AB, Resnick HS, Steve K, Muzzy W, Kilpatrick DG. Prevalence and correlates of emotional, physical, sexual, and financial abuse and potential neglect in the United States: The national elder mistreatment study. Am J Public Health. 2010 Feb;100(2):292-7. PMID: 20019303

Amstadter AB, Acierno R, Richardson LK, Kilpatrick DG, Gros DF, Gaboury MT, Tran TL, Trung LT, Tam NT, Tuan T, Buoi LT, Ha TT, Thach TD, Galea S. Posttyphoon prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder, major depressive disorder, panic disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder in a Vietnamese sample. J Trauma Stress. 2009 Jun;22(3):180-8. PMID: 19455707

Acierno R, Amstadter AB, Gros DF, Richardson L, Kilpatrick DG, Trung LT, Tuan T, Buoi LT, Ha TT, Thach TD, Gaboury MT, Tran TL, Tam NT, Seymour A, Galea S. A pre-/post-disaster epidemiological study of mental health functioning in Vietnam’s Da Nang Province following typhoon Xangsane. Int Perspect Vict. 2009 Mar 1;4(1):78-85. PMID: 20523909

Amstadter AB, Broman-Fulks J, Zinzow H, Ruggiero KJ, Cercone J. Internet-based interventions for traumatic stress-related mental health problems: A review and suggestion for future research. Clin Psychol Rev. 2009 Jul;29(5):410-20. PMID: 19403215