Eric Vernberg

Eric Vernberg
  • Professor

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Dr. Vernberg received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Virginia in 1988. Following an APA-approved Clinical Internship at the Children's Hospital National Medical Center (Washington, DC), he joined the faculty of the University of Miami. He joined the faculty of the University of Kansas in 1993 as a core faculty member in the newly-established Clinical Child Psychology Program, and is currently a Professor of Psychology and Applied Behavioral Science. Dr. Vernberg is the author or co-author of more than 100 journal articles and book chapters in his area of study. His empirical work is supported by numerous grants and research contracts, including grants from FEMA/US Department of Homeland Security, the US Department of Education, SAMHSA, and the National Institute of Mental Health. Dr. Vernberg serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, and has co-written or co-edited several books, including Helping Children Cope with Disasters and Terrorism (2002, American Psychological Association), Psychological First Aid: Field Operations Guide (2006; NCTSN and NCPTSD), Skills for Psychological Recovery Field Operations (2010, NCTSN & NCPTSD), and Preventing and Treating Bullying and Victimization (2010; Oxford University Press). Dr. Vernberg has received University awards for his teaching, mentoring, and service, including the Teaching Achievement Recognition Award from the KU Center for Teaching Excellence (2011), the W. T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence (2003), and the Wally and Marie Steeples Faculty Award for Outstanding Service to the People of Kansas (2003).


My research program involves applying and advancing psychological science to solve real world problems faced by children, adolescents, and their families. I am committed to generating knowledge that can be used to guide treatment and preventive interventions My research activities focus on three areas: 1. Psychological impact of terrorism, disasters, and violence on children and adolescents 2. Peer relationships, including friendship development and bully-victim-bystander problems 3. Development and dissemination of evidence-based interventions for children and adolescents.

Selected Publications

Hambrick, E. P., Vernberg, E. M., Greenhoot, A. F., & Hendrickson, M. L. (2017). Recalling a devastating tornado: Qualities of child recollections and association with mental health symptoms. [Journal Articles]. Journal of Child and Adolescent Trauma. Published.
Kolko, D. J., & Vernberg, E. M. (2017). Assessment and Intervention with Children and Adolescents Who Misuse Fire: Practitioner Guide [Books]. In Oxford University Press.
Hambrick, E. P., O’Connor, B. M., & Vernberg, E. M. (2016). Interview and recollection-based research with child disaster survivors: Participation-related changes in emotion and perceptions of participation. [Journal Articles]. Psychological Trauma : Theory, Research, Practice and Policy, 8(2), 165–171.
Vernberg, E. M., Hambrick, E. P., Cho, B., & Hendrickson, M. L. (2016). Positive Psychology and Disaster Mental Health: Strategies for Working with Children and Adolescents. [Journal Articles]. Journal of Clinical Psychology. Published.
Fite, P. J., Gabrielli, J., Cooley, J. L., Rubens, S. L., Pederson, C. A., & Vernberg, E. M. (2016). Associations Between Physical and Relational Forms of Peer Aggression and Victimization and Risk for Substance Use Among Elementary School-Age Youth. [Journal Articles]. Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse, 25(1), 1–10.
Legerski, J.-P., Greenhoot, A. F., Vernberg, E. M., La Greca, A. M., & Silverman, W. K. (2015). Longitudinal Analysis of Children’s Internal States Language and Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms Following a Natural Disaster [Journal Articles]. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 29(1), 91–103.
Hambrick, E. P., Rubens, S. L., Vernberg, E. M., Jacobs, A. K., & Kanine, R. M. (2014). Towards Successful Dissemination of Psychological First Aid: A Study of Provider Training Preferences. [Journal Articles]. The Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research, 41(2), 203–215.
Rubens, S. L., Vernberg, E. M., Felix, E. D., & Canino, G. (2013). Peer deviance, social support, and symptoms of internalizing disorders among youth exposed to Hurricane Georges. [Journal Articles]. Psychiatry, 76(2), 169–181.
La Greca, A. M., Lai, B. S., Llabre, M. M., Silverman, W. K., Vernberg, E. M., & Prinstein, M. J. (2013). Children’s Postdisaster Trajectories of PTS Symptoms: Predicting Chronic Distress. [Journal Articles]. Child & Youth Care Forum, 42(4), 351–369.
Felix, E., You, S., Vernberg, E., & Canino, G. (2013). Family influences on the long term post-disaster recovery of Puerto Rican youth [Journal Articles]. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 41, 111–124.
Vernberg, E. M., & Hambrick, E. P. (2013). Helping people cope with disasters [Book Chapters]. In G. Koocher, J. C. Norcross, & B. A. Greene (Eds.), PsychologistΓÇÖs desk reference (Issue 3, pp. 711–716). Oxford University Press.
Fite, P. J., Williford, A., Cooley, J. L., DePaolis, K., Rubens, S. L., & Vernberg, E. M. (2013). Patterns of victimization locations in elementary school children: Effects of grade level and gender. [Journal Articles]. Child and Youth Care Forum, 42, 585–597.
Legerski, J. P., Vernberg, E. M., & Noland, B. J. (2012). A qualitative analysis of barriers, challenges, and successes in meeting the needs of Hurricane Katrina evacuee families. [Journal Articles]. Community Mental Health Journal, 48(6), 729–740.
Puddy, R. W., Roberts, M. C., Vernberg, E. M., Erin, P., & Hambrick, E. P. (2012). Service coordination and children’s functioning in a school-based intensive mental health program [Journal Articles]. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 21, 948–962.
Biggs, B. K., Vernberg, E. M., & Wu, Y. P. (2012). Social anxiety and adolescents’ friendships: The role of social withdrawal [Journal Articles]. Journal of Early Adolescence, 32, 802–823.
Vernberg, E. M., Nelson, T. D., Fonagy, P., & Twemlow, S. W. (2011). Victimization, aggression, and visits to the school nurse for somatic complaints, illnesses, and physical injuries. [Journal Articles]. Pediatrics, 127(5), 842–848.
Twemlow, S. W., Fonagy, P., Sacco, F. C., Vernberg, E. M., & Malcom, J. M. (2011). Reducing violence and prejudice in a Jamaican all age school using attachment and mentalization theory [Journal Articles]. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 28, 497–511.
Stuart, W., Twemlow, S. W., Vernberg, E. M., Fonagy, P., Biggs, B. K., Nelson, J. M., Nelson, T. D., & Sacco, F. C. (2010). A school climate intervention that reduces bullying by a focus on the bystander audience rather than the bully and victim: The Peaceful Schools Project of the Menninger Clinic and Baylor College of Medicine [Book Chapters]. In S. R. Jimerson, S. M. Swearer, & D. L. Espelage (Eds.), The International Handbook of School Bullying (pp. 365–375). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
Biggs, B. K., Vernberg, E. M., Fonagy, P., Twemlow, S. W., Little, T. D., & Dill, E. J. (2010). Peer victimization trajectories and their association with children’s affect in late elementary school [Journal Articles]. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 34, 136–146.
Allen, B., Brymer, M. J., Steinberg, A. M., Vernberg, E. M., Jacobs, A. K., Speier, A. H., & Pynoos, R. S. (2010). Perceptions of Psychological First Aid among providers responding to Hurricanes Gustav and Ike [Journal Articles]. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 23, 509–513.
Vernberg, E. M., & Biggs, B. K. (Eds.). (2010). Preventing and Treating Bullying and Victimization [Books]. Oxford University Press.
Vernberg, E. M., & Biggs, B. K. (2010). Preventing and treating bullying and victimization: An evidence-based approach [Book Chapters]. In E. M. Vernberg & B. K. Biggs (Eds.), Preventing and treating bullying and victimization (pp. 3–16). Oxford University Press.
Biggs, B. K., & Vernberg, E. M. (2010). Preventing and treating bullying and victimization: Best practices and future directions [Book Chapters]. In E. M. Vernberg & B. K. Biggs (Eds.), Preventing and treating bullying and victimization (pp. 337–355). Oxford University Press.
Felix, E., Vernberg, E. M., Pfefferbaum, R., Gill, D. C., Schorr, J., Boudreaux, A., Gurwitch, R. H., Galea, S., & Pfefferbaum, B. (2010). Schools in the shadow of terrorism: Psychosocial adjustment and interest in interventions following terror attacks [Journal Articles]. Psychology in the Schools, 47, 592–605.
National Child Traumatic Stress Network and National Center for Posttraumatic Stress, Berkowitz, S., Bryant, R., Brymer, M., Hamblen, J., Jacobs, A., Layne, C., Macy, R., Osofsky, H., Pynoos, R., Ruzek, J., Steinberg, A., Vernberg, E., & Watson, P. (2010). Skills for Psychological Recovery: Field Operations Guide [Books].
Varela, R. E., Hensley, L. S., & Vernberg, E. M. (2010). Social and community responses: Assessing relationships among environmental supports in child and caregiver adjustment following a hurricane [Book Chapters]. In R. P. Kilmer, V. Gil-Rivas, R. G. Tedeschi, & L. G. Calhoun (Eds.), Meeting the needs of children, families, and communities post-disaster: Lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath (pp. 193–213). American Psychological Association.
Powell, J. L., Hunter, H. L., Beasley, L. O., & Vernberg, E. M. (2010). Using fine-grained indices of therapists’ experience and training to predict treatment outcomes in a university-based training clinic for children and families [Journal Articles]. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 4, 138–144.
Twemlow, S. W., Vernberg, E., Fonagy, P., Biggs, B. K., Nelson, J. M., Nelson, T. D., & Sacco, F. C. (2009). A School Climate Intervention that Reduces Bullying by a Focus on the Bystander Audience Rather than the Bully and Victim [Book Chapters]. In Handbook of Bullying in Schools: An International Perspective (p. 365). Routledge.
Brymer, M. J., Steinberg, A. M., Vernberg, E. M., Layne, C. M., Watson, P. J., Jacobs, A. K., Ruzek, J. I., & Pynoos, R. S. (2009). Acute interventions for children and adolescents exposed to trauma [Book Chapters]. In E. Foa, T. Keane, M. Friedman, & J. Cohen (Eds.), Effective treatments for PTSD: Practice guidelines from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (Issue 2, pp. 106–116). Guilford.

Grants & Other Funded Activity

Natural disaster effects on aggressive children and their caretakers: Outcomes across time. 1R01HD079273. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. $1970455.00. (9/20/2013 - 9/20/2019). Federal. Status: Funded. This project is funded as a multiple PI grant. Dr. Lochman (University of Alabama) is one of two Principal Investigators (Dr. Vernberg is the second)