College of Liberal and Fine Arts

Bio

Dr. Sandra Morissette is a clinical psychologist and Professor in the Department of Psychology at UTSA. For over 18 years, she worked as a clinician and researcher in both the Veterans Health Administration and universities settings, dedicating her career to treating and researching ways to improve the lives of post-9/11 veterans. Her expertise is in studying trauma, anxiety, and addictive behaviors, with a particular interest in understanding factors that improve functional recovery in veterans who served in support of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. For the last 7 years, she conducted a series of three longitudinal studies that investigated warzone experiences, traumatic stress, and long-term functioning in returning veterans. The aim of these studies is provide a scientific platform for developing novel interventions for veterans who are struggling with recovery and reintegration. As a UTSA faculty member, Dr. Morissette has a special interest in helping student veterans in higher education capitalize on the GI Bill and reset their missions as productive civilians. She recently conducted an open pilot clinical trial of Written Exposure Therapy for students with post-traumatic stress disorder. Delivering empirically-supported treatments in real-world settings, such as UTSA’s Counseling Services, is a critical aspect of her research mission to bring services to patients where and when they need them.

Degrees

  • Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, 2001, Boston University (APA approved)
  • M.A. in Clinical Psychology, 1997, Boston University
  • B.A. in Psychology, 1993, University of Vermont

Recent Courses

  • 3543 Intro to Clinical Psychology
  • 5313 Psychopathology (M.S. level)
  • 7023 Military Health Psychology (Ph.D. level)

Research in Progress

Principal Investigator, UTSA/UT-Health SALSI Pilot Awards: Opioid Epidemic Research, MindfullyAdherent: A tailored mHealth intervention to optimize medication adherence for opioid use disorder (UT-Health PI: Potter)

Funding Period: 09/01/2018 – 08/31/2019
Total Direct Costs: $50,000
 
Co-Sponsor (F31AA026477-01), National Institute of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse (NIAAA) National Research Service Award (NRSA) Predoctoral Fellowship, Problematic drinking among Latina/o college students: The role of enculturation and traditional gender roles (PI/Mentee: Perrotte)
Funding period: 9/2017-8/2019
Total Direct Costs: $66,996
 
Consultant (I01CX001486), VA CSR&D Merit Award, Nonsuicidal Self-Injury in Veterans with PTSD (PI: Kimbrel)
Funding Period: 01/01/2017 – 12/31/2020
Total Direct Costs: $990,000
 
Co-Investigator (I01 RX000304-08), VA Rehabilitation Research & Development, The impact of modifiable psychosocial factors on Veterans’ long-term trajectories of functioning and quality of life: Promoting recovery by targeting mindfulness and psychological flexibility (PI: Meyer)
Funding Period: 7/1/2018 – 6/30/22
Total Direct Costs: $1,064,072
 
 
 

Recent Publications

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

  • *Martindale, S. L., Morissette, S. B., *Kimbrel, N. A., Meyer, E. C., Kruse, M. I., Gulliver, S. B.,  & Dolan, S. L. (2016). Neuropsychological functioning, coping, and quality of life among Iraq/Afghanistan veterans. Rehabilitation Psychology, 61, 231-239. Doi: 10.1037.rep0000076.

  • *Kimbrel, N. A., Meyer, E. C., DeBeer, B. B., Mitchell, J. T., Kimbrel, A. D., Nelson-Gray, R. O., & Morissette, S. B. (2016). Reinforcement sensitivity, combat exposure, and social anxiety in combat veterans. Personality and Individual Differences, 98, 171-175. DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2016.04.008

  • *Kimbrel, N. A., DeBeer, B. B., Meyer, E. C., Gulliver, S. B., & Morissette, S. B. (2016). Non-suicidal self-injury and suicide attempts in Iraq/Afghanistan war veterans. Psychiatry Research, 243, 232-237. DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2016.06.039

  • *Kittel, J.A., DeBeer, B.B., *Kimbrel, N.A., Matthieu, M.L., Meyer, E.C., Gulliver, S.B., & Morissette, S.B. (2016). Does BMI moderate the association between posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms and suicidal ideation in Iraq/Afghanistan veterans? Psychiatry Research, 244, 123-9.  DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2016.07.039

  • *Martindale, S. L., Morissette, S. B., Rowland, J. A., & Dolan, S. L. (2016). Sleep quality affects cognitive functioning in returning combat veterans beyond combat exposure, PTSD and mild TBI history neuropsychology. Neuropsychology, 31, 930104. DOI: 10.1037/neu0000312

  • *Kimbrel, N. A., Meyer, E. C., DeBeer, B. B., Gulliver, S. B., & Morissette, S. B. (2016). A 12-month prospective study of the effects of PTSD-depression comorbidity on suicidal behavior in Iraq/Afghanistan-era veterans. Psychiatry Research, 243, 97-9. Doi: 10.1016/jpsychres.2016.06-011

  • DeBeer, B. B., *Kittel, J. A., Cook, A., Davidson, D., *Kimbrel, N. A., Meyer, E. C., Gulliver, S. B., & Morissette, S. B. (2016). Predicting Suicide Risk in Trauma Exposed Veterans: The Potential Role of Health Promoting Behaviors. PLoS ONE, 11(12), e0167.464. doi: 10.1371/journalpone.0167464. [Article featured on: VHA National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention newsletter, February 2017, http://www.prevention.va.gov/For_Clinicians/; and PsyPost ]http://www.psypost.org/2017/05/health-promoting-behaviors-may-buffer-suicide-veterans-ptsd-48885]

  • Elliott, T. R., Hsiao, Y., *Kimbrel, N. A., Meyer, E., DeBeer, B., B., Gulliver, S. B., Kwok, O., & Morissette, S. B. (2016). Resilience and traumatic brain injury among Iraq/Afghanistan war veterans: Differential patterns of adjustment and quality of life. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 73, 1160-1178. Doi: 10.1002/jcpl.22414

  • Young, K. A., Morissette, S. B., Jamroz, R., Meyer, E. C., Wan, L., Stanford, M. S., & Kimbrel, N. A. (2017). 5HTTLPR and DISC1 risk genotypes for elevated PTSD symptoms in OEF/OIF Veterans. World Psychiatry, 16, 109-110. DOI:10.1002/wps.20359

  • *Ismaeel, A., Weems, S., Crow, J., Morissette, S. B., Myers, D., Dolan, S., Whitacre, J., & Ellor, J. W. (2017). Association between negative emotional states and unhealthy nutritional behaviors in Soldiers. Military Behavioral Health Journal, 6, 66-74.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21635781.2017.1337597

  • Kimbrel, N. A., Thomas, S.P., Hicks, T.A., Hertzberg, M.A., Clancy, C.P., Elbogen, E.B., Meyer, E.C., DeBeer, B.B., Gross, G.M., Silvia, P.J., Morissette, S.B., Gratz, K.L., Calhoun, P.S., & Beckham, J.C. (2017). Wall/object punching: An important but under-recognized form of nonsuicidal self-injury. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 48, 501-511. Doi: 10.1111/sltb.12371

  • Crow, J. R., Myers, D. R., Ellor, J. E., Dolan, S., Whitacre, J. & Morissette, S. B. (2017). Family-of-Origin and Service-Member Resilience. Journal of Family Social Work, 20, 9-25. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15379418.2016.1274593

  • DeBeer, B.B., Davidson, D., Meyer, E.C., Kimbrel, N.A., Gulliver, S.B., & Morissette, S.B. (2017). The association between toxic exposures and chronic multisymptom illness in veterans of the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 59, 54-60. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000922

  • Kimbrel, N. A., DeBeer, B. B., Meyer, E. C., Gulliver, S. B., & Morissette, S. B. (2017). The impact of cannabis use disorder on suicidal and nonsuicidal self-injury in Iraq/Afghanistan-era veterans with and without mental health disorders. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 48, 140-148. DOI: 10.1111/sltb.12345

  • Kimbrel, N.A., Wilson, L.C., Mitchell, J.T., Meyer, E.C., DeBeer, B.B.,  Silvia, P.J., Gratz, K.L., Calhoun, P.S., Beckham, J.C., & Morissette, S.B. (2017). ADHD and nonsuicidal self-injury in male veterans with and without PTSD. Psychiatry Research, 252, 161-163. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2017.02.015

  • DeBeer, B. B., Kimbrel, N. A., *Mendoza, C., Davidson, D., Meyer, E. C., *La Bash, H., Gulliver, S. B., & Morissette, S. B. (2017). Traumatic brain injury, sleep quality, and suicidal ideation in Iraq/Afghanistan-Era Veterans. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 205, 512-516. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000695

  • DeBeer, B. B., Meyer, E. C., Kimbrel, N. A., *Kittel, J. A., Gulliver, S. B., & Morissette, S. B. (2017). Psychological inflexibility predicts suicidal ideation over time in veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 48, 627-641. doi: 10.1111/sltb.12388

  • Morissette, S. B., DeBeer, B. B., Kimbrel, N. A., Meyer, E. C. & Gulliver, S. B. (2017). Deployment characteristics and long-term PTSD symptoms in post-9/11 veterans. Journal of Clinical Psychology, online. doi: 10.1002/jclp.22535

  • *Woodward, M. J., Morissette, S. B., Kimbrel, N. A., Meyer, E. C., DeBeer, B. B., Gulliver, S. B., & Beck, J. G. (2018). A cross-lagged panel approach to understanding social support and posttraumatic stress disorder in veterans: Assessment modality matters. Behavior Therapy. Available online. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beth.2018.01.004

  • Meyer, E. C., Konecky, B., Kimbrel, N. A., DeBeer, B. B., Marx, B., Schumm, J., Penk, W. E., Gulliver, S. B., & Morissette, S. B. (2018). Gender differences in associations between DSM-5 posttraumatic stress disorder symptom clusters and functional impairment in war veterans. Psychological Services, 15, 230-237. doi: 10.1037/ser0000171

  • Swan, A. A., Amuan, M. E., Morissette, S. B., Finley, E. P., Eapen, B. C., Jaramillo, C. A., & Pugh, M. J. (2018). Long-term physical and mental health outcomes associated with traumatic brain injury severity in Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans: A retrospective cohort study. Brain Injury, Published Online. https://doi.org/10.1080/02699052.2018.1518539

  • Pennington, M. L., Carpenter, T. P., Synett, S. J., Torres, V. A., Teague, J., Morissette, S. B., Knight, J., Kamholz, B. W., Keane, T. M., Zimering, R. T., & Gulliver, S. B. (2018). The influence of exposure to natural disasters on depression and PTSD symptoms among firefighters.  Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 33, 102-108. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1049023X17007026

  • Meyer, E.C., *Frankfurt, S.B., Kimbrel, N.A., DeBeer, B.B., Gulliver, S.B., & Morissette, S.B. (2018). The Influence of Mindfulness, Self-Compassion, Psychological Flexibility, and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder on Disability and Quality of Life Over Time in War Veterans. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 74, 1272-1280. DOI:10.1002/jclp.22596

  • Gulliver, S. B., Zimering, R. T., Knight, J., Morissette, S. B., Kamholz, B. W., Meyer, E. C., Keane, T. M., Pennington, M., Denman, T., Carpenter, T. & Kimbrel, N. A. (2018). Tobacco and alcohol use among firefighters during their first three years of service. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 322, 255-263. DOI: 10.1037/adb0000366

  • Frankfurt, S., DeBeer, B., Morissette, S. B., Kimbrel, N., La Bash, H., & Meyer, E. (2018). Mechanisms of moral injury following military sexual trauma and combat in post-9/11 U.S. war veterans. Frontiers in Psychiatry – Mood and Anxiety Disorders, online access only. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00520

  • Meyer, E. C., *La Bash, H., DeBeer, B. B., Kimbrel, N. A., Gulliver, S. B., & Morissette, S. B. (2018). Psychological Inflexibility Predicts PTSD Symptom Severity in War Veterans After Accounting for Established PTSD Risk Factors and Personality. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy. DOI: 10.1037/tra0000358

  • Meyer, E. C., Walser, R., Hermann, B., La Bash, H., DeBeer, B., Morissette, S. B., Kimbrel, N. A., Kwok, O., Batten, S., & Schnurr, P. (2018). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for co-occurring PTSD and alcohol use disorders in veterans: Pilot treatment outcomes. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 31, 781-789. doi: 10.1002/jts.22322

  • Kelly, M., DeBeer, B. B., Meyer, E. C., Kimbrel, N. A., Gulliver, S. B., & Morissette, S. B. (2018). Experiential avoidance as a mediator of the association between posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms and social support: A longitudinal analysis. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, Advanced on-line publication.  

  • *Ryan-Gonzalez, C., Kimbrel, N. A., Meyer, E. C., Gordon, E. M., DeBeer, D., Gulliver, S. B., Elliott, T. R., & Morissette, S. B. (2018). Differences in PTSD symptoms among post-9/11 veterans with blast- and non-blast mild TBI. Journal of Neurotrauma. Published online December 2018.  https://doi.org/10.1089/neu.2017.5590

  • Meyer, E. C., Kotte, A., Kimbrel, N. A., DeBeer, B. B., Elliott, T. R., Gulliver, S. B. & Morissette, S. B. (2018). Predictors of lower-than-expected posttraumatic symptom severity in war veterans: The influence of personality, self-reported trait resilience, and psychological flexibility. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 113, 1-8. Doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2018.12.005

  • Riggs, S., Carver, K., Wilson, J., Morissette, S. B., Campbell, R., Romero, D., & McGuffin, J. (in press). Attachment, Communication and Relationship Functioning among Student Veterans and Non-Veterans. Journal of College Counseling.

  • DeBeer, B. B., Matthieu, M.M., *Kittel, J.A., Degutis, L.C., Clafferty, S., Qualls, N., & Morissette, S.B. (in press). Quality improvement evaluation of the feasibility and acceptability of adding a concerned significant other to safety planning for suicide prevention with veterans. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 41, 4-20. https://doi.org/10.17744/mehc.41.1.02

  • Creech, S. Benzer, J. K., Meyer, E. C., DeBeer, B. B., Kimbrel, N. A., & Morissette, S. B. Longitudinal associations in the direction and prediction of PTSD symptoms and romantic relationship impairment over one year in post 9/11 veterans: A comparison of theories and exploration of potential gender differences. Journal of Abnormal Psychology.

  • Meyer, E.C., Szabo, Y.Z., Frankfurt, S.B., Kimbrel, N.A., DeBeer, B.B., & Morissette, S.B. (in press). Predictors of recovery from post-deployment posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms in war veterans: The contributions of psychological flexibility, self-compassion, and mindfulness. Behaviour Research and Therapy.

  • *Layman, P. G., Sanford, K., Myers, D. R., Dolan, S., Ellor, J. W., Morissette, S. B., Whitacre, J., & Crow, J. (in press). Intimate partner cohesion and military unit cohesion: Different types of interpersonal relationships each uniquely predict soldier wellbeing. Military Psychology.

  • Elliott, T. R., Hsiao, Y., Kimbrel, N. A., DeBeer, B. B., Gulliver, S. B., Kwok, O., Morissette, S. B., & Meyer, E. C. (in press). Resilience Facilitates Psychological and Functional Adjustment Through Greater Psychological Flexibility among Iraq/Afghanistan War Veterans With and Without Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. Rehabilitation Psychology.

    * denotes mentee/trainee co-author

     

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