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Alyssa Banford Witting

Associate Professor

258 TLRB

More Information

Alyssa Banford Witting completed her undergraduate in Marriage, Family, Human Development (MFHD) at BYU in 2007. After that, she completed her Master's Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) at Auburn University in 2009. Form there, she completed a PhD in 2011 from Texas Tech University in MFT and then went on to do a post-doctoral fellowship and visiting professorship at the University of Connecticut in MFT. She then worked as faculty in MFT at Alliant International University, San Diego from 2013-2017. In 2017 she joined the MFT faculty at BYU where she is currently working. Alyssa's research area is in understanding what factors help to reduce or exacerbate trauma symptoms, especially in the context of mass trauma such as disaster, the COVID-19 pandemic and other large scale traumatic events.

Post-doc/visiting professorship, University of Connecticut, 2011-2013
PhD in MFT, Texas Tech, 2011
MS in MFT, Auburn, 2009
BS in MFHD, BYU, 2007

Research Interests:
My research interest broadly encompasses processes sustaining trauma symptoms as well as resources aiding rehabilitation in trauma affected populations. I tend to utilize stress and resource theories as my foundational lens in examining these issues.

My emphasis of topical interest is in mass trauma events. Specifically, I am interested in the relational, contextual, and socio-cultural issues which influence trauma symptoms and recovery in individuals, families, and communities affected by natural disaster. I have conducted research in Sri Lanka and the US with war and disaster affected populations.

My current research projects include dyadic data analyses with couples' databases collected with couples affected by trauma, disaster and the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have interest in working with me on a project, please email me or watch for an available section of 403R.

Professional Affiliations:

Recent Publications:

  • Banford Witting, A., Bagley, L.*, Nelson, K.*, & Lindsay, T.* (2020). Natural Disasters and the Relational Study of the Family: A 2-Decade Scoping Review. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction,
  • Banford Witting, A., & Busby, D. (2020). The Residuum of Childhood Physical and Sexual Abuse: Coming to Terms in Couple Relationships. Journal of Interpersonal Violence,
  • Dollahite, D. C., Marks, L. D., Banford Witting, A., LeBaron, A. B., Young, K. P., & Chelladurai, J. M. (2020). How relationship-enhancing transcendent religious experiences during adversity can encourage relational meaning, depth, healing, and action. Religions, 11, 519.
  • Hee, C.*, Banford Witting, A., Sandberg, J., (2020). Family adversity and relationship quality for Pacific Islanders and the mediating role of coming to terms, self-esteem, and depression. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy
  • Marshall, K.*, Banford Witting, A., Sandberg, J., Bean, R. (2020). We shall overcome: The association between family of origin adversity, coming to terms, and relationship quality in African Americans. Contemporary Family Therapy
  • Banford Witting, A., Lambert, J., Hughes Barrow, B.*, Whiting, J., Hartshorn, R.*, Marks, L., Wickrama, T., & Thanigaseelan, S. (2020). ‘We Have Lost Our Lives Already’: Loss and Coping among Sri Lankan Widowed Women. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma.
  • Banford Witting, A., Lambert, J., Johnson, L.N., Goodkin, C.*, & Wickrama, T. (2019). The Stigma of Widowhood in War and Disaster Affected Communities of Sri Lanka: Contextual Paths Between Trauma Exposure and Mental Health Distress. International Journal of Psychology. DOI:10.1002/ijop.12618
  • Anderson, S.R., Banford Witting, A., Tambling, R., Ketring, S., & Johnson, N. (2019). Pressure to attend therapy, dyadic adjustment, and adverse childhood experiences: Direct and indirect effects on the therapeutic alliance in couples therapy. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. Doi: 10.1111/jmft.12394
  • Banker, J., Banford Witting, A., Jensen, J. (2019). Hormones and childhood trauma: Links between the physical and psychological. The Family Journal.
  • Brown, M., Whiting, J., Fessler, E., Banford Witting, A., Jensen, J. (2019). A dyadic model of stress, coping, and marital satisfaction among parents raising children on the autism spectrum. Family Relations. (
  • Whiting, J., Dansby Olufuwote, R., Cravens-Pickens, J. D., & Banford Witting, A. (2019). Online Blaming and Intimate Partner Violence: A Content Analysis of Social Media Comments. The Qualitative Report, 24(1), 78-94. Retrieved from