Holly OrcuttHolly Orcutt, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology

Phone: (815)753-5920
Fax: (815)753-8088
Office: PM 305
Personal Web page


Ph.D.: University at Buffalo, State University of New York 1998


My research interests fall within the broad framework of traumatic stress. With an interest in prevention of trauma exposure, I am investigating risk and protective factors for interpersonal violence perpetration and victimization. In addition, I am interested in whether or not there are emotion regulation strategies in response to painful experiences (e.g., sexual assault, the mass shooting at NIU) that are more or less predictive of suffering (i.e., pathological anxiety, PTSD), particularly with regard to issues of acceptance (e.g., mindfulness, forgiveness) vs. avoidance (e.g., experiential avoidance).


  • Psych 316  Introduction to Psychopathology
  • Psych 418  Introduction to Clinical Psychology
  • Psych 643  Theories of Psychotherapy
  • Psych 654  Clinical Team Practicum
  • Psych 680c Issues of Professional Concern: Ethics and Multiculturalism


  • Miron, L. R., Orcutt, H. K., Hannan, S. M., & Thompson, K. L. (in press).  Childhood abuse and problematic alcohol use in college females: The role of self-compassion.  Self and Identity. 
  • Hannan, S. M., & Orcutt, H. K. (2013). Emotion dysregulation as a partial mediator between reinforcement sensitivity and posttraumatic stress symptoms. Personality and Individual Differences, 55, 574-578.
  • Bardeen, J. R., Kumpula, M. J., & Orcutt, H. K. (2013). Emotion regulation difficulties as a prospective predictor of posttraumatic stress symptoms following a mass shooting.   Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 27, 188-196.
  • Mercer, K. B., Orcutt, H. K., Quinn, J. F., Fitzgerald, C. A., Conneely, K. N., Barfield, R. T., Gillespie, C. F., & Ressler, K. J. (2012). Acute- and post-traumatic stress symptoms in a prospective Gene X Environment study of a university campus shooting. Archives of General Psychiatry, 69, 89-97.
  • Kumpula, M. J., Orcutt, H. K., Bardeen, J. R., & Varkovitzky, R. L. (2011). Peritraumatic dissociation and experiential avoidance as prospective predictors of posttraumatic stress symptoms. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 120, 617–627.
  • Orcutt, H., & Littleton, Heather (2010). Implementing and managing a quick-response research project: Advice from researchers responding to the tragedies at Virginia Tech and North Illinois University.  Traumatic StressPoints, 24(1), 5-6.
  • Orcutt, H. K. (2006). The prospective relationship of interpersonal forgiveness and psychological distress symptoms among college women.  Journal of Counseling Psychology, 53, 350-361.
  • Orcutt, H. K., Cooper M. L., & Garcia, M. (2005).  Use of sexual intercourse to reduce negative affect as a prospective mediator of sexual revictimization.  Journal of Traumatic Stress, 18, 729-739.


  • “Biomarkers for Posttraumatic Stress in College Women Following a Campus Mass Shooting.” Proposal funded by the National Institutes of Health (1R15MH099521-01). Award Period: 09/01/20112 – 8/31/2015. Direct costs: $300,000. Principal Investigator: Holly K. Orcutt, Ph.D.
  • “Risk and Protective Factors for Adjustment of College Women After a Mass Shooting.”  Proposal funded by the National Institutes of Health.  Award Period: 09/15/2008 - 05/31/2010.  Direct costs:  $250,000.  Principal Investigator:  Holly K. Orcutt, Ph.D.
  • “Impact of Mass Trauma at Northern Illinois University.”  Proposal funded by the Joyce Foundation.  Award Period: 03/15/2008 - 03/15/2009.  Direct costs:  $20,000.  Principal Investigator:  Holly K. Orcutt, Ph.D.
  • “Sexual Revictimization:  Affect Regulation as a Mediator.”  Proposal funded by the National Institutes of Health.  Award Period: 04/01/2006 - 04/01/2009.  Direct costs:  $150,000.  Principal Investigator:  Holly K. Orcutt, Ph.D.