Heather Littleton, Ph.D.

Heather Littleton portrait

Heather Littleton, Ph.D.

Director of Research Operations, Associate Professor
Lyda Hill Institute for Human Resilience


Dr. Littleton is an Associate Professor of Psychology at UCCS and Director of Operations at the Lyda Hill Institute for Human Resilience. She received her PhD in Psychology from Virginia Tech in 2004. She completed her predoctoral internship at the Boston Consortium in Clinical Psychology and a postdoctoral fellowship in Women’s Health/Clinical Health Psychology at the University of Texas Medical Branch. Prior to joining the Lyda Hill Institute for Human Resilience, Dr. Littleton was a Professor of Psychology at East Carolina University in North Carolina where she served as a core faculty member in the Clinical Health Psychology doctoral program from 2008 to 2020.


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Research Interests

Dr. Littleton’s work spans clinical, health, social, and trauma psychology. Much of her work has examined the role of social cognitive factors, including coping behaviors, social support, disclosure responses, and attributions, in adjustment following trauma. She has primarily focused on the experiences of survivors of sexual assault, but she also has conducted research among survivors of mass shootings, natural disasters, and intimate partner violence.

In more recent years, Dr. Littleton has been interested in leveraging technology to deliver efficacious intervention and prevention programming, as well as to assess victimization risk behavior and adjustment among trauma survivors. She developed an online asynchronous therapist-facilitated program for sexual assault survivors with PTSD, the From Survivor to Thriver program. She is also currently collaborating with Dr. Katie Edwards from the University of Nebraska to develop a telepsychology delivered intimate partner violence and alcohol use prevention program for LGBQ+ youth.

Finally, several of Dr. Littleton’s more recent projects have evaluated how experiences with discrimination at the individual and institutional levels affects sexual, gender, and racial/ethnic minority individuals’ vulnerability to, and recovery from, violence.

Dr. Littleton has received funding for her research from the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Science Foundation. In 2018, she chaired a working group to develop a briefing paper on sexual violence for the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, and previously served on the Executive Committee of Division 56 (Trauma) of the American Psychological Association (APA). She currently serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Traumatic Stress, Psychology of Women Quarterly, and Psychology of Violence. She is a Fellow of Division 35 (Psychology of Women) of APA.