University of Vermont

College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Psychological Science

Michael Zvolensky

Research Appointment

Michael Zvolensky

Michael Zvolensky

Professor of Psycholgy
University of Houston
  • B.A. University of Buffalo, 1996
  • M.A. West Virginia University, 1998
  • Ph.D. West Virginia University, 2001
C.V. (PDF)
Contact Information

My research program utilizes a translational model to better understand the onset, maintenance, and treatment of anxiety disorders and their co-occurrence with substance use disorders. In pursuit of this knowledge, I use two interrelated and convergent approaches: (1) basic laboratory research examining clinically malleable factors that increase risk for anxiety psychopathology and substance use disorders; and (2) clinical extensions of that basic research in the form of the development and evaluation of theoretically-driven psychosocial prevention and intervention strategies targeting difficult-to-treat populations (substance use disorder and anxiety psychopathology comorbidity). An overarching goal of my work is to identify malleable (changeable) cognitive, behavioral, and affective factors that can be clinically targeted using prevention or treatment strategies to alleviate anxiety psychopathology and comorbid conditions. My work is conducted from a biopsychosocial framework and uses a diverse range of methodologies, spanning from the laboratory to the field (cross-sectional and prospective), employs a variety of data analytic approaches (e.g., latent class analysis, taxometric analysis), and has been extended and replicated across a variety of cultural or national groups to increase the generalizability of conclusions drawn from such work.

Examples of current studies include the following:

  • Evaluating an indicated prevention program for panic disorder.
  • Evaluating an exercise-based smoking cessation program for smokers with anxiety disorders.
  • Exploring mechainisms linking smoking to anxiety disorders.
  • Documenting and understanding the nature of affect tolerance and sensitivity constructs in the onset and maintenance of anxiety psychopathology.


Dr. Zvolensky and the Anxiety & Health Research Laboratory staff regularly provide community-based workshop and consultation regarding anxiety and substance use problems. The Anxiety & Health Research Laboratory serves principally individuals with anxiety problems, substance use disorders, or the combination of anxiety and substance use problems.

Representative Publications

  • Zvolensky, M. J., Marshall, E. C., Johnson, K., Hogan, J., Bernstein, A., & Bonn-Miller, M. O. (2009). Relations between anxiety sensitivity, distress tolerance, and fear reactivity to bodily sensations to coping and conformity marijuana use motives among young adult marijuana users. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 17, 31-42.
  • Zvolensky, M. J., Stewart, S. H., Vujanovic, A., Gavric, D., & Steeves, D. (2009). Anxiety sensitivity and anxiety and depressive symptoms in the prediction of early smoking lapse and relapse during smoking cessation treatment. Nicotine and Tobacco Research, 11, 323-331.
  • Zvolensky, M. J., Gibson, L. E., Vujanovic, A. A., Gregor, K., Bernstein, A., Kahler, C., Lejuez, C. W., Brown, R. A., & Feldner, M. T. (2008). Impact of posttraumatic stress disorder on early smoking lapse and relapse during a self-guided quit attempt among community-recruited daily smokers. Nicotine and Tobacco Research, 10, 1415-1427.
  • Zvolensky, M. J., & Smits, J. A. (Eds.) (2008). Anxiety in health behaviors and physical illness: Contemporary theory and research. New York: Springer.

Acting Chair
Clinical Training Program Director
General/Experimental Program Acting Director
Undergraduate Director
Business Manager
Behavioral Pharmacology
Joint Appointment
Behavior Therapy and Psychotherapy Faculty
Clinical Psychology Internship Program (CPIP)
Post-Doctoral Fellows
Emeriti Faculty
Contact UVM © 2015 The University of Vermont - Burlington, VT 05405 - (802) 656-3131