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Amanda C. Venta, Ph.D.

Amanda C. Venta, Ph.D.

Associate Professor 
Director, Youth and Family Studies Lab
Ph.D., University of Houston

Health 1, Room 442

Dr. Venta will be reviewing graduate student applications for the 2024-2025 academic year. Application deadline is Dec 1, 2023. Please see Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data for details.

Biographical Summary

Dr. Amanda Venta is an Associate Professor of Psychology, a licensed clinical psychologist, and Director of the Youth and Family Studies Lab at the University of Houston. Dr. Venta returned to the University of Houston as an Associate Professor of Psychology after five years on the faculty at Sam Houston State University. She received her B.A. from Rice University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Houston. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at DePelchin Children’s Center through the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine, where she remains Adjunct Faculty. Dr. Venta’s clinical training focused on children, adolescents, and families, with practicum placements at DePelchin Children’s Center and Texas Children’s Hospital. She also provided psychological services within the University of Houston’s Psychology Research and Services Center and in several Houston-area schools. Her primary research interests are the development of psychopathology in youth and the protective effect of attachment security, with additional interests in emotion dysregulation and social cognition. She has recently focused on the psychological functioning of recently immigrated adolescents from Central America, with related research and clinical work. She has received research funding from the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities, the National Institutes of Mental Health, and the American Psychological Foundation. She serves on the editorial boards of Attachment and Human Development, Child Psychiatry and Human Development, and the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. She has published more than 80 scientific papers, chapters, and books.

Recent Research Funding

  • National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD): The physiological and relational bases of persistent posttraumatic stress in Latino immigrant youth (co-PI: Venta & Bechelli)
  • National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH):  The effect of stereotype threat in police encounters on behavioral and affective outcomes: Investigating the mediating role of neurobiology and social cognition(Faculty Sponsor: Venta)
  • National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH):  Oxytocin and social engagement(PI: Venta)


  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Child Interventions
  • Developmental Psychopathology


Youth and Family Studies Lab

Selected Publications

Venta, A. (2020). Attachment Facilitates Acculturative Learning and Adversity Moderates: Validating the Theory of Epistemic Trust in a Natural Experiment. Child Psychiatry & Human Development, 1-7.

Venta, A., Galicia, B., Bailey, C., Abate, A., Marshall, K., & Long, T. (2020). Attachment and loss in the context of US immigration: caregiver separation and characteristics of internal working models of attachment in high school students. Attachment & Human Development22(4), 474-489.

Venta, A. (2019). The Real Emergency at Our Southern Border Is Mental Health. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry58(12), 1217-1218.

Venta, A., Harmon, J., Abate, A., Marshall, K., & Mouton‐Odum, S. (2019). Pilot data supporting an attachment‐based theory of adolescent social media use. Child and Adolescent Mental Health24(3), 274-282.

Venta, A., Ball, E., Shmueli-Goetz, Y., & Sharp, C. (2018). Artificial neural network coding of the Child Attachment Interview using linguistic data. Attachment & Human Development, 20(1), 62-83

Venta, A., Ha, C., Vanwoerden, S., Newlin, E., Strathearn, L., & Sharp, C. (2017). Paradoxical intranasal oxytocin effects on trust in inpatient and community adolescents. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 1-10.

Venta, A., Shmueli-Goetz, Y., & Sharp, C. (2014). Assessing attachment in adolescence: A psychometric study of the Child Attachment Interview. Psychological Assessment, 26(1), 238-255. doi:10.1037/a0034712