I’m an Associate Professor and the Irwin Belk Distinguished Scholar in Health Research in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. My research expertise spans suicide prevention, hate crimes/violence prevention, sexual and gender minority health, military health, young adulthood, quantitative methods, social science, law & policy, and community-engaged research. I’ve been fortunate to receive research funding from SAMHSA, U.S. Navy Clinical Investigations Program, DoD Department of Veterans Affairs, National Science Foundation, and a variety of private sources. I place a high value on interdisciplinary collaboration with collaborators in nursing, athletic training, law, and variety of other disciplines. Community partners in recent years include the Tuscaloosa Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Psychology For All, North Carolina Adult Division of Prisons, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, PhD Balance, and Matthew Shepard Foundation, among others.
I very much enjoy working with students across training levels! As such, I welcome interested inquiries from potential research student mentees. My teaching spans methods, theories, mental health/suicide prevention, law/policy, and general service courses. Grounded in the Jesuit ideal of Cura Personalis (educating or caring for the whole person), I value mentoring graduate and undergraduate student research and career development. Mentees have gone on to pursue doctoral degrees in many disciplines (e.g., psychology, health services research), and assumed careers in private practice, healthcare, academia, non-profit and other industry research. Our current team comprises the Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Research Lab at UNC Charlotte. Check out what some of my current and former mentees are up to!
Brittany Bate, Ph.D.; Andréa Kaniuka, MA; Emily Gabriel, Ph.D.; Tess Gemberling, Ph.D.; Jennifer Johnson, Ph.D.; Molly Long-Diehl, Ph.D.; Ryan Robertson, MA; Neielle Saint-Syr; Julie Stoner, Ph.D.; Hayley Wechsler, Ph.D.; Corrine Wilsey, Ph.D.; Sasha Zabelski, MS.
My community, professional and university service tends to focus on three core areas: scholarly dissemination, student development, and mental health. For instance, I currently serves as co-editor of the Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, with additional editorial board roles with the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, BMC Psychiatry (suicide prevention division), Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, and Aggressive Behavior. Student-focused service includes, but is not limited to, thesis and dissertation committees, prior supervision of Psi Chi (psychology undergraduate honors society), and previous management of Ph.D. student applications to APA-accredited internships. I am an active CE trainer, having delivered variations of my Core Competency Suicide Prevention Training program to more than 1000 trainees over his career.
More about me:
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- BA. – Loyola University Maryland, 2004, Psychology
- MA. – University of Alabama (Roll Tide!), 2006, Psychology
- Ph.D. – University of Alabama (Roll Tide!), 2010, Psychology
- Pre-Doctoral Internship & Research Fellow – University of California San Francisco, 2009-2010
- Introduction to the U.S. Health Care System
- Health Policy & Law
- Interprofessional Approaches to Suicide Prevention
- Suicide prevention: Vulnerable population (e.g., military, young adults) theory testing, prevention and intervention design (e.g., health professions training)
- Hate crimes and violence prevention
- Sexual and gender minority (SGM) identity and health
- Mental health
- Social and behavioral science theories applied to law and mental health
- Scale development
Sample Research Tools and Trainings:
- Core Competency Model for Corrections (CCM-C)
- Interprofessional Education Suicide Prevention Training (IPE Suicide Prevention Training)
- Core Competency Model of Suicide Prevention Training (CCM)
Research & Practice Instruments (available upon request):
- Self-Injury Risk Assessment Protocol for Corrections (SIRAP-C)
- Suicide Competency Assessment Form (SCAF)
- Hate Motivated Behavior Checklist (HMBC)
Awards & Honors
- American Public Health Association Award for Excellence: 2020
- University of Strathclyde Honorary Research Fellow: 2017
- University of Central Lancashire Honorary Research Fellow: 2016
- Alpha Chi Outstanding Faculty Award (Honors College Outstanding Teacher): 2014
Selected Publications (from more than 165; † = invited piece; ‡ = student co-author)
Pirelli, G., Wechsler, H., & Cramer, R.J. (2018). The Behavioral Science of Firearms: A Mental Health Perspective on Guns, Suicide, and Violence. Oxford University Press: New York, NY.
Cramer, R.J., Peiper, L.J., ‡Kaniuka, A.R., Diaz-Garelli, F., Baker, J.C., & ‡Robertson, R.A. (In Press). Development of The Self-Injury Risk Assessment Protocol for Corrections (SIRAP-C). Law and Human Behavior.
Hilgeman, M.M., Cramer, R.J., Hoch, M., Collins, A.N., ‡Zabelski, A., & Heebner, N.R. (In Press). A Pilot Study Comparing Two Measures of Perceived Health Services Access among Military Veterans with Musculoskeletal Injuries and Mental Health Conditions, Military Medicine.
Hilgeman, M.M., Lange, T.M., Bishop, T., & Cramer, R.J. (In Press). Spreading Pride in All Who Served: A Health Education Program to Improve Access and Mental Health Outcomes for Sexual and Gender Minority Veterans. Psychological Services.
Cramer, R.J., Franks, M., Cunningham, C.A., & Bryan, C.J. (2022). Preferences in Information Processing: Understanding Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors among Active Duty Military Service Members. Archives of Suicide Research, 26(1), 169-186.
Cramer, R.J., Judah, M.R., Badger, N.L., Holley, A.M., ‡Judd, S., Peterson, M., ‡Hager, N., Vandecar-Burdin, T., & Foss, J.J. (2022). Suicide on College Campuses: A Public Health Framework and Case Illustration. Journal of American College Health, 70(1), 1-8.
Cramer, R.J., ‡Kaniuka, A.R., ‡Yada, F., Diaz-Garelli, F., Hill, R.M., Bowling, J., ‡Macchia, J.M., & Tucker, R.P. (2022). An Analysis of Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors among Transgender and Gender Diverse Adults. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. 57(1), 195-205.
Cramer, R.J., Gunn, L., ‡Kaniuka, A.R., & Rasmussen, S. (2021). Making the Case for a Preferences in Information Processing Model of Suicide. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 40, 359-380.
Rasmussen, S., Cramer, R.J., ‡McFadden, C., ‡Haille, C., ‡Sime, V., & ‡Wilsey, C. (2021). Sexual Orientation and The Integrated Motivational-Volitional Model of Suicidal Behavior: Results from a Cross Sectional Study of Young Adults in the United Kingdom. Archives of Suicide Research, 25(3), 439-457.
Cramer, R.J., Fording, R.C., Gerstenfeld, P.B., Kehn, A., Marsden, J., Deitle, C., King, A., Smart, S., & Nobles, M.R. (2020). Hate-Motivated Behavior: Impacts, Risk Factors, and Interventions. Health Affairs. [† invited policy brief as part of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation series]
Cramer, R.J., Ireland, J.L., ‡Long, M.M., Hartley, V., & Lamis, D.A. (2020). Initial Validation of the Suicide Competency Assessment Form among Behavioral Health Staff in the National Health Services (NHS) Trust. Archives of Suicide Research, 24, S136-S149.
Cunningham, C.A., Cramer, R.J., Cacace, S., Franks, M., & Desmarais, S.L. (2020). The Coping Self-Efficacy Scale: Psychometric Properties in an Outpatient Sample of Active Duty Military Personnel. Military Psychology, 32, 261-272.
‡Kaniuka, A.R., ‡Oakey-Frost, N., ‡Moscardini, E., Tucker, R.P., Rasmussen, S., & Cramer, R.J. (2020). Grit, humor style, and suicidal behavior: Results from a comparative study of adults in the U.S. and U.K. Personality and Individual Differences, 163, 110047.