Photo of Dr. Sam Cacace

Dr. Sam Cacace is an Assistant Professor in Public Health Sciences. She specializes in military and veteran health and wellness from an ecological and psychosocial perspective, as well as advanced analytics and measurement, such as psychometrics, factor analysis, structural equation modeling, latent class and profile analysis, and other latent variable approaches. Dr. Cacace served as a postdoctoral research scholar, and then research scholar at NC State University’s Center for Family and Community Engagement, where she forged connections with campus military and veteran services, Team Red White and Blue, the Consortium for Health and Military Performance, NCServes, NC DHHS, and RTI International. Dr. Cacace’s areas of interest are in military health and wellness, measurement and survey design, and latent variable modeling. Currently, Dr. Cacace is examining stigma against military service as a barrier to help-seeking and wellness in the military and veteran community, means for improving cultural competency in health and mental health care workers and clinicians, and suicide prevention interventions and measurement tools using a team science approach.


  • Ph.D. – Washington State University, 2018, Experimental Psychology
  • M.A. – North Carolina Central University, 2012, General Psychology
  • B.A. – North Carolina State University, 2010, Psychology & Sociology
  • A.A. – Wake Technical Community College, 2008


  • Organization Development and Behavior (HSMT 3204)
  • Introduction to Health Services Research (HSRD 8201)
  • Healthcare Data Analysis (HCIP 6102)
  • Evidence-Based Methods in Public Health (HLTH 6211)

Research Interests/Areas of Expertise

  • Military and veteran health
  • Survey methodology
  • Dyadic research methods
  • Measurement invariance
  • Latent variable modeling
  • Structural equation modeling (SEM)
  • Item response theory (IRT)
  • Differential item functioning (DIF)
  • Latent class analysis
  • Multi-level modeling
  • Intensive longitudinal analysis

Awards & Honors

  • 2019 APA Division 19 Challenge Coin Awardee

Community Involvement

  • Stress, Health, and Aging Research Program (SHARP)

Selected Publications

Cramer, R.J., Robertson, R.A., Nobles, M.R., Bowling,J., Cacace, S.C., Feinstein, B.A., & Rasmussen, S.A. (2023). Entrapment and Defeat scales: Factor structure assessment and variation by gender and sexual identity among adults in the United Kingdom. Journal of Personality Assessment.

Cramer, R.J., Montanaro, E., VanSickle, M., Cacace S., Zabelski, S., Smith, E.L., Franks, M., Grover, S., &   Cunningham, C.A. (2022). A psychometric assessment of the Military Suicide Attitudes Questionnaire (MSAQ). Psychiatry Research. 317. Online preprint.

Cramer, R.J., Cacace, S.C., Sorby, M., Adrian, M.E., Kehn, A., & Wilsey, C.N. (2022). A psychometric investigation of the Hate-Motivated Behavior Checklist. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Online pre-print. 

Cacace, S., Simons-Rudolph, J., & Dubljevic, V. (2022). Morality, impulsivity, and psychopathic tendencies: An empirical study. Frontiers in Psychology.

Cacace, S., Smith, E., Cramer, R., Meca, A., & Desmarais, S.L. (2022). Military self-stigma as a mediator of the link between military identity and suicide risk. Military Psychology, 34(2), pp. 237-251.  

Cacace, S., Smith, E., Desmarais, S.L., & Alders, E. (2022). Locale matters: Regional needs of U.S. military service members and veterans. Military Behavioral Health, 10(3), pp. 221-234.

Dubljević, V., Cacace, S., & Desmarais, S.L.(2021). Surveying ethics: A measurement model of preference for precepts implied in moral theory (PPIMT). Review of Philosophy and Psychology, 13, pp. 197-214.

Cunningham, C., Cramer, R.J., Cacace, S., Franks, M., & Demarais, S.L. (2020). The Coping Self-Efficacy Scale: Psychometric properties in an outpatient sample of active duty military personnel. Military Psychology, 32(3), 261-272.

Cacace, S. (2020). “Be all that you can be”: Building a cohesive model for military self-identity in early career and veteran U.S. military service members. Journal of Behavioral and Social Sciences, 7(1), 12-22.