Stephen J Cozza


Colonel, Army

Department of Primary Appointment:
School of Medicine
Associate Director, Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress
Location: Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD
Research Interests:
Impact of trauma on adults, children and families
Bereavement and complicated grief
Office Phone


B.S., 1981 United States Military Academy, West Point NY
M.D., 1985 George Washington University School of Medicine and the Health Sciences, Washington DC
Transitional Internship, 1986 Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington DC
General Psychiatry Residency, 1989 Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington DC
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship, 1991 Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington DC


Stephen J. Cozza, MD is Professor of Psychiatry at the Uniformed Services University where he serves as Associate Director, Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. He received his medical degree from the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. He completed his residency in General Psychiatry and fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC. Dr. Cozza is a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in the specialties of General Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He has served in a variety of positions of responsibility in the Department of Psychiatry at Walter Reed Army Medical Center to include Chief, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Service, Program Director of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship Program and Chief, Department of Psychiatry. He retired from the U.S. Army in 2006 after 25 years of military service.

Dr. Cozza’s professional interests have been in the areas of clinical and community response to trauma and the impact of deployment and combat injury, illness and death on military service members, their families and their children. He was instrumental in organizing and executing the initial mental health response to the September 11th 2001 attack on the Pentagon. Under his leadership, the Walter Reed Department of Psychiatry spearheaded the initiative to provide mental health services, support and follow up to the many injured service members, their families and their children who receive medical treatment. Dr. Cozza has highlighted the impact of deployment, injury, illness and death on the children and families of military service members. He is published in the scientific literature and has presented on these topics at multiple national and international scientific meetings. Dr. Cozza serves as a scientific advisor to several national organizations that focus on the needs of military children and families.

Visit ResearchGate for a list of Dr. Cozza’s publications.

Representative publications, projects, and/or deployments

National Military Family Bereavement Study (

Stepping Forward in Grief, a study of a selective preventive Intervention to assist bereaved military family members (

Grief Outcomes Related to Terrorism, a study of family members who lost loved ones due to 9- 11 or the Air India bombing in 1985

FOCUS-CI, a study of a preventive intervention for children and family of combat injured service members

Study of Risk and Protective Factors Contributing to Military Child Maltreatment/Child Neglect

2005 William C. Porter Award, American Military Surgeons of the United States of America

2011 International Society for the Study of Traumatic Stress Studies Frank Ochberg Award for Media and Trauma Study

2007 American Psychiatric Association Bruno Lima Award for Excellence in Disaster Response Contributions

2003 Order of Military Medical Merit

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Distinguished Fellow


Cozza, S.J., Fisher, J.E., Mauro, C., Zhou, J.,Ortiz, C.D., Skritskaya, N., Wall, M.M., Fullerton, C.S., Ursano, R.J. & Shear, M. K. (2016). Performance of DSM-5 Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder Criteria in a Community Sample of Bereaved Military Family Members. American Journal of Psychiatry, 173, 919-929.

Cozza, S. J., Fisher, J.E., LaFlair, L., Zhou, J., LaMorie, J., Grein, K., Niemeyer, M., Benfer, N., Fullerton, C.S. & Ursano, R.J. (2017). Bereaved military dependent spouses and children: Those left behind in a decade of war (2001-2011). Military Medicine, 182(3):e1684-e1690.

Cozza SJ, Ortiz CD, Fullerton CS, McCarroll JE, Holmes AK, Harris AM, Buckley CL, Ursano RJ: Types, subtypes and severity of substantiated child neglect in U.S. Army communities during wartime, Military Medicine 180(11), 2015, 1147-53.

Cozza, S.J., Whaley, G.L., Fisher, J.E., Zhou, J., Ortiz, C.D., McCarroll, J.E., Fullerton, C. S. & Ursano, R.J (2017). Deployment Status and Child Neglect Types in the U.S. Army. Child Maltreatment, (Epub ahead of print).

Cozza SJ, Guimond JM, McKibben JB, Chun RS, Arata-Maiers TL, Schneider B, Maiers A, Fullerton CS, Ursano RJ: Combat-injured service members and their families: The relationship of child distress and spouse-perceived family distress and disruption, Journal of Traumatic Stress, 23(1) 2010, 112-5.

Wadsworth SM, Lester P, Marini C, Cozza SJ, Sornborger J, Strouse T: Approaching family- focused systems of care for military and veteran families, Military Behavioral Health, 1 2013, 31-40.

Cozza SJ, Lerner RM, (Ed.): Military Children and Families, The Future of Children, (monograph) Princeton-Brookings, Princeton NJ, 2013.

Cozza SJ, Cohen JA, Dougherty J, (Ed.): Disaster and Trauma, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Clinics of North America, (monograph) Elsevier, Philadelphia PA, in press 2014.

Whaley GJ, Cohen WL, Cozza SJ: Children and families: responding to disaster and bereavement. chapter in Textbook of Disaster Psychiatry, Cambridge University Press: New York 2017.

Cozza SJ, Knobloch L, Gewirtz A, DeVoe E, Flake E, Gorman L, Kees M, Lester P, Lerner RM: Lessons learned and future recommendations for conducting research using primary data collection. Chapter in A Battle Plan for Supporting Military Families: Lessons for the Leaders of Tomorrow (in press).