James Houston Bray, PhD, (born February 12, 1954) is an American psychologist. He was the 2009 President of the American Psychological Association. His presidential themes were the Future of Psychology Practice and Psychology as a STEM Discipline. He is an associate professor of Family and Community Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.

Dr. Bray’s work focuses in several areas of family and health psychology, including divorce, remarriage and stepfamilies, intergenerational family relationships, adolescent substance use, and screening and brief interventions for substance use. He is a pioneer in collaborative healthcare and primary care psychology.



As an undergraduate Bray attended the University of California at Santa Barbara, University of Hawaii, and University of Houston (B.S. 1976). He attended the University of Texas Health Science Center at Dallas for graduate training in psychology. He received his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Houston in 1980.


Following a post-doc in Family Therapy, he joined the faculty at Texas Woman’s University (TWU)—Houston Center and remained there for 6 years. At TWU he started the NIH funded Developmental Issues in Stepfamilies research project. This project studied the social, emotional and behavioral development of children in stepfamilies and first marriage families. He applied his research skills and knowledge of family systems to this groundbreaking work. His study was one of first longitudinal studies on the effects of divorce and remarriage on children and adolescents and is summarized in his book: ‘’Stepfamilies: Love, marriage and parenting in the first decade’’.

In 1987 he moved to the Department of Family Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Bray has been on the faculty since then. While at Baylor, Dr. Bray completed his research with the ‘’StepFamily Project’’ and focused on the collaboration between psychologists and family physicians. He and colleague John Rogers, MD completed one of the first demonstration projects on teaching psychologists to collaborate with family doctors. The “Linkages Project” demonstrated that collaboration was possible in both rural and urban areas and that it resulted in positive benefits for both professionals.

Dr. Bray’s next project was a series of NIAAA funded studies on adolescent alcohol use

]]. The Baylor Adolescent Alcohol Project used measures and methods developed in previous research to investigate how family, peers, and the developmental process of individuation influence adolescent drinking in junior high and high school aged students. The research also focused on ethnic differences in adolescent drinking. Dr. Bray continues to apply these findings in his clinical work in both community and private health and mental health clinics.


Dr. Bray has received numerous awards including Family Psychologist of the Year from the Society of Family Psychology, election into the National Academies of Practice for Psychology and the Karl F. Heiser Presidential Award for Advocacy on Behalf of Professional Psychology from the American Psychological Association.

Professional activitiesEdit

He has been active in APA governance since 1988, involved in practice, science, education and state issues. He served on the Board of Educational Affairs; Rural Health Task Force and Committee on Rural Health; Primary Care Task Force; State Leadership Organizing Committee; treasurer for five APA divisions (34, 37, 43, 46, 55); member-at-large, Division of Psychotherapy (29), Media Psychology (46) and Psychopharmacology (55).

Dr Bray is a fellow of 12 APA Divisions: 5-Evaluation, Measurement and Statistics; 7-Developmental Psychology; 12-Society of Clinical Psychology; 29-Division of Psychotherapy; 31-State, Provincial and Territorial Psychological Association Affairs; 34-Society for Environmental, Population and Conservation Psychology; 37-Society for Child Family Policy and Practice; 38-Health Psychology; 42-Psychologists in Independent Practice); 43-Society for Family Psychology; 46-Media Psychology; and 55-Amerian Society for the Advancement of Pharmacotherapy.

Dr. Bray is also licensed as a private pilot with an instrument rating and enjoys studying oenology in his spare time. He is married to Elizabeth M. Bray, the owner of a HR Consulting firm. He has three children and two stepchildren.


Dr. Bray has published over 175 articles, tests, book chapters, books and reviews. He has been on the editorial boards of leading journals; Family Process, Journal of Family Psychology, Psychotherapy, Families Systems and Health, Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development. He is the co-editor of Primary Care Psychology (APA Books, 2004) and the Handbook of Family Psychology (Wiley, 2009).

Selected PublicationsEdit

  • Bray, J. H. (2010). The future of psychology practice and science. American Psychologist, 65, 355-369.
  • Bray, J. H., & Stanton, M. (Eds.) (2009). Handbook of Family Psychology. London: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Bray, J. H., & Maxwell, S. E. (1985). Multivariate analysis of variance. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publishers.
  • Bray, J. H., Williamson, D. S., & Malone, P. E. (1984). Personal authority in the family system: Development of a questionnaire to measure personal authority in intergenerational family processes. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 10, 167-178.
  • Bray, J. H. (2004). Personal Authority in the Family System Questionnaire Manual 2nd Edition. Houston, TX: D-Boy Productions.
  • Bray, J. H., & Berger, S. H. (1993). Developmental issues in stepfamilies research project: Family relationships and parent-child interactions. Journal of Family Psychology, 7, 76-90.
  • Bray, J. H., & Kelly, J. (1998). StepFamilies: Love, marriage, and parenting in the first decade. New York: Broadway Books. Paperback edition, April, 1999.
  • Pequegnat, W. & Bray, J. H. (1997). Families and HIV/AIDS. Journal of Family Psychology, 11, 3-10.
  • Frank, R. McDaniel, S. H., Bray, J. H., & Heldring, M. (Eds.) (2004). Primary care psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
  • Bray, J. H. & Rogers, J. C. (1997). The linkages project: Training behavioral health professionals for collaborative practice with primary care physicians. Families, Systems, & Health, 15, 55-63.
  • Bray, J. H., Adams, G., Getz, J. G., & Baer, P. E. (2001). Developmental, family, and ethnic influences on adolescent alcohol usage: A growth curve approach. Journal of Family Psychology, 15, 301-314.
  • Bray, J. H., Adams G. A., Getz, J. G., & McQueen, A. (2003). Individuation, peers and adolescent alcohol use: A latent growth analysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 71, 553-564.

Preceded by:
Alan E. Kazdin
James H. Bray elected APA President
Succeeded by:
Carol D. Goodheart

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