James H. Bray, PhD

The theme of Dr. James Bray's presidential year in 2009 was the future of psychology. He focused on creating a new vision and future for APA and psychology as a profession.


James H. Bray, PhD, is an associate professor of Family and Community Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Within the department he serves as the director of the Family Counseling Clinic, Faculty Development, and in the Harris County Hospital District Community Health Programs. He received his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Houston in 1980. Dr. Bray has published and presented numerous works in the areas of divorce, remarriage, adolescent substance use, intergenerational family relationships, and collaboration between physicians and psychologists. As a clinical psychologist, he conducts research and teaches resident physicians, medical students, and psychology students. He also maintains an active clinical practice focusing on children and families and primary care psychology.

Following a post-doctoral degree in Family Therapy and Research, he joined the faculty at Texas Woman’s University (TWU)— Houston Center and remained there for six 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 the 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 joined the faculty at Baylor. While at Baylor, 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.

Bray’s next project was a series of National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (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. Bray continues to apply these findings in his clinical work in both community and private health and mental health clinics.

Bray has published more than 125 articles, tests, book chapters, books and reviews. He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Family Psychology, Psychotherapy, and Families Systems and Health. He is the co-editor of "Primary Care Psychology" and the "Handbook of Family Psychology." 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.

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; and observer on the Board of Scientific Affairs. Dr. Bray’s Division activity includes membership and service as follows: president of Division 43 (Society for Family Psychology); treasurer for five APA divisions (34, Population and Environmental Psychology; 37, Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice; 43; 46, Society for Media Psychology and Technology; and 55, American Society for the Advancement of Pharmacotherapy); member-at-large, Divisions 29 (Division of Psychotherapy), 46, and 55. Dr Bray is a fellow of 12 APA Divisions: 5 (Evaluation, Measurement, and Statistics); 7 (Developmental Psychology); 12 (Society of Clinical Psychology); 29; 31 (State, Provincial and Territorial Psychological Association Affairs); 34; 37; 38 (Health Psychology); 42 (Psychologists in Independent Practice); 43; 46; and 55.

Bray has also been a strong advocate for all of psychology, serving as: Federal advocacy coordinator for the Texas Psychological Association and Divisions 12 and 43; a member APA Public Policy Advocacy Network, the APA Education Advocacy Network, the Texas Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Child Support and Child Visitation, the National Leadership Coalition for Health Care Reform, and the National Health Policy Council; fundraiser for the Association for Advancement of Psychology; a member of the Steering Committee.

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.