Thompson Davis III, Professor

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Dr. Thompson Davis is not currently accepting new students. 

Research Interests

My research interests focus on the assessment and treatment of anxiety disorders in children, adolescents, and young adults. In particular, my work has been on the phenomenology, etiology, assessment, and treatment of specific phobias (i.e., intense, persistent fears of specific animals, situations, environments, etc.). Specific interests of mine include one-session treatment for specific phobia, evidence based practice, behavioral assessment, and cognitive-behavioral therapy. In addition, my interests include anxiety in children with autism. 

DR. DAVIS has interests in the areas of anxiety, empirically supported treatment, and quality of life. Students will participate in many aspects of research including library work, grooming and maintaining several large databases, entering and coding data, and possibly assisting with assessment and treatment sessions. Students should also expect to be exposed to the relevant anxiety literature, to be included in lab meetings, to develop research skills, and to potentially earn co-authorship on conference submissions. As a part of his lab, Dr. Davis also covers several topics related to successfully applying to graduate school in clinical psychology. Overall, one’s experiences and opportunities will vary according to interest, motivation, dedication, and time affiliated with the lab. Preference will be given to Psychology majors and/or those with at least a 3.3 GPA. Interested individuals should send a brief 1-page resume to for more information.


Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Child Emphasis, Virginia Tech, 2005

Clinical Internship, Johns Hopkins Univ. School of Medicine / Kennedy Krieger Institute, 2005

              Behavioral Psychology, Neurobehavioral Unit – Outpatient

M.S., Child Development and Family Relations, East Carolina University, 2000

B.A., Psychology with Honors, Hampden-Sydney College, 1998


Books and Edited Volumes

Handbook of Autism and Anxiety (2014)

Intensive One-Session Treatment of Specific Phobias (2012)


Representative Publications

(Note: * indicates a current or former student)

*Rudy, B., Davis III, T. E., & Matthews, R. (2014). Cognitive indicators of social anxiety in youth: A structural equation analysis. Behavior Therapy, 45, 116-125. doi: 10.1016/j.beth.2013.09.003 

Davis III, T. E., *Reuther, E., *May, A., *Rudy, B., *Munson, M., *Jenkins, W., & *Whiting, S. (2013). The Behavioral Avoidance Task using Imaginal Exposure (BATIE): A paper-and-pencil version of traditional in vivo behavioral avoidance tasks. Psychological Assessment, 25, 1111-1119. doi: 10.1037/a0033157 

Davis III, T. E., *Reuther, E., & *Rudy, B. (2013). One-Session Treatment of a specific phobia of swallowing pills: A case study. Clinical Case Studies, 12, 399-410. doi: 10.1177/1534650113497533

*Reuther, E., Davis III, T. E., *Rudy, B., *Jenkins, W., *Whiting, S., & *May, A. (2013). Intolerance of uncertainty as a mediator of the relationship between perfectionism and obsessive-compulsive symptom severity. Depression and Anxiety, 30, 773-777. doi: 10.1002/da.22100

Davis III, T. E. (2012). Where to from here for ASD and anxiety? Lessons learned from child anxiety and the issue of DSM-5. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 19, 358-363. doi: 10.1111/cpsp.12014

Davis III, T. E., *Moree, B. N., *Dempsey, T., *Hess, J. A., *Jenkins, W. S., *Fodstad, J. C., & Matson, J. L. (2012). The effects of communication deficits on anxiety symptoms in infants and toddlers with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Behavior Therapy, 43, 142-152. doi: 10.1016/j.beth.2011.05.003

*Rudy, B., Davis III, T. E., & Matthews, R. (2012). The relationship among self-efficacy, negative self-referent cognitions, and social anxiety in children: A multiple mediator model. Behavior Therapy, 43, 619-628. doi: 10.1016/j.beth.2011.11.003

Davis III, T. E., *Hess, J. A., Matthews, R., *Fodstad, J. C., *Dempsey, T., *Jenkins, W., *Moree, B. N., & Matson, J. L. (2011). The moderating effect of anxiety on development in atypically developing toddlers. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 33, 171-177. doi: 10.1007/s10862-010-9194-5

Davis III, T. E., *Hess, J. A., *Moree, B. N., *Fodstad, J. C., *Dempsey, T., *Jenkins, W., & Matson, J. L. (2011). Anxiety symptoms across the lifespan in people with autistic disorder. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 5, 112-118. doi: 10.1016/j.rasd.2010.02.006

Davis III, T. E., *May, A. C., & *Whiting, S. E. (2011). Evidence-based treatment of anxiety and phobia in children and adolescents: Current status and effects on the emotional response. Clinical Psychology Review, 31, 592-602. doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2011.01.001

*Nebel-Schwalm, M., & Davis III, T. E. (2011). Preliminary factor and psychometric analysis of the Motivation for Fear (MOTIF) Survey. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 25, 731-740. doi: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2011.03.012 

*Reuther, E., Davis III, T. E., *Moree, B., & Matson, J. L. (2011). Treating selective mutism using modular CBT for anxiety: A case study. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 40, 156-163. doi: 10.1080/15374416.2011.533415

*Moree, B., & Davis III, T. E. (2010). Cognitive-behavioral therapy for anxiety in children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Modification trends. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 4, 346-354. doi: 10.1016/j.rasd.2009.10.015

Davis III, T. E., Ollendick, T. H., & Öst, L. G. (2009). Intensive treatment of specific phobias in children and adolescents. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 16, 294-303. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpra.2008.12.008

Ollendick, T. H., Öst, L. G., Reuterskiöld, L., Costa, N., Cederlund, R., Sirbu, C., Davis III, T. E., & Jarrett, M. (2009). One-session treatment of specific phobias in youth: A randomized clinical trial in the USA and Sweden. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 77, 504-516. doi: 10.1037/a0015158 

Davis III, T. E., Ollendick, T. H., & *Nebel-Schwalm, M. (2008). Intellectual ability and achievement in anxiety-disordered children: A clarification and extension of the literature. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 30, 43-51. doi: 10.1007/s10862-007-9072-y

*Zlomke, K., & Davis III, T. E. (2008). One-session treatment of specific phobias: A detailed description and review of treatment efficacy. Behavior Therapy, 39, 207-223. doi: 10.1016/j.beth.2007.07.003

Davis III, T. E., Kurtz, P., Gardner, A., & Carman, N. (2007). Cognitive-behavioral treatment for specific phobias with a child demonstrating severe problem behavior and developmental delays. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 28, 546-558. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2006.07.003

Davis III, T. E., & Ollendick, T. H. (2005). Empirically supported treatments for specific phobia in children: Do efficacious treatments address the components of a phobic response? Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 12, 144-160. doi: 10.1093/clipsy/bpi018