Ortner Center on Violence & Abuse in Relationships

  • opmecklerphoto koss oc web jpg optimized

Mary P. Koss, PhD

University of Arizona
Regents' Professor

Mary Koss, PhD, is a Regents’ Professor in the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona. She published the first national study sexual assault among college students in 1987. She was the principal investigator of the RESTORE Program; the first restorative justice program for sex crimes among adults that was quantitatively evaluated.  She also directed Safety Connections, a restorative justice-based family strengthening program for children under 5 exposed to violence.  She has developed resources for campus use including ARC3 Campus Climate Survey and the STARRSA model for rehabilitation of those responsible for sexual misconduct.  Her ongoing work evaluates a sexual assault primary prevention program focusing on staff of alcohol serving establishments.She recently published a test of the “serial rape” hypothesis among college men. Her credentials document close to 300 publications.The most recent appeared in American Psychologist and focused on victim voice and in re-envisioning responses to sexual and physical violence, better responses to underserved populations, and greater alignment of funding from the Violence Against Women Act funding with expressed victim needs.  


Dr. Koss has provided consultations for national and international governments and health and advocacy organizations. Since 2016 she has advised the US Departments of Justice, Education, and the White House Taskforce on Campus Sexual Assault. She was the 8th recipient of the Visionary Award from End Violence Against Women International. She has received awards from the American Psychological Association:  the Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research in Public Policy (2000) and the Award for Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Psychology (2017). 





Felitti VJ, Anda RF, Nordenberg D, Williamson DF, Spitz AM, Edwards V, Koss MP, Marks JS. Relationship of childhood abuse and household dysfunction to many of the leading causes of death in adults: The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2019; 56(6): 774-786.


Donde SD, Ragsdale SKA, Koss MP, Zucker AN. If it wasn't rape, was it sexual assault? Comparing rape and sexual assault acknowledgment in college women who have experienced rape. Violence Against Women; 24(14): 1718-1738.


Koss MP, White JW, Lopez EC. Victim voice in reenvisioning responses to sexual and physical violence nationally and internationally. American Psychologist. 2017; 72(9): 1019-1030. 


Swartout KM, Thompson MP, Koss MP, Su N. What is the best way to analyze less frequent forms of violence? the case of sexual aggression. Psychology of Violence. 2015; 5(3): 305-313. 


Swartout KM, Koss MP, White JW, Thompson MP, Abbey A, Bellis AL. Trajectory analysis of the campus serial rapist assumption. JAMA Pediatrics;169(12): 1148-1154.


Koss MP, Wilgus JK, Williamsen KM. Campus sexual misconduct: Restorative justice approaches to enhance compliance with title IX guidance. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse. 2014; 15(3): 242-257.