Zina Trost.

Assistant ProfessorThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
CH 331
(205) 975-6936

Teaching Interests: Research methods, clinical and health psychology, the psychology of pain, rehabilitation psychology

Office Hours: By appointment


  • B.A., Fordham University, Psychology
  • Ph.D., Ohio University, Clinical Psychology with Specialization in Health Psychology
  • Clinical Internship, University of Washington Medical Center, Rehabilitation Psychology
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, McGill University

Dr. Trost received her Bachelor’s in Psychology in 2003 from Fordham University in New York City where she grew up. She received her doctorate in Clinical Health Psychology from Ohio University in Athens, where she first began to explore her interests in chronic pain and illness. During her internship at the University of Washington Medical Center Dr. Trost further developed interests in the area of rehabilitation psychology, particularly factors that influence individuals’ adjustment to traumatic injury.

She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at McGill University in Montreal and has developed a number of international collaborations with colleagues in the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Canada. She joined the faculty at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in August 2015 and is a member of the UAB PAIN Collective.

Research Interests

My research addresses how individuals cope with pain and injury – specifically cognitive, emotional, and behavioral responses to pain that can contribute to disability or facilitate positive adjustment. My research uses both clinical and laboratory paradigms and falls into three categories:

First, I study the mechanisms and impact of psychological constructs such as pain-related fear, catastrophizing, and perceptions of injustice among individuals with pain and injury.

Second, I am interested in adapting virtual reality and gaming technologies (including augmented reality and simulation) to aid in pain coping and rehabilitation for individuals with chronic pain and physical trauma.

Finally, I am broadly interested in interpersonal processes in the context of pain and illness -- specifically, how pain sufferers communicate their pain and how this is interpreted/responded to in their social environment.

Select Publications

  • Trost, Z., Agtarap, S.*, Scott, W., Driver, S., Guck, A.*, Roden-Foreman, K.*, Reynolds, M., Foreman, M. L., Warren, A. M. (in press). Perceived injustice after traumatic injury: Associations with pain, psychological distress, and functional outcomes. Rehabilitation Psychology.
  • Trost, Z., Zielke, M., Guck, A.*, Nowlin, L. **, Zakhidov, D., France, C. R., Keefe, F. (2015). The promise and challenge of virtual gaming technologies for chronic pain: The case of graded exposure for chronic low back pain. Pain Management, 5, 197-206.
  • Monden, K., Trost, Z., Catalano, D., Garner, A.*, Symcox, J.**, Driver, S., Hamilton, R., Warren, A.M. (2014). Resilience following spinal cord injury: A phenomenological view. Spinal Cord, 52, 197-201.
  • Scott, W., McCracken, L., & Trost, Z. (2014). A psychological flexibility conceptualization of perceived injustice among individuals with chronic pain. British Journal of Pain, 8, 62-71.
  • Vervoort, T., Trost, Z., Sütterlin, S., Caes, L., & Moors, A., (2014). The emotion regulatory function of parent attention to child pain and associated implications for parental pain control behaviour. Pain, 155, 1453-63.
  • Trost, Z., France, C.R., Vervoort, T., Lange, J. * & Goubert, L. (2014). Learning about pain through observation: The role of pain-related fear. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 37, 257-65.
  • Trost, Z., Scott, W., Bernier, E. **, Manganelli, L. **, & Sullivan, M. J. L. (2014). An experimental investigation of the effect of a justice violation on pain experience and expression among individuals with high and low just world beliefs. European Journal of Pain, 18, 415-23.
  • Trost, Z., France, C.R., Sullivan, M.J., & Thomas, J. (2012). Pain-related fear predicts reduced spinal motion following experimental back injury. Pain, 153, 1015-21.
  • Trost, Z., Vangronsveld, K., Linton, S., & Quartana, J. M., & Sullivan, M. J. L. (2012). Cognitive dimensions of anger in chronic pain. Pain, 153, 515-7.

* Graduate student author

** Undergraduate student author

Academic Distinctions and Professional Societies

Academic distinctions

  • International Association for the Study of Pain Collaborative Research Grant, 2015
  • John C. Liebeskind Early Career Scholar Award, American Pain Society, 2015
  • North American Spine Society Young Investigator Grant, 2015
  • Sharon Keller Chronic Pain Research Grant, American Pain Society, 2014
  • Early Career Research Grant, International Association for the Study of Pain, 2013

Professional societies

  • American Pain Society
  • Society of Behavioral Medicine
  • International Association for the Study of Pain
  • Society for Health Psychology
  • APA Division 22: Rehabilitation Psychology