Amber Vennum

Amber Vennum


Contact Information

212 Campus Creek Complex
(785) 532-1489


  • Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy with a certificate in Educational Measurement and Statistics, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, Dissertation: Understanding Young Adult Cyclical Relationships (2011)
  • M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy, University of Houston-Clear Lake, Clear Lake, Texas (2007)
  • B.A. in Psychology, Rice University, Houston, Texas (2003)

Credentials and/or Certifications

  • AAMFT Approved Supervisor
  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
  • Certified Family Life Educator- Provisional
  • Trainer, Within My Reach, PREP, Inc.

Area(s) of Specialization

  • Healthy Relationship Education
  • Risk & Resiliency Factors impacting Romantic Relationship Quality & Stability over time
  • School-based Family Therapy
  • Trauma-informed Systemic Interventions
  • Prevention Science & Adaptive Methodologies
  • Public School & Community Engagement

Research, Scholarship and Creative Endeavors

  • Partnering with USD 383 and USD 475 to support teachers, school personnel, families and students in their efforts to foster a positive school climate, reduce mental health and systemic barriers to students' school success through multidisciplinary teams
  • Assessing the impact of a systemic multi-tiered systemic approach for improving mental health and academic outcomes in schools
  • Exploring the prevalence, predictors, characteristics and consequences of cyclical relationships (partners who end and renew their relationship) during emerging adulthood in the U.S. and abroad
  • Understanding the role of active relationship decision making in decreasing risk factors for later distress
  • Developing an adaptive website and mobile app for reducing disparities in mental health and relational outcomes by increasing public access to tailored, research-based, and interactive content from educators, researchers, and practitioners with specialized knowledge in promoting relationship health across the lifespan
  • Providing youth at-risk for adverse academic, mental health, and relational outcomes (and their parents( access to empirically informed programming to increase youths; chances for positive development

Courses Taught

  • FSHS 864 Clinical Theory and Practice
  • FSHS 872 Family Therapy
  • FSHS 885, 985 and 986: Practicum
  • FSHS 910 Advanced MFT Research: SEM II

Personal Information

Amber Vennum is an Associate Professor of Couple and Family Therapy in the Department of Applied Human Sciences at Kansas State University. In addition to supervising the clinical development of MS and PhD students, Dr. Vennum teaches courses on systemic theory and clinical interventions with families and advanced structural equation modelling.

As a scholar and practitioner, Dr. Vennum is interested in increasing young people's life-long chances for establishing healthy romantic and familial relationships through interventions during adolescence and young adulthood. This currently includes systemic trauma-informed interventions with schools to improve school climate, student and family engagement, and the mental health of children and adolescents; basic research on risk and resiliency factors influencing mental health and healthy relationship development during adolescence and emerging adulthood; and innovative formats for relationship education with adolescents and emerging adults. Specifically, Dr. Vennum is the Executive Director of Relevate, a multidisciplinary project dedicated to increasing public access to relationship science in order to reduce disparities in relationship outcomes through decreasing barriers to public scholarship for academics, creating innovative event templates to be used in any community to spread relationship science, and developing a website and mobile app for the public to receive research-based relationship content tailored to their specific relationship goals and life context. Dr. Vennum is also Co-PI on a federal grant to provide healthy relationship education to high risk adolescent populations and is working on developing a trauma-informed framework to enhance the effectiveness of interventions intended to promote positive youth development in a variety of contexts. Her research teams are open to undergraduate, masters, and PhD students.

Vita (pdf)