Faculty Sketch

Vaughn G. Sinclair, PhD, APRN, BC

Professor of Nursing

Certification:  Clinical Nurse Specialist in Adult Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing by ANCC


A graduate of Vanderbilt School of Nursing, Dr. Vaughn Sinclair received a doctorate in Higher Education Administration from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University in 1982, and in the same year joined the VUSN faculty to teach pediatric nursing. She pursued a post-master's in psych mental-health nursing in 1997, and is certified by ANCC as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Adult Psych-Mental Health Nursing.


Dr. Sinclair has clinical experience as a psychotherapist in private practice and teaches in the psych mental-health graduate program and the doctoral program.  Her research interests focus on the processes involved in resilient coping and psychological vulnerability in patient populations with chronic illness. She has developed and published scales on psychological vulnerability and resilient coping with her colleague, Dr. Ken Wallston. With funding from the Arthritis Foundation and National Multiple Sclerosis Society, she has developed, implemented, and evaluated interventions designed to enhance coping skills and build resilience in women with chronic autoimmune illnesses, specifically rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. With Dr. Sheila Ridner, she is currently working on a research grant funded by the American Cancer Society to develop a Web-based multimedia intervention to help women cope with lymphedema related to breast cancer treatment.


Funded Research:

Ridner, S.H., Sinclair, V.G., (2013-17).  Promoting Adherence to Lymphedema Self-care in Breast Cancer Survivors.   American Cancer Society.

Dwyer, Kathleen, Sinclair, V.G. (2003-05).  Beyond Cancer:  Fostering Transitions Post-Treatment. National Cancer Institute.  1 R21 CA100120-01.

Dwyer, Kathleen, Sinclair, V.G. (2002-05). Living with Cancer: Evaluation and refinement of a model.  National Institute of Nursing Research. 1 R01 NR/CA07769-01A1.

Sinclair, V.G.  (2002-03).  Effects of a Cognitive-Behavioral Intervention for Women with Multiple Sclerosis. National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Wallston, K.A., & Sinclair, V.G.  (1992-96).  Mastery Effectiveness Training for Persons with Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Arthritis Foundation Clinical Science Award.


Representative Publications

Limonero, J.T., Tomas-Sabado, J., Gomez-Romero, M.J., Mate-Mendez, J., Sinclair, V.G., Wallston, K.A., & Gomez-Benito, J.  (2014).  Evidence for validity of the Brief Resilient Coping Scale in a young Spanish sample.  Spanish Journal of Psychology, 17, 34, 1-9.

Ridner, S.H., Sinclair, V.G., Deng, J., Bonner, C.M., Kidd, N.,  & Dietrich, M.S.  (2012).  Breast cancer survivors with lymphedema:  Glimpses of our daily lives. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 16(6): 609-14.

Ridner, S. H., Bonner, C. M., Deng J., Sinclair, V. (2012). Voices from the Shadows: Living with lymphedema. Cancer Nursing, 35 (1), 18-26.

Sinclair, V.G., & Wallston, K.A.  (2010).  Psychological vulnerability predicts depressive symptoms in individuals with rheumatoid arthritis.  Nursing Research,. 59(2):140-6.

Sinclair, V.G. & Blackburn, D.  (2008).  Adaptive Coping with Rheumatoid Arthritis: The Transforming Nature of Response Shift.  Chronic Illness, 4, 219-230.


Sinclair, V.G., & Dowdy, S.W.  (2006). The development and validation of the Emotional Intimacy Scale.  Journal of Nursing Measurement, 13 (3). 193-206.

Sinclair, V. G., & Scroggie, J.  (2005).  The effects of a cognitive-behavioral program for women with MS.  Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 37 (5), 249-257.

Sinclair, V. G., & Wallston, K.A.  (2004) The development and psychometric evaluation of the Brief Resilient Coping Scale.  Assessment, 11 (1),94-101.

Sinclair, V.G.  (2001).  Predictors of pain catastrophizing in women with rheumatoid arthritis.  Archives of Psychiatric Nursing., 15 (6), 279-288.


Sinclair, V.G., & Wallston, K.A.  (2001).   Predictors of improvement in a cognitive-behavioral intervention for women with rheumatoid arthritis.  Annals of Behavioral Medicine. , 23 (4), 291-7.

Sinclair, V.G., & Wallston, K.A.  (1999).  The development and validation of the Psychological Vulnerability Scale.  Cognitive Therapy and Research, 23 (2), 119-129.

Sinclair, V.G., Wallston, K.A., Dwyer, K.A., Blackburn, D.S., & Fuchs, H.  (1998).  Effects of a cognitive-behavioral intervention for women with rheumatoid arthritis.  Research in Nursing & Health., 21, 315-326.


Current Professional Organizations:

  • Sigma Theta Tau; Society of Behavioral Medicine; American Nurses’ Association



  • Scientific Review PanelNursing Research 2013
  • Standing Peer Reviewer—Nursing Research 2011-13
  • Peer Reviewer:   Arthritis Care & Research   1995-2010; Social Behavior and Personality: An International Journal  2004-2010; Journal of Health Psychology  2009-present; Western Journal of Nursing Research, 2010-present; European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 2011-present; International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, 2011-present; Spanish Journal of Psychology 2012-present; Supportive Care in Cancer 2013-present; Psychiatric Nursing 2014