David A. Sbarra, PhD

Assistant Professor of Psychology

1503 East University Blvd., Building 68
Tucson, Arizona 85721-0068

(520) 626-6426
Email Address: 

Fax: (520) 621-9306

Website: http://research.sbs.arizona.edu/~sbarra/

  • Cornell University, College of Human Ecology, 1996, B.S. (Human Development and Family Studies with Honors and Distinction)
  • University of Virginia, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, 2004, Ph.D. (Clinical Psychology)
  • University of Wisconsin, Department of Psychiatry, 2004 (Predoctoral Clinical Internship)
  • University of Virginia, Curry School of Education, 2004 (MEd., Clinical Psychology)
Honors & Awards: 
  • STINT Foundation Travel Grant, 2007
  • American Psychological Foundation (APF) Raymond A. and Rosalee G. Weiss Innovative Research and Programs Grant (for research on chronic pain, close relationships, and emotional well-being), 2005
  • Selected Scholar, Positive Psychology Summer Institute, 2003
  • 9th Annual Wisconsin Symposium on Emotion Travel Award, 2003
  • Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Dissertation Year Fellowship, University of Virginia, 2002-2003
  • Steve Duck New Scholar Award, International Association of Relationship Research, 2002
  • Distinguished Teaching Fellowship, University of Virginia Department of Psychology, 2000-2001
  • Seed Grant Research Fellowship, Center for Children, Families, and the Law, 2000-2001
  • Doris Bryant Family Violence Fellowship, Center for Children, Families, and the Law, 1999
  • Epilepsy Foundation of America, Behavioral Sciences Student Fellowship, 1998-1999
  • National Science Foundation REU Fellowship in Social Psychology, 1995-1996
  • Cornell University Alumni Travel Award, 1996
  • Associated Universities Incorporated Trustee Scholarship, 1992-1996
Major Areas of Research Interest: 

Dr. Sbarra is a clinical psychologist and an assistant professor of psychology where here directs the Laboratory of Social Connectedness and Health (LSCH). The main thrust of the work in this lab investigates the interaction between social relationships, relationship transitions, and both mental and physical health outcomes. Dr. Sbarra currently directs two NIH-funded research grants examining the interplay between marital separation/divorce experiences and risk for subsequent health problems. This work uses a psychophysiological research paradigm and studies indicators of adults' autonomic nervous system response (e.g., blood pressure, heart rate variability, impedance cardiography) while they respond to questions about their relationship history and divorce experience in the laboratory. Participants in the Medical Student Research Program join Dr. Sbarra's laboratory as research assistants and have the opportunity for hands-on experience in many aspects of psychophysiological research with human participants.

Selected Publications: 

Beck, C.J.A., Putterman, M.D., Sbarra, D.A., & Mehl, M.R.: Parenting coordinator roles, program goals and services provided: Insights from the Pima County, Arizona Program. Journal of Child Custody, 5, 122-139, 2008.

Sbarra, D.A., & Hazan, C.: Co-regulation, dysregulation, self-regulation: An integrative analysis and empirical agenda for understanding adult attachment, separation, loss, and recovery. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 12, 141-167, 2008.

Sbarra, D.A., & Emery, R.E.: Deeper into divorce: Using actor-partner analyses to explore systemic differences in coparenting following mediation and litigation of custody disputes. Journal of Family Psychology, 22, 144-152, 2008.

Sponsored Research Through MSRP: 

Robert Portley (MSRP 2008, 2009): “Marital Transitions Study.”

Last Updated: 
November 18, 2015