University of Arizona – Currently pursuing Clinical Psychology PhD. – August 2013 to Present
Entered Certificate of College Teaching program – September 2014
M.A. in Psychology – December 2014
University of Virginia – B.A. with High Distinction in Psychology and History – May 2011
I am a third year graduate student in the clinical psychology PhD. program. I graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.A. in psychology and history and am currently a member of the Lab for Social Connectedness and Health with Dr. David Sbarra. My main research interests are studying the effect of romantic relationships - and social connectedness more generally - on physical and mental health. More recently, my interests have focused on the effects of past close relationships on wellbeing following close relationship dissolution, such as divorce and widowhood. In addition, I am interested in using large datasets, such as MIDUS (Midlife in the United States) and SHARE (Study of Health, Aging, and Retirement in Europe) and unique subsamples to answer interesting research questions through longitudinal analyses.
Bourassa, K. J., & Sbarra, D. A. (In Press). Inflammation mediates the association of body mass and cognitive decline among aging adults. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.
Bourassa, K. J., Hasselmo, K., & Sbarra, D. A. (2016). Heart rate variability moderates the association of divorce-related psychological distress and later blood pressure reactivity among recently separated adults. Psychological Science. Advance Online Publication. doi:10.1177/0956797616651972
Memel, M., Bourassa, K. J., Woolverton, C., & Sbarra, D. A. (2016). Body mass and physical activity uniquely predict change in cognition for aging adults. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 50(3), 397-408.
Bourassa, K. J., Knowles, L., Sbarra, D. A. O’Connor, M. (2016). Absent, but not gone: Interdependence in couples’ quality of life persists after a partner’s death. Psychological Science, 27(2), 270-281. doi:10.1177/0956797615618968
Bourassa, K. J., Memel, M., Woolverton, C., & Sbarra, D. A. (2015). Social participation predicts cognitive functioning in aging adults over time: Comparisons with physical health, depression, and physical activity. Aging and Mental Health. Advance Online Publication. doi:10.1080/13607863.2015.1081152
Bourassa, K. J., Memel, M., Woolverton, C., & Sbarra, D. A. (2015). A dyadic approach to health, cognition, and quality of life in aging adults.Psychology and Aging, 30(2), 449-461. doi:10.1037/pag0000025
Bourassa, K. J., Sbarra, D. A., & Whisman, M. A. (2015). Women in very low quality marriages gain life satisfaction following divorce. Journal of Family Psychology, 29(3), 490-499. doi:10.1037/fam0000075
Sbarra, D. A., Hasselmo, K., & Bourassa, K. J. (2015). Divorce and health: Beyond individual differences. Current Directions in Psychological Science. 24(2), 109-113. doi:10.1177/0963721414559125
Bourassa, K. J., Hasselmo, K., & Sbarra, D. A. (2016). After the end: Predictors of life satisfaction four year after marital separation. Journal of Marriage and Family.
Moe, A. M., Breitborde, N. J. K., Bourassa, K. J., Gallagher, C. J., Shakeel, M. K., & Docherty, N. M. (2016). Schizophrenia, Narrative, and Neurocognition: The Utility of Life-Stories in Understanding Social Problem-Solving Skills. Schizophrenia Bulletin.
Hasselmo, K., Bourassa, K. J., & Sbarra, D. A. (In Press). Relationship dissolution and health. In K. Sweeny & M. L. Robbins (Eds.). The Wiley Encyclopedia of Health Psychology Volume II: Social Bases of Health Behavior. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Conference Presentations and Symposia:
Bourassa, K. J., Hasselmo, K., & Sbarra, D. A. (March, 2016). Heart rate variability moderates the association of divorce-related psychological distress and blood pressure reactivity. Presented at the American Psychosomatic Society 24th annual meeting, Denver, C.O.
Rojo-Wissar, D. M., Bourassa, K. J., Carey, A., Spencer, D., Mehl, M. R., Sbarra, D. A., & Bootzin, R. R. (June, 2015). Higher day-to-day variability in time in bed variability predicts lower life satisfaction in recently separated adults. Presented at the annual SLEEP meeting, Seattle, WA.
Bourassa, K. J. & Sbarra, D. A. (May, 2014). Women in unhappy marriages gain life satisfaction following divorce. Presented at the Association for Psychological Science 26th annual convention, San Francisco, CA.
Rojo-Wissar, D. M., Davidson, R. D., Bourassa, K. J., Mehl, M. R., Sbarra, D. A., & Bootzin, R. R. (June, 2014). The impact of coping styles on sleep in divorcing individuals. Presented at the annual SLEEP meeting, Minneapolis, MN.
Hee, D., Bourassa, K. J., Butler, A. E., & Sbarra, D. A. (May, 2014). Verbal non-fluencies: An index of psychological distress? Psychology Honors Research Forum, Tucson, AZ; Association for Psychological Science 26th annual convention, San Francisco, CA.
Bourassa, K. J., Emery, R. E., & Hatfield, B. (May, 2013) Emotional parentification in childhood’s association with later romantic relationship behavior in late adolescence and early adulthood. Presented Association for Psychological Science 25th annual convention, Washington D.C.
Downer, J., Brown, J., Jimenez, M., Stuhlman, M., Gologor, B., Bourassa, K. J., & Wong, P. (March, 2013) Coaching quality and teachers’ implementation of the 4Rs social-emotional and literacy curriculum: Testing the link between two levels of intervention fidelity. Presented at the Society for Research on Education Effectiveness, Washington D.C.
Bourassa, K. J. (April, 2011). Compulsive caregiving: Emotional parentification and its association with romantic relationships in late adolescence and early adulthood. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the L. Starling Reid Undergraduate Psychology Conference, Charlottesville, Virginia.
Vick Whittaker, J. E., Kinzie, M. B., Williford, A., Thunder, K., & Bourassa, K. J. (March, 2010). The association between teacher-child interaction quality and children's mathematics skills in pre-kindergarten: Effects of MyTeachingPartner - Math/Science. Poster presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Montreal, Canada.
Romantic Relationships, Divorce, Widowhood, Quality of Life, Physical Health, Cognition, Physiology