Kyle Bourassa

Kyle Bourassa's picture
Real name: 
PhD Graduate Student - Clinical Psychology
Degree(s): 

University of Arizona – 2013 to Present
Doctoral Candidate in Clinical Psychology – Expected May 2019
Master’s in Psychology – Conferred December 2014
Certificate of College Teaching – Conferred December 2015

University of Virginia – Charlottesville, VA – 2007 to 2011
B.A. with High Distinction in Psychology and History – Conferred May 2011

Research Interests:
I am a fifth 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 at the University of Arizona. My main research interests are studying the effect of close relationships, and romantic relationships more specifically, on people's wellbeing. More recently, my interests have focused on physical and mental health following marital dissolution, particularly cardiovascular health. In addition, I am interested in using large, longitudinal datasets, such as MIDUS (Midlife in the United States), SHARE (Study of Health, Aging, and Retirement in Europe), and ELSA (English Longitudinal Study of Ageing) to answer interesting research questions through the use of unique subsamples.

Selected Publications: 

Moe, A. M., Breitborde, N. J. K., Bourassa, K. J., Shakeel, M. K., Gallagher, C. J., & Docherty, N. M. (In Press). Schizophrenia, narrative, and neurocognition: The utility of life-stories in understanding social problem-solving skills. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal.

Bourassa, K. J., Allen, J. J. B., Mehl, M. R., & Sbarra, D. A. (2017). Impact of narrative expressive writing on heart rate, heart rate variability, and blood pressure after marital separation. Psychosomatic Medicine. 79(6), 697-705. doi:10.1097/PSY.0000000000000475

Bourassa, K. J., Manvelian, A., Boals, A., Mehl, M. R., & Sbarra, D. A. (2017). Tell me a story: The creation of narrative as a mechanism of psychological recovery following marital separation. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 36(5), 359-379. doi:10.1521/jscp.2017.36.5.359

Bourassa, K. J., Memel, M., Woolverton, C., & Sbarra, D. A. (2017). Social participation predicts cognitive functioning in aging adults over time: Comparisons with physical health, depression, and physical activity. Aging and Mental Health, 21(2), 133-146. doi:10.1080/13607863.2015.1081152

Bourassa, K. J., & Sbarra, D. A. (2017). Body mass and cognitive decline are indirectly associated via inflammation among aging adults. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 60, 63-70. doi:10.1016/j.bbi.2016.09.023

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, 27(8), 1123-1135. 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. doi:10.1007/s12160-015-9768-2

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). 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

Edited Chapters:
Sbarra, D. A., Bourassa, K. J., & Manvelian, A. (In Press). Marital Separation and Divorce: The Biological, Psychological, and Social Predictors, Correlates, and Consequences. To Appear In: B.H. Fiese (Ed.), APA Handbook of Contemporary Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association

Hasselmo, K., Bourassa, K. J., & Sbarra, D. A. (2016). 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., & Sbarra. D. A. (October, 2016). Marital status, social integration, and aging adults’ wellbeing: A multimethod, longitudinal study. Presented at the National Social, Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP) Data User Conference, Chicago, IL.

Bourassa, K. J., Memel, M., Woolverton, C., & Sbarra. D. A. (January, 2016). A dyadic approach to health, cognition, and quality of life in aging adults. Presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology 17th annual meeting, San Diego, CA.

Sbarra, D. A., & Bourassa, K. J. (May, 2015). Social engagement and cognitive functioning in aging adults. Presented at the Association for Psychological Science 27th annual convention, New York, NY.

Conference Poster Presentations:
Bourassa, K. J., Ruiz, J. M., Sbarra, D. A., Ahn, C., Allison, M., Smith, T. W., Smyth, J. Taylor, D. J., & Uchino, B. N. (March, 2017). Marital status moderates the association of vigilance and ambulatory blood pressure. Presented at the Society for Behavioral Medicine 38th Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA.

Moe, A.M., Breitborde, N. J. K., Bourassa, K. J., Gallagher, C.J., Shakeel, M. K., & Docherty, N. M. (September, 2016). Schizophrenia, narrative, and neurocognition: The utility of life-stories in understanding social problem-solving skills. Presented at the Society for Research in Psychopathology, Baltimore, MD.

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 74th 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.

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.

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.

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 at the 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, VA.

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.

Areas of Study: 

Romantic Relationships, Divorce, Widowhood, Quality of Life, Physical Health, Cognition, Cardiovascular Psychophysiology

MA Thesis Title: 
Investigating the Bidirectional Association Between Self-distancing and Psychological Adjustment Following Romantic Relationship Dissolution
Research Program: