David Sbarra

Director, Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine Minor
Sbarra Headshot

Psychology 264 (Office)
Psychology 410 Suite (Labs)

Research Interests: 

  • Social relationships and health, as well as stress and health - including: divorce, marital separation, loneliness.
  • Genetically-informed research – including: twin studies, polygenic risk scores, and Mendelian Randomization
  • Quantitative methods for the analysis of change
  • Open science

Updated: 07/05/22

Selected Publications: 

  • Bourassa, K. J., Sbarra, D. A., Caspi, A., & Moffitt, T. E. (2020). Social distancing as a health behavior: County-level movement in the United States during the COVID-19 Pandemic is associated with conventional health behaviors. Annals of Behavioral Medicine online ahead: https://doi.org/10.1093/abm/kaaa049
  • Manvelian, A., & Sbarra, D. A. (2020). Marital status, close relationships, and all-cause mortality: Results from a 10-year study of nationally representative older adults. Psychosomatic Medicine, 82, 384-392. 
  • O’Hara, K.L., Grinberg, A.M, Tackman, A.M., Mehl, M.R., & Sbarra, D.A. (2020). Contact with an ex-partner is associated with psychological distress after marital separation. Clinical Psychological Science. Published online ahead May 4, 2020: https://doi.org/10.1177/2167702620916454
  • Sur, B., Cleary, A., Rohrbaugh, M.J., Ferrer, E., & Sbarra, D.A. (2020). Beyond the “self” in self-regulation: Family interaction modulations situational self-control by adolescent drug users. Journal of Family Psychology. 34(3), 322–332. https://doi.org/10.1037/fam0000598
  • Bourassa, K. J., Ruiz, J. M., & Sbarra, D. A. (2019). Smoking and physical activity explain the increased mortality risk associated with marital dissolution. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 53, 255-266
  • Holt-Lunstad, J., Robles, T.F., & Sbarra, D.A. (2017). Advancing social connection as a public health priority in the United States. American Psychologist72, 517-530.

Courses Taught:

  • PSY 383 - Health Psychology (2024)
  • PSY 694B - Psychosocial Intervention Practicum (2017)
  • PSY 697 - Psychosocial Intervention Practicum (2016)

*Year listed indicates when this individual last taught the specified course.

Updated: 11/13/23


  • B.S., Cornell University (1996)
  • Clinical Internship, University of Wisconsin Department of Psychiatry
  • Ph.D. University of Virginia (2004)