Kyle Bourassa

Real name: 
PhD Graduate Student - Clinical Psychology

University of Virginia –  B.A. with High Distinction in Psychology and History – May 2011
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  

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.

Selected Publications: 

Publications: Bourassa, K. J., Memel, M., Woolverton, C., & Sbarra, D. A. (In Press). Social participation predicts cognitive functioning in aging adults over time: Comparisons with physical health, depression, and physical activity. Aging and Mental Health. 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    Under Review: Bourassa, K. J., Knowles, L., Sbarra, D. A., O’Connor, M. (2015). Absent, but not gone:  Deceased partner’s pre-death quality of life predicts their widowed spouse’s post-death quality of life. Psychological Science. (Revise and resubmit) Memel, M., Bourassa, K. J., Woolverton, C., & Sbarra, D. A. (2015). Body mass and physical activity uniquely predict change in cognition for aging adults. Annals of Behavioral Medicine. Bourassa, K. J., & Novodvorsky, I. (2015). Student, peer, and self-assessment of teaching quality in higher education: A review. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education. (Under review)     In Preparation Bourassa, K. J., & Sbarra, D. A. (2015). After the end: Predictors of life satisfaction four year after marital separation. Bourassa, K. J., & Sbarra, D. A. (2015). Respiratory sinus-arrhythmia moderates the association of divorce-related distress and blood pressure reactivity. Conference Presentations and Symposia: 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: 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 Anniversary 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 Nnn-fluencies: An index of psychological distress? Psychology Honors Research Forum, Tucson, AZ; Association for Psychological Science 26th Anniversary 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 2013 meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, 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.

Areas of Study: 

Romantic Relationships, Divorce, Widowhood, Quality of Life, Physical Health, Cognition, Physiology

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