Lisa Starr

Lisa Starr

  • Associate Professor of Psychology

PhD, Stony Brook University, 2010

491 Meliora Hall
(585) 276-6862
Fax: (585) 273-1100

Office Hours: By appointment


Google Scholar

Research Overview

Professor Starr will not be accepting applications for graduate students for the 2024-2025 academic year.

Dr. Starr's research centers on the origins and consequences of depression and anxiety disorders in adolescence and adulthood. These interests have developed along several interrelated pathways.

First, her work examines interpersonal and other environmental variables (e.g., stress) as causes, correlates, and consequences of depression and anxiety. Although the term "internalizing" was coined within psychopathology research to describe symptoms and disorders directed inward or toward the self, abundant research suggests that internalizing disorders also markedly impact the social environment, through the deterioration of close relationships, adaptation of interpersonally destructive behaviors, self-generation of stressors, and a range of other mechanisms. Dr. Starr's research explores processes by which depression and anxiety reciprocally influence interpersonal functioning.

A central question of Dr. Starr's research is shy some individuals are susceptible to depression than others following stressful experiences, while others are resilient. Although her lab addresses this question from a variety of different angles, she is especially interested in how genetic risk interfaces with stress exposure to predict depression and other key outcomes.

Dr. Starr has a longstanding methodological interest in applying intensive longitudinal designs (daily diary studies, ecological momentary assessment, etc.) to study psychopathological processes. She has used these approaches to examine interpersonal functioning, symptom presentation, affective reactivity, emotion regulation, and basic emotional dynamics in relation to depression and anxiety.

Finally, Dr. Starr has had a longstanding interest in the causes and implications of the extensive comorbidity between depression and anxiety disorders, including delineating their natural boundaries, identifying shared and unique features, and exploring etiologic relationships between symptoms.

Selected Publications

  • Starr, L. R., Hershenberg, R., Shaw, Z. A., Li, Y. I., & Santee, A. C. (in press). The Perils of Murky Emotions: Emotion Differentiation Moderates the Prospective Relationship between Naturalistic Stress Exposure and adolescent Depression. Emotion.
  • Starr, L. R, & Huang, M. (2019). HPA-Axis Multilocus Genetic Variation Moderates Associations between Environmental Stress and Depression among Adolescents. Development and Psychopathology, 31(4), 1339-1352.
  • Starr, L. R., Vrshek-Schallhorn, S., & Stroud, C. B. (2019). Serotonergic Multilocus Genetic Variation Moderates the Association Between Major Interpersonal Stress and Adolescent Depression: Replication and Candidate Environment Specification. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 117, 55-61.
  • Starr, L. R., Dienes, K., Li, Y. I., & Shaw, Z. A. (2019). Chronic Stress Exposure, Diurnal Cortisol Slope, and Implications for Mood and Fatigue: Moderation by Multilocus HPA-Axis Genetic Variation. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 100, 156-163.
  • Li, Y. I., Starr, L. R., & Wray-Lake, L. (2018). Insomnia Mediates the Longitudinal Relationship Between Anxiety and Depressive Symptoms in a Nationally Representative Sample of Adolescents. Depression and Anxiety, 35, 583-591. doi: 10.1002/da.22764
  • Starr, L. R., Dienes, K., Stroud, C. B., Shaw, Z. A., Li, Y. I., Mlawer, F., & Huang, M. (2017). Childhood Adversity Moderates the Influence of Proximal Episodic Stress on the Cortisol Awakening Response and Depressive Symptoms in Adolescents. Development and Psychopathology, 29, 1877-1893.
  • Starr, L. R., Hershenberg, R., Li, Y. I., & Shaw, Z. A. (2017). When Feelings Lack Precision: Low Positive and Negative Emotion Differentiation and Depressive Symptoms in Daily Life. Clinical Psychological Science, 5(4), 613-631.
  • Starr, L. R., & Hershenberg, R. (2017). Depressive Symptoms and the Anticipation and Experience of Uplifting Events in Everyday Life. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 73(10), 1442-1461.
  • Starr, L. R. (2015). When support seeking backfires: Co-rumination, excessive reassurance seeking, and depressed mood in the daily lives of young adults. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 34(5), 436-457.
  • Starr, L. R., Hammen, C., Connolly, N. P., & Brennan, P. A. (2014). Does Relational Dysfunction Mediate the Association between Anxiety Disorders and Later Depression? Testing an Interpersonal Model of Comorbidity. Depression & Anxiety, 31, 77-86. doi: 10.1002/da.22172
  • Starr, L. R., Conway, C. C., Hammen, C., & Brennan, P. A. (2014). Transdiagnostic and disorder-specific models of intergenerational transmission of internalizing pathology. Psychological Medicine, 44, 161-174. doi: 10.1017/S003329171300055X
  • Starr, L. R., & Davila, J. (2012). Temporal patterns of anxious and depressed mood in generalized anxiety disorder: A daily diary study. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 50, 131-141. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2011.11.005
  • Starr, L. R., & Davila, J. (2009). Clarifying co-rumination: Associations with internalizing symptoms and romantic involvement among adolescent girls. Journal of Adolescence, 32(1), 19-37. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2007.12.005
  • Starr, L. R., & Davila, J. (2008). Excessive reassurance seeking, depression, and interpersonal rejection: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 117(4), 762-775. doi: 10.1037/a0013866