Lisa Starr

Assistant Professor of Psychology
PhD, Stony Brook University, 2010

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

Office Hours: By appointment


Research Overview

Prof. Starr will be accepting applications for graduate students for the 2017-18 academic year.

Dr. Starr's research focuses on the origins and consequences of depression and anxiety in adolescents and adults. Particular emphases include understanding the interface between psychopathology and the social environment and delineating complex, reciprocal, and interactive relationships between interpersonal, cognitive, and biological risk factors and internalizing symptoms.

Dr. Starr's research centers on predictors, correlates, and consequences of depression and anxiety disorders in adolescence and adulthood. These interests have developed along several interrelated pathways. First, her work examines interpersonal 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.

Second, Dr. Starr is interested 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.

Finally, a growing segment of her work explores genetic underpinnings of internalizing disorders and psychological correlates. For example, Dr. Starr is interested in how particular genotypes that elevate risk for psychopathology may also impact the social environment. In addition, she is interested in genetic moderation of interpersonal processes and in identifying depressogenic behaviors that may function as intermediate phenotypes.

Methodologically, Dr. Starr has a particular interest in applying daily diary studies and related approaches to studying psychopathological processes.

Selected Publications

  • Starr, L.R., Hammen, C., Conway, C.C., Raposa, E., & Brennan, P.A. (2014). Sensitizing effect of early adversity on depressive reactions to later proximal stress: Moderation by polymorphisms in serotinin transporter and corticotropin releasing hormone receptor genes in a 20-year longitudinal study. Development and Psychopathology, 26, 1241-1254. doi: 10.1017/s0954579414000996
  • 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
  • Davila, J., Stroud, C.B., & Starr, L.R. (in press). Depression in couples and families. In I. Gotlib & C. Hammen (Eds.), Handbook of Depression (3rd Ed). New York: Guilford Press.
  • Starr, L.R., Conway, 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., Hammen, C., Brennan, P.A., & Najman, J.M. (2013). Relational security moderates the effect of serotonin transporter gene polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) on stress generation and depression among adolescents. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 41, 379-388. doi: 10.1007/s10802-012-9682-z
  • Starr, L.R., Hammen, C., Brennan, P.A., & Najman, J.M. (2012). Serotonin transporter gene as a predictor of stress generation in depression. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 121(4), 810-818. doi: 10.1037/a0027952
  • Starr, L.R., Donenberg, G.R., & Emerson, E. (2012). Bidirectional linkages between psychological symptoms and sexual activities among african american adolescent girls in psychiatric care. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 41(6), 811-821. doi: 10.1080/15374416.2012.694607
  • Starr, L.R. & Davila, J. (2012). Cognitive and interpersonal moderators of daily co-occurrence between anxious and depressed moods in generalized anxiety disorder. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 36(6), 655-669.
  • 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. (2012). Responding to anxiety with rumination and hopelessness: Mechanism of anxiety-depression symptom co-occurrence? Cognitive Therapy and Research, 36(4), 321-337. doi: 10.1007/s10608-011-9363-1
  • Starr, L.R., Davila, J., Stroud, C.B., Li, Po Ching Clara, Yoneda, A., Hershenberg, R., & Miller, M.R. (2012). Love hurts (in more ways than one): Specificity of psychological symptoms as predictors and consequences of romantic activity among early adolescent girls. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 68(4), 403-420. doi: 10.1002/jclp.20862
  • Davila, J., Hershenberg, R., Feinstein, B.A., Gorman, K., Bhatia, V., & Starr, L.R. (2012). Frequency and quality of social networking among young adults: Associations with depressive symptoms, rumination, and co-rumination. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 1(2), 72. doi: 10.1037/a0027512
  • Hershenberg, R., Davila, J., Yoneda, A., Starr, L.R., Miller, M.R., Stroud, C.B., & Feinstein, B.A. (2011). What I like about you: The association between adolescent attachment security and emotional behavior in a relationship promoting context. Journal of Adolescence, 34(5), 1017-1024. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2010.11.006
  • Starr, L.R., Davila, J., La Greca, A.M., & Landoll, R. (2011). Social anxiety and depression: The teenage and early adult years. In C. A. Alfano & D. C. Beidel (Eds.), Social Anxiety Disorder in Adolescents and Young Adults: Translating Developmental Science into Practice. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.
  • Davila, J., La Greca, A.M., Starr, L.R., & Landoll, R. (2010). Anxiety disorders in adolescence. In J. G. Beck (Ed.), Interpersonal processes in anxiety disorders. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.
  • 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
  • Davila, J., Steinberg, S.J., Miller, M.R., Stroud, C.B., Starr, L.R., & Yoneda, A.C. (2009). Assessing romantic competence in adolescence: The Romantic Competence Interview. Journal of Adolescence, 32(1), 55-75. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2007.12.001
  • Davila, J., Stroud, C.B., Starr, L.R., Miller, M.R., Yoneda, A.C., & Hershenberg, R. (2009). Romantic and sexual activities, parent-adolescent stress, and depressive symptoms among early adolescent girls. Journal of Adolescence, 32, 909-924. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2008.10.004
  • Davila, J. & Starr, L.R. (2009). Reassurance seeking. In Harry T. Reis & Susan Sprecher (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Human Relationships. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • 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
  • Starr, L.R., & Davila, J. (2008). Differentiating interpersonal correlates of depressive symptoms and social anxiety in adolescence: Implications for models of comorbidity. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 37(2), 337-349. doi: 10.1080/15374410801955854
  • Davila, J., Stroud, C.B., & Starr, L.R. (2008). Depression in couples and families. In I. Gotlib & C. Hammen (Eds.), Handbook of Depression (2nd Ed). New York: Guilford Press.
  • Starr, L.R., & Davila, J. (invited chapter in preparation). Social anxiety and romantic relationships. In K. Ranta, A.M. La Greca, L.J. Garcia-Lopez, and M. Marttune (Eds.), Social Anxiety and Phobia in Adolescents: Development, Manifestation and Intervention Strategies. Powell, WY: Springer.