Sarah Whitton, Ph. D

Research Assistant Professor

Picture of Sarah Whitton

  • Ph.D., University of Denver

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Whitton received her Ph.D. in 2004 from the University of Denver. Then, at Harvard Medical School and Judge Baker Children’s Center, she completed a 2 year postdoctoral fellowship in the Clinical Research Training Program followed by a 1 year NIMH-funded individual postdoctoral research fellowship studying family influences on offspring’s mental health and intimate relationships.

Research Interests

Dr. Whitton’s primary research interests focus on how close relationships, especially those between spouses and between parents and children, influence and are influenced by the individuals’ mental health.

She is also interested in the treatment of internalizing disorders and the prevention and treatment of marital distress, particularly for high risk couples such as those forming stepfamilies. Dr. Whitton is the Clinical Director of the Child and Adolescent Fear and Anxiety Program at the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders at Boston University.

In addition, she is the director of a federally-funded clinical trial designed to test the efficacy of an intensive intervention for panic disorder in adolescents, and to assess whether the direct involvement of parents in the intervention improves treatment effectiveness.

Selected Publications

  • Whitton, S. W., Waldinger, R. J., Schulz, M. S., Allen, J.P., Crowell, J. A., & Hauser, S. T. (in press). Prospective associations from family-of-origin interactions to adult marital interactions and relationship adjustment. Journal of Family Psychology.
  • Whitton, S. W., Larson, J., & Hauser, S. T. (in press). Depressive symptoms and bias in perceived social competence among young adults. Journal of Clinical Psychology.
  • Whitton, S. W., Nicholson, J. M., & Markman, H. J. (in press). Research on interventions for stepfamily couples: The state of the field. In Pryor, J. (Ed.) The International Handbook of Stepfamilies: Policy and Practice in Legal, Research, and Clinical Spheres. Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  • Whitton, S.W., Olmos-Gallo, P. A., Stanley, S. M., Prado, L. M., Kline, G. H. & Markman, H. J. (2007). Depressive symptoms in early marriage: Predictions from relationship confidence and negative marital interaction. Journal of Family Psychology, 21, 297-306.
  • Whitton, S.W., Stanley, S. M., & Markman, H. J. (2007). If I help my partner, will it hurt me? Perceptions of sacrifice in romantic relationships. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 26, 64-92.
  • Whitton, S. W., Luiselli, J. K., & Donaldson, D. L. (2006).  Cognitive-behavioral treatment of generalized anxiety disorder and vomiting phobia in an elementary-age child. Clinical Case Studies, 5, 477-487.