The Pennsylvania State University
Relationships and Stress Research Lab

The research being conducted in the Relationships and Stress Research Lab at the Pennsylvania State University is designed to determine causal mechanisms and contextual factors that contribute to the occurrence of psychological and physical aggression in close relationships. A particular emphasis is placed on the ways in which exposure to stress and trauma-related psychopathology interact with early-stage social information processing (e.g., individuals' attention to, and perception of, emotionally and physically threatening social stimuli) to lead to aggression in intimate and parent-child relationships. This model includes the study of developmental and intra- and inter-personal processes that contribute to changes in information processing that are particularly important to the maintenance of adaptive close relationships and recovery from posttraumatic sequelae.

Additional areas of study in the lab include:

  1. 1)the relationship context of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and how basic research can inform couples therapy approaches to treating PTSD and relationship aggression,

  2. 2)interpersonal, developmental, and biological mechanisms that explain sex differences in aggression perpetration and sex differences in the development of PTSD,

  3. 3)individual, dyadic, and contextual predictors of the co-occurrence of aggression in intimate and parent-child relationships,

  4. 4)how exposure to different forms and sequences of aggressive behaviors differentially impact children,

  5. 5)within-incident contextual predictors of aggression escalation, deescalation, and longitudinal reinforcement

  6. 6)development of innovative research methodologies and assessment techniques.

Relationships & Stress Lab

Director: Amy D. Marshall, PhD

Department of Psychology

141 Bruce V. Moore Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16801

  1. (814)865-0839

(814) 863-2696