Sara Jaffee

Department Chair
BA, Psychology, Oberlin College
Ph.D., Psychology, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Office Location: 
Room 464, Levin Building, 425 S. University Ave.
Research Interests: 
Developmental Psychology
Specific Research Areas: 

Development of antisocial behavior; gene-environment interplay

Research Synopsis: 

I am a developmental psychopathologist who conducts research on at-risk families and children. I am interested in how stressful environments exacerbate underlying genetic vulnerabilities to affect children’s development, with a special interest in children’s antisocial behavior. My work combines longitudinal, epidemiological methods with genetically-informative research designs to better understand how risk and protective factors operate in children’s development.


 Professor Sara Jaffee will not be considering new graduate students for admission for Fall 2024.


Selected Publications: 
Brumley, L. D., Russell, M. A., & Jaffee, S. R. (2019). Optimistic college expectations promote educational attainment: Evidence from a quasi-experimental sibling study. Psychological Science, 30, 1186-1194. 
Chen, R., Rothman, E., & Jaffee, S. R. (2017). Early puberty, friendship group characteristics, and dating abuse in US girls. Pediatrics, 139, e20162847.
Cline, J., Belsky, J., Melhuish, E., Lysenko, L., McFarquhar, T., Stevens, S., & Jaffee, S. R. (2015). Take your mind off it: Coping style, 5HTTLPR genotype, and children’s internalizing and externalizing problems. Development and Psychopathology, 27, 1129-1143.   
Jaffee, S. R., McFarquhar, T., Stevens, S., Ouellet-Morin, I., Melhuish, E., & Belsky, J. (2015). Interactive effects of early and recent exposure to stressful contexts on cortisol reactivity in middle childhood. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 56, 138-146.
Jaffee, S. R. , Lombardi, C. M., & Coley, R. L. (2013). Using complementary methods to test whether marriage limits men’s antisocial behavior. Development and Psychopathology, 25, 65-77.
Jaffee, S. R., Strait, L. B., & Odgers, C. L. (2012). From correlates to causes: Can quasi-experimental studies and statistical innovations bring us closer to identifying the causes of antisocial behavior? Psychological Bulletin, 138, 272-295.

Price, T. S., Grosser, T., Plomin, R., & Jaffee, S. R. (2010). Fetal genotype for the xenobiotic metabolizing enzyme NQO1 influences intrauterine growth among infants whose mothers smoked during pregnancy. Child Development, 81, 101-114.

Jaffee, S. R., & Price, T. S. (2007). Gene-environment correlations: A review of the evidence and implications for prevention of mental illness. Molecular Psychiatry, 12, 432-442.

Jaffee, S. R., Moffitt, T. E., Caspi, A., & Taylor, A. (2003). Life with (or without) father: The benefits of living with two biological parents depend on the father’s antisocial behavior. Child Development, 74, 109-126.


Courses Taught: 
PSYC 280 Social & Emotional Development
PSYC 400 Senior Honors Seminar
PSYC 600 (proseminar) Social & Emotional Development 
PSYC 709 Graduate Seminar in Developmental Psychopathology 


Izabela Milaniak [Psychology Graduate Student]

Bethany Watson [Psychology Graduate Student]

Anika Khan [Psychology Graduate Student]

Samiha Islam [Psychology Graduate Student]