Darby Saxbe

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Contact Information
E-mail: dsaxbe@usc.edu
Phone: (213) 740-2313
Office: SGM 716

Curriculum Vitae
Personal Website


  • B.A. Psychology & English Literature, Yale University, 5/1999
  • Ph.D. Clinical Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, 5/2009

  • Description of Research

    Summary Statement of Research Interests
    My program of research takes a biopsychosocial perspective on understanding health and well-being in the context of family and peer relationships. I am interested in how nature and nurture intersect – how early experiences shape the development of emotion regulation, stress responding, and social perception, and how these phenomena influence subsequent psychosocial functioning. Much of my research incorporates cortisol, a hormone secreted by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis that reflects bodily adaptation to acute and chronic stress. However, I have pursued additional training in neuroimaging at USC and recently completed an fMRI study of adolescents' perceptions of parents and peers. At the moment, I am developing a new study of couples transitioning to parenthood, the HATCH (Hormones, Attachment, and Transition to CHildrearing) study. We will follow couples across the prenatal and postpartum periods and measure hormonal changes and patterns of within-couple coregulation. I also plan to conduct MRI scanning of the fathers to look at structural and functional changes to the "fathering brain." For more information on my work and lab, please visit http://dornsife.usc.edu/nestlab


    Journal Article
    • Saxbe, D. E., Margolin, G., Spies, L. A., Baucom, B. (2012). Does Dampened Physiological Reactivity Protect Youth in Aggressive Family Environments?. Child Development. Vol. 83, pp. 821-830.
    • Saxbe, D. E., Repetti, R. L. (2010). For Better or Worse? Coregulation of Couples’ Cortisol Levels and Mood States. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Vol. 98 (92-103)
    • Saxbe, D. E., Repetti, R. L. (2010). No Place Like Home: Home Tours Predict Daily Patterns of Mood and Cortisol. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Vol. 36 (71-81)
    • Saxbe, D. E., Repetti, R. L. (2009). Fathers’ and Mothers’ Marital Relationship Predicts Daughters’ Pubertal Development Two Years Later. Journal of Adolescence. Vol. 32 (415-423)
    • Saxbe, D. E. (2008). A field (researcher’s) guide to cortisol: Tracking the HPA axis in everyday life. Health Psychology Review. Vol. 2 (163-190)
    • Saxbe, D. E., Repetti, R. L., Nishina, A. (2008). Marital Satisfaction, Recovery from Work, and Diurnal Cortisol Among Men and Women. Health Psychology. Vol. 27 (15-25)

  • Department of Psychology
  • University of Southern California
  • SGM 501
  • 3620 South McClintock Ave.
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-1061
  • Phone: (213) 740 - 2203