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Sara Bufferd, Ph.D

Sara Bufferd, Ph.D

Associate Professor of Psychology


Office: SBSB 3237

Sara Bufferd, Ph.D

I joined the psychology faculty at California State University San Marcos in the Fall of 2012 after completing my Ph.D. in clinical psychology. My research interests lie within a developmental psychopathology framework.  I investigate factors that contribute to the onset and course of emotional and behavioral problems in young children, including temperament, psychosocial functioning, stressors, and parenting behavior. I am particularly interested in mapping normative and pathological psychological development of anxiety and mood dysregulation in preschool-aged children.

Education

2003              B.S., Human Development, Cornell University

2012              Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Stony Brook University

Training

2003-2005     Post-Baccalaureate Research, Child Psychiatry,

                     Columbia University/New York State Psychiatric Institute

2010-2011     Predoctoral Clinical Internship, Yale University

Fellowships

2005-2010     Graduate Council Fellowship, Stony Brook University

2009-2012     National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Fellowship

                    National Research Service Award (F31 MH084444)

Research

CURRENT GRANT FUNDING

2016-2019 National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA; R15 MH106885): Preschool Internalizing Psychopathology: Behavioral Phenotypes and Stress Physiology

PUBLICATIONS

Bufferd, S. J., Dougherty, L. R., & Olino, T. M. (2017). Mapping the frequency and severity of depressive behaviors in preschool-aged children. Child Psychiatry & Human Development, 48, 934–943.

Bufferd, S. J., Dougherty, L. R., Olino, T. M., Dyson, M. W., Carlson, G. A., & Klein, D. N. (In press). Temperament distinguishes persistent/recurrent from remitting anxiety disorders across early childhood. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.

Finsaas, M. C., Bufferd, S. J., Dougherty, L. R., Carlson, G. A., & Klein, D. N. (In press). Preschool psychiatric disorders: homotypic and heterotypic continuity through middle childhood and early adolescence. Psychological Medicine.

 Olino, T.M., Bufferd, S.J., Dougherty, L.R., Dyson, M.W., Carlson, G.A., & Klein, D.N. (In press). The development of latent dimensions of psychopathology across early childhood: Stability of dimensions and moderators of change. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology.

Vandermeer, M. R., Sheikh, H. I., Singh, S. S., Klein, D. N., Olino, T. M., Dyson, M. W., Bufferd, S. J., Hayden, E. P. (in press). The BDNF gene val66met polymorphism and behavioural inhibition in early childhood. Social Development.

Parisette-Sparks, A., Bufferd, S. J., & Klein, D. N. (2017). Parental predictors of children’s shame and guilt at age 6 in a multi-method, longitudinal study. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 46, 721-731.

Barrios, C. S., Bufferd, S. J., Klein, D. N., & Dougherty, L. R. (2017). The interaction between parenting and children’s cortisol reactivity at age three predicts increases in children’s internalizing and externalizing symptoms at age six. Development and Psychopathology, 29, 1319-1331.

Kessel, E. M., Allmann, A. E. S., Goldstein, B., Finsaas, M., Dougherty, L. R., Bufferd, S. J., Carlson, G. A., & Klein, D. N. (2017). Predictors and outcomes of childhood primary enuresis. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 56, 250-257.

Kessel, E., Kujawa, A., Goldstein, B., Hajcak, G., Bufferd, S. J., Dyson, M., & Klein, D. N. (2017). Behavioral observations of positive and negative valence systems in early childhood predict physiological measures of emotional processing three years later. Journal of Affective Disorders, 216, 70-77.

Dougherty, L. R., Smith, V. C., Bufferd, S. J., Kessel, E. M. Carlson, G. A., & Klein, D. N. (2016). Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder at the age of 6 years and clinical and functional outcomes 3 years later. Psychological Medicine, 46, 1103-1114.

Kopala-Sibley-D. C., Dougherty, L. R., Dyson, M. W., Laptook, R. S., Bufferd, S. J., Klein, D. N. (2017). Early childhood cortisol reactivity moderates the effects of parent-child relationship quality on the development of children’s temperament in early childhood. Developmental Science, 20, e12378.

Carlson, G. A., Danzig, A. P., Dougherty, L. R., Bufferd, S. J., & Klein, D. N. (2016). Loss of temper and irritability: The relationship to tantrums in a community and clinical sample. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, 26, 114-122.

Johnson, V. C., Olino, T. M., Klein, D. N., Dyson, M. W., Bufferd, S. J., Durbin, C. E., Dougherty, L. R., & Hayden, E. P. (2016). A longitudinal investigation of predictors of the stability of behavioural inhibition in early childhood. Journal of Research in Personality, 63, 51-61.

Dyson, M. W., Olino, T. M., Durbin, C. E., Goldsmith, H. H., Bufferd, S. J., Miller, A. R., & Klein, D. N. (2015). The structural and rank-order stability of temperament in young children based on a laboratory-observational measure. Psychological Assessment, 27, 1388-1401.

Dougherty, L. R., Smith, V. C., Bufferd, S. J., Kessel, E., Carlson, G. A., & Klein, D. N. (2015). Preschool irritability predicts child psychopathology, functional impairment, and service use at age nine. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 56, 999-1007.

Meyer, A., Proudfit, G.H., Bufferd, S. J., Kujawa, A. J., Laptook, R.S., Torpey, D. C., & Klein, D. N. (2015).  Self-reported and observed punitive parenting prospectively predicts increased error-related brain activity in six-year-old children. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 43, 821-829.

Bufferd, S. J., Dougherty, L. R., Olino, T. M., Dyson, M.W., Laptook, R. S., Carlson, G. A., & Klein, D. N. (2014). Predictors of the onset of depression in young children: A multi-method, multi-informant longitudinal study from ages 3 to 6. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 55, 1279-1287.

Olino, T. M., Dougherty, L. R. Bufferd, S. J., Carlson, G. A, & Klein, D. N. (2014). Testing models of psychopathology in preschool-aged children using a structured interview-based assessment. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 42, 1201-1211.

Dougherty, L. R., Smith, V. C., Bufferd, S. J., Carlson, G. A., Stringaris, A., Leibenluft, E., & Klein, D. (2014). DSM-5 Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder: Correlates and predictors in young children. Psychological Medicine, 44, 2339-2350.

Danzig, A. P., Bufferd, S. J., Dougherty, L. R., Carlson, G. A., & Klein, D. N.  (2013). Longitudinal associations between preschool psychopathology and school-age peer functioning. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 44, 621-632.

Dougherty, L. R., Smith, V. C., Bufferd, S. J., Stringaris, A., Leibenluft, E., Carlson, G. A., & Klein, D. N. (2013). Preschool irritability: Longitudinal associations with psychiatric disorders at age six and parental psychopathology. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 52, 1304-1313.

Dougherty, L. R., Tolep, M. R., Bufferd, S. J., Olino, T. M., Dyson, M. W., Traditi, J., Rose, S.A., Carlson, G. A., & Klein, D. N. (2013). Preschool anxiety disorders: Comprehensive assessment of clinical, demographic, temperamental, familial, and life stress correlates. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 42, 577-589.

Meyer, A., Hajcak, G., Torpey, D. C., Kujawa, A., Kim, J., Bufferd, S. J., Carlson, G. A., & Klein, D. N. (2013).  Increased error-related brain activity in six-year-old children with clinical anxiety. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 41, 1257-1266.

Dougherty, L. R., Smith, V., Olino, T. M., Dyson, M. W., Bufferd, S. J., Rose, S. R., & Klein, D. N. (2013). Maternal psychopathology and early child temperament predict young children’s salivary cortisol 3 years later. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 41, 531-542.

Sheikh, H. I., Kryski, K. R., Smith, H. J., Dougherty, L. R., Bufferd, S. J., Klein, D. N., Singh, S. M., & Hayden, E. P. (2013). Catechol-O-Methyltransferase gene val158met polymorphism and depressive symptoms during early childhood. Neuropsychiatric Genetics, 162, 245-252.

Hayden, E. P., Olino, T. M., Bufferd, S. J., Miller, A., Dougherty, L. R., Sheikh, H. I., Singh, S. M., & Klein, D. N. (2013). The serotonin transporter linked polymorphic region and brain-derived neurotrophic factor valine to methionine at position 66 polymorphisms and maternal history of depression: associations with cognitive vulnerability to depression in childhood. Development and Psychopathology, 25, 587-598.

Bufferd, S. J., Dougherty, L. R., Carlson, G. A., Rose, S. R., & Klein, D. N. (2012). Preschool psychopathology: Continuity from age 3 to 6. American Journal of Psychiatry, 169, 1157-1164.

Kim, J., Carlson, G. A., Meyer, S. E., Bufferd, S. J., Dougherty, L. R., Dyson, M. W., Laptook, R. S., Olino, T. M., & Klein, D. N. (2012). Correlates of the CBCL-dysregulation profile in preschool-aged children. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 53, 918-926.

Bufferd, S. J., Dougherty, L. R., Carlson, G. A., & Klein, D. N. (2011). Parent-reported menta health in preschoolers: Findings using a diagnostic interview. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 52, 359-369.

Dougherty, L. R., Bufferd, S. J., Carlson, G. A., Dyson, M. W., Olino, T. M., & Klein, D. N. (2011). Preschoolers' observed temperament and psychiatric disorders assessed with a parent diagnostic interview. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 40, 295-306.

Hayden, E. P., Klein, D. N., Dougherty, L. R., Olino, T. M., Dyson, M. W., Bufferd, S. J., Durbin, C. E., Sheikh, H. I., & Singh, S. M. (2010). The dopamine D2 receptor gene and depressive and anxious symptoms in childhood: Associations and evidence for gene-environment correlation and gene-environment interaction. Psychiatric Genetics, 20, 304-310.

Nemeroff, R., Levitt, J. M., Faul, L., WonPat-Borja, A. J., Bufferd, S. J., Setterberg, S., & Jensen, P. S. (2008). Establishing ongoing, early identification programs for mental health problems in our schools: A feasibility study. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 47, 328-338.

CHAPTERS AND REVIEWS

Bufferd, S. J., Dyson, M. W., Hernandez, I. G., & Wakschlag, L. S. (2016). Explicating the “developmental” in preschool psychopathology. In D. Cicchetti (Ed.), Developmental Psychopathology, Third Edition (pp. 152-186). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Dougherty, L. R., Leppert, K., Merwin, S., Smith, V., Bufferd, S. J., & Kushner, M. (2015). Advances and directions in preschool mental health research. Child Development Perspectives, 9, 14-19.

Klein, D. N., Bufferd, S. J., Dyson, M. W., & Danzig, A. P. (2014). Development and personality disorders.In M. Lewis and K. Rudolph (Eds.), Handbook of Developmental Psychopathology, Third Edition (pp. 703-719). New York, NY: Springer.

Klein, D. N., Bufferd, S. J., Ro, E., & Clark, L.A. (2014). Depression and comorbidity: Personality disorders. In C. S. Richards and M. W. O’Hara (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Depression and Comorbidity (pp. 200-217). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Klein, D. N., Kotov, R., & Bufferd, S. J. (2011). Personality and depression. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 7, 5.1-5.27.

Klein, D. N., Torpey, D. C., Bufferd, S. J., & Dyson, M.W. (2008). Depressive disorders. In T. P. Beauchaine and S.P. Hinshaw (Eds.), Child and Adolescent Psychopathology (pp. 477-509). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

 

 

Courses

Psyc 328 Developmental Psychopathology

Psyc 331 Developmental Psychology: Infancy and Childhood

Psyc 336 Abnormal Psychology

Psyc 395 Research Methods in Developmental Psychology

CHAD 491 Children, Adolescents, and Social Policy

CHAD 496 Observation and Assessment Laboratory

Psyc 498 and 499 Independent Research

Psyc 560 Developmental Psychopathology (Graduate)

Vitae

Students

Research Assistants

We are currently looking for new research assistants (RAs). RAs must be able to commit to at least one year in the lab (e.g., January 2019 through December 2019). In addition, RAs must have openings in their schedule at various times throughout the week (e.g., mornings, afternoons, and some weekends). Please email me a completed Bufferd Lab Application - this document includes more information about the requirements for the position.

Letters of Recommendation

Please e-mail me a brief message informing me that you would like to request a letter of recommendation (include the general type(s) of program you are applying to and the earliest due date).

I will let you know if I can write you a letter, and then you should complete and e-mail me this recommendation questionnaire at least one month prior to the first deadline.

Psychology Careers and Graduate School: Recommended Readings and Websites

General

Article: Good and Bad Reasons to go to Graduate School

Book: Career Paths in Psychology

Website: APA--Careers in Psychology

Website: APA--Careers in Psychology: Science in Action

Website: Careers in Psychology

Videos: I developed the "How Did I Get Here" video series with the  Association for Psychological Science and the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology (SSCP) in which psychological scientists in various positions describe their career path, discuss obstacles that were overcome along the way to their current position, and share what they wish they had known earlier in their career. These are the personal stories you don't get from a CV!

Website: LearnPsychology - Careers, Resources, Education

Website: CSUSM Psychology Department: Advice about applying to graduate school

Graduate study in psychology

Book: Getting In

Book: Insider's Guide

Article: Before you apply and gaining post-Baccalaureate experience

Slides: Debt, Salaries, & Careers in Psychology: What You Need to Know

Website: Psychology degree programs by state

Website: Interviews with Psychology and Counseling professionals

Applying to Ph.D. programs in clinical psychology (there is good general career/graduate school advice in these articles as well)

Article: Advice for applying to graduate school in clinical psychology

Website: Getting Into Clinical Psych Grad School

Website: Diversifying Clinical Psychology - advice (via presentation downloads) on the process, from obtaining research experience through selecting programs

Blog: How to apply to clinical psychology Ph.D. programs

Current graduate students

Article: How to be a good graduate student

Article: Tips for juggling the roles of researcher, teaching assistant, and student

Participants

Preschoolers

If you are a parent of a 3- to 5-year-old child living in San Diego County and would like to participate in research studies on children's emotions, please contact us by phone or e-mail.

Voice or text: (760) 593-4618

E-mail: PEPresearchCSUSM@gmail.com

Research staff will respond to your message as soon as possible, but please contact us again if you do not get a response within one week.