Lisa Neff


Assistant Professor

HDFS Faculty
Office: SEA 2.438
Lab: SEA 1.410, SEA 2.436


Office: 512-475-6886
Lab: 512-475-7527
Lab: 512-475-7504
Fax: 512-475-8662



Research Interests

Lisa Neff’s current research focuses on marital relationships.  Despite the strong feelings of love and commitment that characterize newlywed couples, many marriages end in disappointment. To understand this shift, her research aims: (1) to identify the relationship processes associated with positive marital outcomes (e.g., the influence of optimistic biases on marital well-being; the role of social support exchanges between partners) and (2) to understand how and when stressors external to the relationship (e.g., work stress, financial difficulties) hinder couples’ efforts to engage in relationship-promoting behaviors. To address these issues, Dr. Neff’s research utilizes daily diary, observational, and longitudinal methodologies.

Select Publications

Crockett, E., & Neff, L. A. (in press). When receiving help hurts: Gender differences in cortisol responses to spousal support. Social Psychological and Personality Science

Neff, L.A., & Broady, E. (2011). Does practice make perfect? Stress resilience in early marriage. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101, 1050-1067.

Neff, L.A., & Karney, B. R. (2009). Stress and reactivity to daily relationship experiences: How stress hinders adaptive processes in marriage. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 97, 435-450.

Neff, L. A., & Karney, B. R. (2005).  To know you is to love you: The implications of global adoration and specific accuracy for marital relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90, 480-497.

Neff, L. A., & Karney, B. R. (2005).  Gender differences in social support: A question of skill or responsiveness? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 88, 79-90.

Current Grants

Marriage in Context: Linking External Stress to Relationship Maintenance Processes in Newlyweds (2009-2013), National Science Foundation (BCS-0921896). PI: Lisa A. Neff.

Courses Recently Taught

HDF 378K – Basic Processes in Intimate Relationships
HDF 337 – Personal Relationships

HDF 395.1 – Family Interaction and Development
HDF 394 – The Self in Relationships