Lisa Neff


Associate 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 explores how marriages develop and change over time. Specifically, 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

Neff, L. A., & Geers, A. L. (2013). Optimistic expectations in early marriage: A resource or vulnerability for adaptive relationship functioning? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 105, 38-60.

Crockett, E., & Neff, L. A. (2013). When receiving help hurts: Gender differences in cortisol responses to spousal support. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 4, 190-197.

Buck, A.A., & Neff, L.A. (2012).  Stress spillover in early marriage: The role of self-regulatory depletion. Journal of Family Psychology, 26, 698-708.

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.

Courses Recently Taught


HDF 337 – Personal Relationships
HDF304H – Family Relationships: Honors Section


HDF 395.4 – Intimate Relationships: Formation and Development
HDF 394 – The Self in Relationships