University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Sally Powers

Associate Dean, College of Natural Sciences (Faculty Development)
Professor, Psychological and Brain Sciences
Former CRF Faculty Director



Dr. Sally Powers is professor of psychology and a member of the Neuroscience and Behavior Program at UMass Amherst. She is the former faculty Director of the Center for Research on Families and currently serves as the Associate Dean for Faculty Development in the College of Natural Sciences. Professor Powers joined the University in 1988. She was an assistant professor of psychology from 1988-91 and an associate professor from 1991-95. She has been a professor since 1995. She served as coordinator of the Psychological Services Center from 1998-2000 and was head of the department of psychology’s clinical division in 2003-06. Prof. Powers has also been a professor in the neuroscience and behavior program since 2007.

As a developmental psychopathologist, Sally Powers investigates the interaction of normal developmental processes and psychopathology in adolescents and young adults. Her research focuses on understanding cognitive, personality and life history risk factors in the development of psychopathology, and the mediating roles of interpersonal behavior and neuroendocrine functioning within close relationships. Her most recent studies—funded by NSF, NIMH and NCI—investigate a biopsychosocial model of factors hypothesized to contribute to the sex difference in the prevalence of adolescent and adult depression and anxiety. Her previous work has been funded by NICHD, the William T. Grant Foundation, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. At UMass Amherst, Dr. Powers has been awarded a Conti Faculty Fellowship for excellence in research and the Chancellor's Medal as a Distinguished Faculty Lecturer. Colleague Paula Pietromonaco and Dr. Powers are currently conducting a longitudinal study of close relationships and health in early marriages of opposite-sex couples through the Growth in Early Marriage Project.