Dr. Sabrina Bierstetel

Dr. Sabrina Bierstetel

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Dr. Bierstetel is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Franciscan University of Steubenville. Dr. Bierstetel earned her Ph.D. and M.A. in Social-Personality Psychology with a minor in Quantitative Methods from Wayne State University. She also spent three years as a Research Design and Analysis Consultant for faculty, postdoctoral researchers, and medical/graduate students at Wayne State University.

Dr. Bierstetel’s research interests focus on understanding how interpersonal relationships can serve as a vehicle for helping people live happier and healthier lives. She and her students pursue this line of work using a variety of methods to investigate the physical health and well-being consequences of interpersonal communication processes such as conflict and perceived responsiveness in both face-to-face and technology-mediated contexts.

Dr. Bierstetel also has extensive mentoring experience and is passionate about fostering student development in and outside the classroom. Outside of campus, she enjoys reading and spending time with her husband, family, and friends while traveling, engaging in outdoor activities, and playing games.


  • Ph.D. in Social-Personality Psychology with a minor in Quantitative Methods, Wayne State University
  • M.A. in Psychology, Wayne State University
  • B.S. in Psychology, summa cum laude, with a minor in Child Development, Central Michigan University Honor’s Program

Professional Memberships

  • Society for Personality and Social Psychology
  • Association for Psychological Science
  • International Society of Psychoneuroendocrinology
  • Psi Chi, The International Honor Society in Psychology
  • National Society of Collegiate Scholars
  • Association for Research in Personality


  • Assistant Professor of Psychology, Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • Research Design and Analysis Consultant, Wayne State University
  • Psychology Instructor, Wayne State University
  • Center for Applied Research and Rural Studies, Central Michigan University


  • Experimental design
  • Qualitative coding (e.g., video, auditory, text)
  • Mixed Methods
  • Electronically Activated Recorder (EAR)
  • Physiological Measures
  • Multilevel Modeling
  • Dyadic Data Analysis
  • Integrative Data Analysis
  • Longitudinal Analysis


  • Close relationships, health, and well-being
  • Interpersonal conflict
  • Face-to-face and technology-mediation responsiveness


Select Publications

  • Bierstetel, S.J., Jiang, Y., Slatcher, R.B., & Zilioli, S. (Accepted). Family conflict and the trajectory of adolescent asthma-related health. Journal of Psychosomatic Research.
  • Bierstetel, S.J., & Slatcher, R.B. (2020). Couples’ behavior during conflict in the lab and diurnal cortisol patterns in daily life. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 115, 104633.
  • Bierstetel, S.J., Farrell, A.K., Briskin, J.L., Harvey, M.W., Gable, S.L., Simpson, J., Saxbe, D., Ickes, W., Orina, M.M., Ta, V., Ha, T., Lin, W.F., & Slatcher, R.B. (2020). Associations between language style matching and relationship commitment and satisfaction: An integrative data analysis. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 37(8-9), 2459-2481.

Additional Publications

  • Scherr, K. C., Normile, C. J., Bierstetel, S.J., Franks, A. S., & Hawkins, I. (2018). Knowingly but naively: The overpowering influence of innocence on interrogation rights decision-making. Law and Human Behavior, 42(1), 26.
  • Thelen, S.J., & Scherr, K.C. (2016). Acquiescence bias versus the power of innocence: Signing without knowing or signing naively? The Honors Platform, 3(1), 31-38.

Non-Referred Publications

  • Pineault, L., Partridge, T., & Bierstetel, S. J. (2021). Why are we following a 20th century data pedagogy in a 21st century data world? A call to modernize graduate student data science training. American Psychological Association Psychological Science Agenda.
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Department Faculty