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Timothy W. Smith, Ph.D.

Timothy W. Smith, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor, Clinical Psychology, Health Psychology

Curriculum Vitae

Contact Information

Office: 704 BEHS
Phone: 801-581-5087

Research Interests

Most of my research addresses personality and social risk factors for cardiovascular disease. I am interested in the application of theory and methods from the interpersonal tradition in clinical, personality, and social psychology to the conceptualization and assessment of psychosocial risk factors for disease, and to the study of the psychophysiological mechanisms linking risk factors to disease. A basic premise of this perspective is that personality characteristics are reciprocally related to characteristics of the social environment. Over long periods of time and throughout the course of personality and social development, people shape and are shaped by their relationships and the social contexts they inhabit. This transactional process through which people influence and are influenced by social contexts, in turn, can impact the individual's risk for serious illness.

As reflected in the following list of recent publications, I am also interested in risk factors and processes in the specific social context of close personal relationships (e.g., marriage). I am also interested in using the same interpersonal concepts and methods to study the process of adjustment to chronic medical illness.

Recent studies and papers illustrating these interests are listed below. I would particularly recommend the Smith et al (in press) Emotion; Smith and Baucom (2017) American Psychologist; Baron, Smith et al. (2016) Health Psychology; Cundiff, Smith et al. (2016) Health Psychology; Smith and Jordan (2015) Psychophysiology; Smith et al (2014) Journal of Personality; Smith et al (2011) Psychosomatic Medicine; and Smith et al (2008) Health Psychology.


Post-doc, Brown University (Program in Medicine, 1983)
Pre-doc, Brown University (Clinical Psychology, Program in Medicine, 1982)
Ph.D., University of Kansas (Clinical Psychology, 1982)
M.A., University of Kansas (Clinical Psychology, 1980)
B.A., University of Kansas (Psychology, 1977)

Publications by Year

  • Baron, C.E., Smith, T.W., Baucom, B.R., Uchino, B.N., Williams, P.G., Sundar, K.M., Czajkowski, L. (2020). Relationship partner social behavior and CPAP adherence: The role of autonomy support. Health Psychology, 39, 325-324.
  • Smith, T.W., Deits-Lebehn, C. Williams, P.G., Baucom, B.R., & Uchino, B.N. (2020). Toward a social psychophysiology of vagally-mediated heart rate variability: Concepts and methods in self-regulation, emotion, and interpersonal processes. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 14(3), e12516.
  • Cribbet, M.R., Smith, T.W., Uchino, B.N., Baucom, B.R.W., & Nealey-Moore, J.B. (in press). Autonomic influences on heart rate during marital conflict: Associations with high frequency heart rate variability and cardiac pre-ejection period. Biological Psychology.
  • Grove, J.L., Smith, T.W., Carlson, S., Bryan, C., Crowell, S., Czajkowski, L., Williams, P.G., & Parkhurst, K. (2020). Prospective association between suicide cognitions and emotional responses to a laboratory stressor: The mediating role of nightly subjective sleep quality. Journal of Affective Disorders,265,77-84.

  • Grove, J.L., Smith, T.W., Girard, J.M., & Wright, A.G. (2019). Narcissistic admiration and rivalry: An interpersonal approach to construct validation. Journal of Personality Disorders, 33, 751-775.
  • Smith, T.W., Baron, C.E., Caska-Wallace, C.M., Knobloch-Fedders, L., Renshaw, K.D., & Uchino, B.N. (in press). PTSD in Veterans, couple behavior, and cardiovascular response during marital conflict. Emotion.
  • Smith, T.W., Baron, C.E., Deits-Lebehn, C., Uchino, B.N., Berg, C.A. (in press). Is it me or you? Marital conflict behavior and blood pressure reactivity. Journal of Family Psychology.
  • Smith, T.W., & Weihs, K. (2019). Emotion, social relationships, and physical health: Concepts, methods, and evidence for an integrative perspective. Psychosomatic Medicine,81, 681-693.

  • Jordan, K.D., & Smith, T.W. (2017). The interpersonal domain of alexithymia. Personality and Individual Differences, 110, 65-69.
  • Knobloch-Fedders, L.M., Caska-Wallace, C., Smith, T.W., & Renshaw, K. (2017). Battling on the home front: Posttraumatic stress disorder and conflict behavior in military couples. Behavior Therapy, 48, 247-261.
  • Smith, T.W., & Baucom, B.R.W. (2017). Intimate relationships, individual adjustment, and coronary heart disease: Implications of overlapping associations in psychosocial risk. American Psychologist, 72, 578-589.
  • Smith, T.W., Eagle, D.E., & Proeschold-Bell, R.J. (2017). Prospective associations between depressive symptoms and the metabolic syndrome: The Spirited Life Study of Methodist pastors in North Carolina. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 51, 610-619.

  • Baron, C.E., Smith, T.W., Uchino, B.N., Baucom, B.R., & Birmingham, W. (2016). Getting along and getting ahead: Affiliation and dominance predict ambulatory blood pressure. Health Psychology, 35, 253-261.
  • Cundiff, J.M., Smith, T.W., Baron, C.E., & Uchino, B.N. (2016). Hierarchy and health: Physiological effects of interpersonal experiences associated with socioeconomic position. Health Psychology, 35, 356-365.
  • Smith, T.W., & Baron, C.E. (2016). Marital discord in the later years. In J. Bookwala (Ed.), Couple relationships in mid and late life: Their nature, complexity, and role in health and illness (pp. 37-56). Washington, DC: APA Books.
  • Smith, T.W., & Williams, P.G. (2016). Assessment of social traits in married couples: Self-reports and spouse ratings around the interpersonal circumplex: Psychological Assessment, 28, 726-736.
  • Smith, T.W., Williams, P.G., & Ruiz, J.M. (2016). Clinical health psychology. In J.C. Norcross, G.R. VandenBos, & D.K. Freedheim (Eds.), APA Handbook of Clinical Psychology (pp 223-257). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

  • Cundiff, J.M., Smith, T.W., Butner, J., Critchfield, K., & Nealey-Moore, J. (2015). Affiliation and control in marital interaction: Interpersonal complementarity is present but is not associated with affect or marital quality. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 41, 35-51.
  • Henry, N.J.M., Smith, T.W., Butner, J., Berg, C.A., Sewell, K., & Uchino, B.N. (2015). Marital quality, depressive symptoms, and the metabolic syndrome: A couples structural model. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 38, 497-506.
  • Jordan, K.J., Williams, P.G., & Smith, T.W. (2015). Interpersonal distinctions among hypochondriacal trait components: Styles, goals, vulnerabilities, and perceptions of health care providers. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 34, 459-476.
  • Smith, T.W., & Jordan, K.D. (2015). Interpersonal motives and social-evaluative threat: Effects of acceptance and status stressors on cardiovascular reactivity and salivary cortisol response. Psychophysiology, 52, 269-276.
  • Smith, T.W., & Williams, P.G. (2015). Self-reports and spouse ratings of neuroticism: Perspectives on emotional adjustment. Journal of Family Psychology, 29, 302-307.
  • Smith, T.W., Williams, P.G., & Segerstrom, S.C. (2015). Personality and physical health. In P.R. Shaver & M. Mikulincer (Series Eds.), M. L. Cooper & R.J. Larsen (Vol. Eds.), APAhandbook of personality and social psychology (Vol 4): Personality processes and individual Differences (639-661). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

  • Caska, C.M., Smith, T.W., Renshaw, K.D., Allen, S.N., Uchino, B.N., Birmingham, W., & Carlisle, M. (2014). Posttraumatic stress disorder and responses to couple conflict: Implications for cardiovascular risk. Health Psychology, 33 (11), 1273-1280.
  • Jordan, K.D., Masters, K.S., Hooker, S.A., Ruiz, J.M., & Smith, T.W. (2014). An interpersonal approach to religiousness and spirituality: Implications for health and well-being. Journal of Personality, 82, 418-431.
  • Smith, T.W., Baron, C.E., & Caska, C.M. (2014). On marriage and the heart: Models, methods, and mechanisms in the study of close relationships and cardiovascular disease. In C. Agnew & S. South (Eds.), Interpersonal relationships and health: Social and clinical psychological mechanisms (34-70). New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Smith, T.W., Baron, C.E., & Grove, J. (2014). Personality, emotional adjustment, and cardiovascular risk: Marriage as a mechanism. Journal of Personality, 82, 502-514.
  • Smith, T.W., Uchino. B.N., Bosch, J.A., & Kent, R.G. (2014). Trait hostility is associated with systemic inflammation in married couples: An actor-partner analysis. Biological Psychology, 102, 51-53.

  • Cundiff, J.M., Smith, T.W., Uchino, B.N., & Berg, C.A. (2013). Subjective social status: Construct validity and associations with psychosocial vulnerability and self-rated health. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 20, 148-158.
  • MacKenzie, J., Smith, T.W., & Uchino, B.N. (2013). Cardiovascular reactivity during stressful speaking tasks in Mexican-American women: effects of language use and interaction partner ethnicity. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 36, 621-631.
  • Smith, T.W., Ruiz, J.M., Cundiff, J.M., Baron, K.G., & Nealey-Moore, J.B. (2013). Optimism and pessimism in social context: An interpersonal perspective on resilience and risk. Journal of Research in Personality, 47, 553-562.
  • Smith, T.W., Uchino, B.N., MacKenzie, J., Hicks, A.M, Campo, R.A., Reblin, M., Grewen, K.M., Amico, J.A., & Light, K.C. (2013). Effects of couple interaction and relationship quality on plasma oxytocin and cardiovascular reactivity: Empirical findings and methodological considerations. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 88, 271-281.
  • Smith, T.W., & Williams, P.G. (2013). Behavioral medicine and clinical health psychology. In M.J. Lambert (Ed). Bergin and Garfield’s Handbook of Psychotherapy and Behavior Change (6th ed.) (pp. 690-734). New York: John Wiley & Sons.

  • Cundiff, J.M., Smith, T.W., & Frandsen, C.A. (2012). Incremental validity of spouse ratings versus self-reports of personality as predictors of marital quality and behavior during marital conflict. Psychological Assessment, 24, 676-684.
  • Smith, T.W., Birmingham, W., & Uchino, B.N. (2012). Evaluative threat and ambulatory blood pressure: Cardiovascular effects of social stress in daily experience. Health Psychology,31, 763-766.
  • Smith, T.W., Cundiff, J.M., & Uchino, B.N. (2012). Interpersonal motives and cardiovascular response: Mechanisms linking dominance and social status with cardiovascular disease. In R.A. Wright & G.H.E. Gendolla (Eds.), How motivation affects cardiovascular response: Mechanisms and applications (pp. 287 - 305). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
  • Smith, T.W., Uchino, B.N., Berg, C.A., & Florsheim, P. (2012). Marital discord and coronary artery disease: A comparison of behaviorally-defined discrete groups. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 80, 87-92.

  • Cundiff, J.M., Smith, T.W., Uchino, B.N., & Berg, C.A. (2011). An interpersonal analysis of subjective social status and psychosocial risk. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 30, 47-74.
  • Smith, T.W. (2011). Toward a more systematic, cumulative, and applicable science of personality and health: Lessons from Type D. Psychosomatic Medicine, 73, 528-532.
  • Smith, T.W., Cribbet, M.R., Nealey-Moore, J.N., Uchino, B.N., Williams, P.G., MacKenzie, J., & Thayer, J.F. (2011). Matters of the variable heart: Respiratory sinus arrhythmia response to marital interaction and associations with marital quality. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 100, 103-119.
  • Smith, T.W., & Cundiff, J.M. (2011). Risk for coronary heart disease: An interpersonal perspective. In L.M. Horowitz & S. Strack (Eds.), Handbook of Interpersonal Psychology: Theory, Research, Assessment, and Therapeutic Interventions (pp. 471-490). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Smith, T.W., Uchino, B.N., Florsheim, P., Berg, C.A., Butner, J., Hawkins, M., Henry, N.J.M., Beveridge, R., Pearce, G., Hopkins, P.N., & Yoon, H.C. (2011). Affiliation and control during marital disagreement, history of divorce, and asymptomatic coronary artery calcification in older couples. Psychosomatic Medicine, 73, 350-357.
  • Traupman, E.K., Smith, T.W., Flosheim, P., Berg, C.A., & Uchino, B.N. (2011). Appraisals of spouse affiliation and control during marital conflict: Common and specific cognitive correlates among facets of negative affectivity. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 35, 187-198.

  • Smith, T.W., Traupman, E.K., Uchino, B.N., Berg, C.A. (2010). Interpersonal circumplex descriptions of psychosocial risk factors for physical illness: Application to hostility, neuroticism, and marital adjustment. Journal of Personality,78, 1011-1036.

  • Smith, T.W., Berg, C.A., Florsheim, P., Uchino, B.N., Pearce, G., Hawkins, M., Henry, N.J.M., Beveridge, R.M., Skinner, M.A., & Olsen-Cerny, C. (2009). Conflict and collaboration in middle-aged and older couples: I: Age differences in agency and communion during marital interaction. Psychology and Aging, 24, 259-273.
  • Smith, T.W., Uchino, B.N., Berg, C.A., Florsheim, P., Pearce, G., Hawkins, M., Henry, N.J.M., Beveridge, R.M., Skinner, M.A., Ko, K.J., & Olson-Cerny, C. (2009). Conflict and collaboration in middle-aged and older married couples: II: Age, sex, and task context moderate cardiovascular reactivity during marital interaction. Psychology and Aging, 24, 274-286.
  • Traupman, E.K., Smith, T.W., Uchino, B.N., Berg, C.A., Trobst, K.K., & Costa, P.T. (2009). Interpersonal circumplex octant, control, and affiliation scales for the NEO-PI-R.  Personality and Individual Differences, 47, 457-463.

  • Hamann, H., Smith, T.W., Smith, K.R., Ruiz, J.M., Kircher, J.C., Botkin, J.R. (2008). Interpersonal responses among sibling dyads tested for BRCA1/2 gene mutations. Health Psychology, 27, 100-109.
  • Smith, T.W., Uchino, B.N., Berg, C.A., Florsheim, P., Pearce, G., Hawkins, M., Henry, N., Beveridge, R., Skinner, M., Hopkins, P.N., & Yoon, H.C. (2008). Self-reports and spouse ratings of negative affectivity, dominance and affiliation in coronary artery disease: Where should we look and who should we ask when studying personality and health? Health Psychology, 27, 676-684.

My Current Graduate Students

  • Carlene Deits-Lebehn
  • Kim Parkhurst

Past ph.d. STUDENTS

  • Jeremy Grove
  • Catherine Caska (Wallace)
  • Kevin Jordan
  • Justin MacKenzie
  • Chrisana Olson-Cerny
  • Melissa Hawkins
  • Linda Gallo
  • Steve Sheppard
  • Peter Brown
  • Ken Allred
  • Jennifer O’Keeffe
  • John Hardy
  • Carolyn Baron
  • Jenny Cundiff
  • Emily Traupman
  • Nancy Henry
  • Kelly Glazer (Baron)
  • Jill Nealey Moore
  • Tina Rich
  • Alan Christensen
  • Mary Catherine Pope
  • Jill Sanders
  • Larry Lighty
  • Karl Frohm


Last Updated: 6/4/21