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Psychology and Neuroscience
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Dr. Keith Sanford

Faculty - Keith Sanford

Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience

BSB (254) 710-2256
Psychology Clinic (254) 710-2478

Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience



Michigan State University



Michigan State University



Seattle Pacific University



Dr. Sanford joined the Baylor faculty in 2000. Prior to coming to Baylor, he earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Michigan State University, and he earned his B.A. in psychology, with a second major in religion, from Seattle Pacific University. Dr. Sanford is a licensed psychologist in the state of Texas, and he served as associate editor for the Journal of Family Psychology from 2007 to 2009. He enjoys spending time with his wife and three children, composing and recording music (see, and woodworking.

Academic Interests and Research

Dr. Sanford's research investigates married couples and other close interpersonal relationships, and he is especially interested in understanding how people resolve conflict. This research includes three main projects.

First, Dr. Sanford developed the Couple Conflict Consultant, which is a free interactive internet program that helps couples build strong skills in communication conflict resolution. This program is located at Each time a couple logs in, they can complete an assessment, receive automatic personalized feedback, and draw from an extensive resource bank of information. This program is both: (1) a free service, building communication for strong relationships, and (2) a research program, collecting data to learn more about conflict resolution in couples.

Second, Dr. Sanford conducts research in a specially designed laboratory where couples complete a thorough assessment procedure that includes being video recorded as they discuss an area of relationship conflict. These video recordings are then analyzed and coded by teams of research assistants to indentify types of behavior, emotion, and thinking patterns that are important for conflict resolution.

Third, Dr. Sanford developed several instruments that can be used to assess and evaluate couples. These instruments are tested, revised, and validated in studies, often involving thousands of participants, to ensure that each instrument is accurate and that it measures exactly what it is intended to measure.

Recent Publications

Sanford, K., & Grace, A. J. (In press). Emotion and underlying concerns during couples' conflict: An investigation of within-person change. Personal Relationships.

Sanford, K. (2010). Perceived threat and perceived neglect: Couples' underlying concerns during conflict. Psychological Assessment, 22, 288 - 297.

Sanford, K. (2010). Assessing conflict communication in couples: Comparing the validity of self-report, partner-report, and observer ratings. Journal of Family Psychology, 24, 165-174.

Sanford, K. (2009). Conflict measurement and assessment. In H. T. Reis & S. Sprecher (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Human Relationships. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Sanford, K. (2007). The Couples Emotion Rating Form: Psychometric properties and theoretical associations. Psychological Assessment, 19, 411-421.

Sanford, K. (2007). Hard and soft emotion during conflict: Investigating married couples and other relationships. Personal Relationships, 14, 65-90.

Sanford, K. (2006). Communication during marital conflict: When couples alter their appraisal, they change their behavior. Journal of Family Psychology, 20, 256-265.

Sanford, K. (2005). Attributions and anger in early marriage: Wives are event-dependent and husbands are schematic. Journal of Family Psychology, 19, 180-188.

Psy.D. Graduates

Sherin Paul

Kristi Wolfe

Kara Emery

Chelsea Boska

Current Psy.D. Students

Natalie Nichols

Cecily Anders

Elizabeth Coe

Priscilla Layman

Current Ph.D. Students

Lindsey M. Backer-Fulghum

Courses taught at Baylor

  • PSY 5302 Measurement in Psychology
  • PSY 4300 Advanced Statistics
  • PSY 5344 History and Systems
  • PSY 5384 Multivariate Methods Statistics