Baylor University
Psychology and Neuroscience
College of Arts and Sciences

Baylor > Psychology/Neuroscience > Research > Couple Conflict Research Laboratory
Couple Conflict Research Laboratory - Dr. Keith Sanford

Dr. Sanford's research interests include: (a) studies of married couples and other close interpersonal relationships, (b) the development and validation of assessment instruments, (c) use of the Internet in assessment and clinical work, and (d) use of statistical methodology to analyze dyadic data and model processes involving change over time.

Dr. Sanford developed two Internet-based programs for couples that provide on-line assessments and feedback to participants and collect data for ongoing research. One program is called and it is designed to help couples build strong skills in communication and conflict resolution. The other program is called "Parting Parent" (located at, and it is designed to help parents who are going through a separation or divorce establish plans for co-parenting their children.

Some studies in Dr. Sanford's lab focus on the development and validation of assessment instruments for use with couples. These have included instruments assessing two types of underlying concern that people experience during conflicts (perceived threat and perceived neglect), three types of negative emotion (hard emotion, soft emotion, and flat emotion), four types of conflict communication (adversarial engagement, collaborative engagement, withdrawal, and passive immobility), two types of cognitive appraisal (blaming attributions, and negative expectations), and also scales measuring several different perceptions and concerns experienced by divorcing parents.

Dr. Sanford is currently conducting a series of studies investigating couple resiliency. Couple resiliency is defined as the extent to which a couple's relationship has characteristics that help each member adapt and maintain high wellbeing during stressful life situations. Recent studies have investigated resiliency in a range of different populations, from parents who have a child with a medical condition to firefighters.

Go to Keith Sanford's webpage.

Visit Keith Sanford's web program: the Couple Conflict Consultant.