Sarah T. Giff

Sarah T. Giff

Sarah T. Giff

Graduate Research Assistant

PTSD, couples, trauma, parenting, emotion socialization, military psychology, interpersonal impacts of psychopathology

Sarah Giff is a fifth-year doctoral student in GMU's Clinical Psychology program and works with Dr. Keith Renshaw in the Anxiety, Stress, & Relationships Lab. Sarah's research is primarily focused on the ways that trauma impacts romantic and parent-child relationships, and the developmental processes of children growing up with a parent who has experienced trauma. 

Sarah's clinical training includes work with both children and adults. She is currently working in behavioral health with Pediatric Specialists of Virginia, and past training has included treating patients with severe mental illness at the Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Center (PRRC) at the Washington DC VA Medical Center. Prior to attending GMU, Sarah gained clinical research experience at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Center for Autism Research. 

Selected Publications

Giff, S. T., Renshaw, K. D., & Allen, E. S. (2018). Post-deployment parenting in military couples: Associations with service members' PTSD symptoms. Journal of Family Psychology, 33, 166-175.

Carter, S. P., Giff, S. T., Campbell, S. B., & Renshaw, K. D. (2019). Supporting a spouse with military posttraumatic stress: Daily associations with partners' affect. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 32, 323-329.

Taft, C. T., Weatherill, R. P., Panuzio-Scott, J., Thomas, S. A., Kang, H.K., & Eckhardt, C.I. (2015) Social information processing in anger expression and partner violence in returning veterans. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 28, 315-321.

Grants and Fellowships

Fellowship: NICHD, Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA), F31 
Role: Principal Investigator
Sponsors: Keith D. Renshaw, Ph.D.; Abigail Gewirtz, Ph.D.; Susanne Denham, Ph.D. 
Project: Parental Emotion Socialization and Protective Factors Related to Child Psychosocial Outcomes in the Context of Military Families and PTSD     
Status: Awarded May 2019

Courses Taught

PSYC211 - Lifespan Development
PYSC313 - Child Development 


M.A. Psychology, George Mason University, 2017
B.A. Psychology, B.A. History, Villanova University, 2012

Recent Presentations

Giff, S. T., Saleem. S., & Renshaw, K. D. (2019, November). Investigating racial/ethnic differences in associations among emotion socialization, emotion regulation, and mental health outcomes in emerging adults. In S. Carter (Chair), Interpersonal relationships among marginalized populations: Implications for mental health and treatment. Symposium presented at the 53rd annual meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Atlanta, GA

Giff, S. T.,Renshaw, K. D. , & Allen, E. S. (2018, November). Post-deployment parenting in military couples: Associations with PTSD. In J. Biesen & B. Wang (Chairs), Cognitions, behaviors, and emotions across the romantic relationship life span: Assessing relational conflict competencies using novel methodology. Symposium presented at the 52nd annual meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Washington, D. C.

Renshaw, K. D., *Thomas, S. A., & Allen, E. S. (2016, November). PTSD symptoms and parenting in service members and their partners. In S. Fredman (Chair), Partnering and parenting in the presence of PTSD. Symposium presented at the 50th annual meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, New York, NY.


In the Media

George Mason University’s Center for Psychological Services receives grant to provide services to veterans