Sara Mernitz

Postdoctoral Fellow

smernitz@utexas.edu | CV

Sara Mernitz graduated from the Ohio State University with a Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Science in 2016. After graduating, she remained at Ohio State as a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Population Research. She joined the Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin as a NICHD postdoctoral fellow in Fall 2017.

Sara’s research broadly focuses on romantic relationships and their longitudinal associations with health, including emotional distress, problem drinking, and suicidal ideation. Drawing from developmental psychology, sociology, and family demography, she focuses on romantic involvement from casual relationships to cohabitation and marriage during the transition to adulthood. At UT Austin, she plans to extend this line of work into LGBT relationships, investigating intimate relationships as an influence on health outcomes among sexual minority youth.

Selected Publications

Mernitz, S. E. (in press). The mental health implications of emerging adult long-term cohabitation. Emerging Adulthood.

Mernitz, S. E. & Kamp Dush, C. M. (2016). Emotional health across the transition to first and second unions among emerging adults. Journal of Family Psychology, 30, 233-244. doi:10.1037/fam0000159

Sandberg-Thoma (Mernitz), S. E., & Kamp Dush, C.M. (2014).  Casual sexual relationships and mental health in adolescence and emerging adulthood. Journal of Sex Research, 51, 121-131. doi: 10.1080/00224499.2013.821440

Sandberg-Thoma (Mernitz), S. E., & Kamp Dush, C.M. (2014). Indicators of adolescent mental health and relationship progression in emerging adulthood. Journal of Marriage and Family, 76, 191-206. doi: 10.1111/jomf.12081

Selected Presentations

Mernitz, S. E. (2017, April).  A cohort comparison of trends in cohabitation duration. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Population Association of America, Chicago, IL.

Mernitz, S. E. (2016, March). Stable cohabitation and health during the transition to adulthood. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Population Association of America, Washington, D.C.

Mernitz, S. E. (2015, November). Predictors of stable cohabitation during the transition to adulthood. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the National Council on Family Relations, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Sandberg-Thoma (Mernitz), S. E. & Kamp Dush, C. M. (2014, July). Depressive symptom trajectories across time from entrance into different relationship statuses. Paper presented at the biannual meeting of the International Association for Relationship Research, Melbourne, Australia.

Sandberg-Thoma (Mernitz), S. E. & Kamp Dush, C. M. (2012, July). The influence of mental health on casual, sexual relationships in adolescence and emerging adulthood. Paper presented at the biannual meeting of the International Association for Relationship Research, Chicago, IL.

Sandberg-Thoma (Mernitz), S. E. & Kamp Dush, C. M. (2012, May). The association between mental health and relationship progression. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Population Association of America, San Francisco, CA.