Scott Braithwaite, Associate Professor

Department: Psychology



Office: 286 TLRB

Phone: 801-422-8583


Like most undergraduates who major in psychology, I eagerly anticipated one day being a psychotherapist; however, when I began to participate in a productive research lab, I became even more excited about the potential impact of science in our world. I began to see that a clinician can do much for an individual patient, but a scientist’s work can improve the lives of millions. Since then I have begun my own program of prevention research that aims to reduce the incidence of marital dysfunction and the physical and mental health problems that attends it.

Approximately 50% of couples that marry today will eventually divorce and as many as 25% of couples who remain married report having unhappy relationships. Divorce is associated with almost every physical and psychological disorder. Moreover, marital distress—the typical precursor to divorce—predicts a host of negative outcomes for the divorcing couple and their children. Because of the central role marital health plays across a vast array of outcomes, preventing marital distress and divorce has the potential to yield important, lasting benefits.


Research on interventions designed to prevent marital distress and divorce is promising, but the current delivery system for these interventions tends to reach couples that are at relatively low risk for relationship problems. A major focus of my research, therefore, involves an intervention I developed called ePREP. ePREP is a preventive intervention that has been adapted for computerized administration for the purpose of maximizing the likelihood of widespread dissemination. Novel methods of dissemination like ePREP can considerably extend the reach of our prevention efforts. By embracing new technologies and using them to supplement more traditional forms of delivery, the gap between the need for empirically supported treatments and our ability to provide them will continue to narrow.


  • PhD in Clinical Psychology from Florida State University, 2010
  • MS in Clinical Psychology from Florida State University, 2007
  • BS in Psychology from Brigham Young University, 2003

Research Interests

My primary research interests center on preventing marital distress and divorce as well as enhancing marital health. Much of my work focuses on novel methods of delivering premarital interventions so they can be disseminated broadly, especially to those who have historically been less likely to receive them. I also study basic processes that help us understand why some marriages thrive while others fail; for example, I am interested in partner selection and how the processes related to it influence marital health and stability. Finally, I’m interested in the association between close relationships and physical or mental health.


  • FHSS Young Scholar from Department of Home and Social Sciences, 2016
  • Martin B. Hickman FHSS Innovation in Teaching Award from College of Family Home and Social Sciences, 2016

Recent Publications

  • Troxel, W. M., Braithwaite, S., Sandberg, J., & Holt-Lunstad, J. (2017). Does Improving Marital Quality Improve Sleep? Results From a Marital Therapy Trial. , 15(4), 330-343.
  • Braithwaite, S., Giraud-Carrier, C., West, J., Barnes, M., & Hanson, C. (2016). Validating Machine Learning Algorithms for Twitter Data Against Established Measures of Suicidality. JMIR Mental Health, 3(2), e21.
  • Braithwaite, S. (2014). Computer-based prevention of intimate partner violence. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 54, 12-21.
  • Ribeiro, J. D., Braithwaite, S., Pfaff, J. J., & Joiner, T. E. (2012). Examining a brief suicide screening tool in older adults engaging in risky alcohol use. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 42(4), 405-415.
  • Braithwaite, S. (2012). An Exploratory Investigation of Marital Functioning and Order of Spousal Onset in Couples Concordant for Psychopathology. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy.
  • Braithwaite, S., Selby, E. A., & Fincham, F. D. (2011). Forgiveness and relationship satisfaction: Mediating Mechanisms. Journal of Family Psychology, 25(4), 551.
  • Braithwaite, S., & Fincham, F. D. (2011). Computer based dissemination: A randomized clinical trial of ePREP using the actor partner interdependence model.. Behaviour Research and Therapy.
  • Gordon, K. H., Selby, E. A., Anestis, M. D., Bender, T. W., Witte, T. K., Braithwaite, S., Joiner, T. E. (2010). The Reinforcing Properties of Repeated Deliberate Self-Harm. Archives of Suicide Research, 14, 329-341.
  • Braithwaite, S., Lambert, N. M., Fincham, F. D., & Pasley, K. (2010). Does college-based relationship education decrease extradyadic involvement in relationships?. Journal of Family Psychology, 24, 740-745.
  • Van Orden, K. A., Witte, T. K., Cukrowicz, K. C., Braithwaite, S., Selby, E. A., & Joiner, T. E. (2010). The interpersonal theory of suicide. Psychological Review, 117, 575-600.
  • Braithwaite, S., Delevi, R., & Fincham, F. D. (2010). Romantic relationships and the physical and mental health of college students. Personal Relationships, 17, 1-12.