Relationships and Mental Health Lab

Dr. Susan C. South, Ph.D.


Susan South, Ph.D.
Head of the Lab
Susan South, Ph.D., is a Professor of Clinical Psychology in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Purdue University and the current Director of Clinical Training. Her research investigates the links between romantic relationships, personality, and psychopathology. She has published over 100 peer-reviewed empirical publications and more than 20 book chapters on the assessment of romantic relationship satisfaction, the links between mental illness and relationship distress, gene-environment interplay between relationship dysfunction and mental illness, and behavior genetics, particularly as it relates to personality and relationships. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Virginia and completed her clinical internship at the Medical University of South Carolina. She completed a T-32 postdoctoral fellowship, “Neurobehavioral Aspects of Personality and Psychopathology” at the University of Minnesota She has received funding from the Kinley Trust Grant at Purdue University as well as Indiana’s Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute and the Simon Foundation. She is currently an Associate Editor for the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
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Samantha Dashineau, M.S.
Graduate Student
Sam is a fifth-year graduate student in the RMH Lab. She graduated in 2015 from the University of Pittsburgh with a B.S. in psychology and received an M.S. in experimental psychology from Villanova University in 2019. Her research interests center on the bidirectional association between interpersonal relationships and personality pathology. Presently, her work centers on utilizing a variety of methods (i.e. ecological momentary assessment, survey studies, etc.) to better understand the role that external stress, substance use, and personality play in relationship functioning and downstream development of psychopathology.
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Jessica Dupree, M.S.
Graduate Student
Jess Dupree is a fourth-year graduate student in Dr. South’s lab. She graduated in 2018 from Butler University with a B.A. in psychology, international studies, and Spanish where she completed an honor’s thesis comparing the flashbulb memories of the 2008 and the 2016 presidential election. After graduation, she worked as a research assistant for the Warriors Research Institute in Waco, TX, where she assisted with research involving telehealth mental health treatment for Veterans, Veteran family members, and firefighters. Broadly, she is interested in the bidirectional relationship between romantic relationships and psychopathology, specifically PTSD.
Maggie Lupo
Graduate Student
Maggie is a first-year graduate student in Dr. South’s lab. She graduated in 2021 from Trinity University with a B.A. in Psychology and minors in English and Classical Studies. After graduation, she spent two years at the Dallas VA Medical Center working as a research assistant on a national clinical trial for PTSD interventions. Her current research focuses on the relationship between mental illness (particularly internalizing disorders) and lifetime romantic relationship course.
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Lab Alumni

Madison Shea Smith, Ph.D.
Madison Smith, Ph.D. received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Oklahoma State, and her Master of Science and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Purdue University. She is currently an assistant professor at the Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing at Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine.
Sammie Ingram, Ph.D.
Sammie Ingram received her B.S. in Psychology from Colorado State and her M.S and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Purdue. Her research interests are in the measurement, treatment, and impact of psychopathology in populations with chronic physical illnesses; personality pathology and interpersonal functioning; and how relationships can serve as both a protective and risk factor for psychopathology and physical health outcomes. Sammie is currently a staff psychologist with the Charleston, SC VA.
Abigail McDonald
Abigail McDonald graduated in 2022 from Purdue University with a B.S. in Brain and Behavioral Sciences. Under Dr. South’s mentorship, she completed an honor’s thesis examining anxiety sensitivity in substance use/misuse among college students. After graduation, she is attending Arizona State University as a doctoral student in Clinical Psychology. Her research interests lie in the etiology and maintenance of comorbid substance use and mental health disorders, and the intersection of cognitive, affective, and behavioral mechanisms of substance use disorders.