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Sarah Borowski, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Lehigh University

Sarah Borowski

Assistant Professor

Chandler-Ullmann room 123

B.A., Elon University

M.A., College of William & Mary

Ph.D., University of Missouri, Developmental Psychology

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Professor Borowski received her M.A. in Experimental Psychology from the College of William & Mary where her early graduate work focused on how youth learn emotions about within their friendships. This work initiated her interests in emotional processes within adolescent friend interactions and led her to pursue doctoral training at the University of Missouri. There, her research examined how contextual factors (e.g., stress; type of relationship; gender) and adolescents’ emotional responses in the context of problem disclosure within friendships affect their adjustment. During her doctoral studies, she also received training in examining psychophysiological responding within mother-infant interactions, which expanded her interests to the role of adolescents’ physiological responses within their interactions with friends. Professor Borowski received her Ph.D. from the University of Missouri and began her career at Lehigh University in 2022 where she is currently an Assistant Professor. 

At Lehigh University, Professor Borowski leads the Peer Relations Lab, which includes both graduate and undergraduate researchers. Her team conducts research using survey, observational, and psychophysiological methods to better understand how close friendships affect adolescent well-being. Professor Borowski enjoys mentoring students through research and aims to provide students with hands-on research experiences that involve collecting data with adolescent participants, data analyses, and communicating scientific findings. 

Recently Completed and Ongoing Projects

Considering the Role of Vagal Tone in Adolescents’ Social Interactions (MU Friendship Project)
Completed at the University of Missouri in 2022
Supported through NICHD NRSA Predoctoral Fellowship (F31HD097079-01A1)

Adolescents’ Friendship Interactions and Emotion Regulation: Considering the Role of Behaviors and Physiology (Teens Talking)
Ongoing Research at Lehigh University 
Supported through Lehigh University Faculty Research Grant (FP00000029)

An Integrative Approach to Studying Adolescents’ Online and Offline Social Lives
Ongoing Research at Lehigh University
Supported through Lehigh’s Office of Creative Inquiry (Mountaintop Project) and an APA Early Career Research Grant in Developmental Psychology

Representative Publications

Borowski, S. K., & Rose, A. J. (2022). Boys’ and girls’ interactions with same-gender friends and other-gender friends: A focus on problem disclosures. Journal of Research on Adolescence.

Borowski, S. K., Groh, A. M., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J., Van IJzendoorn, M. H., Fearon, R. M. P., Vaughn, B. E., & Roisman, G. I. (2021). The significance of early temperament for children’s social competence with peers: A meta-analytic review and comparison with early attachment. Psychological Bulletin, 147, 1125-1158

Borowski, S. K., & Zeman, J. (2018). Emotional competence relates to co-rumination: Implications for emotion socialization within adolescent friendships. Social Development, 27, 808-825.

Borowski, S. K., Spiekerman, A., & Rose, A. J. (2021). Gender differences in children and adolescents’ friendships. In B. Halpern-Felsher (Ed.) The Encyclopedia of Child and Adolescent Health. Elsevier. 


Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood (PSYC 352)
Adolescence is a dynamic developmental period encompassing multiple interrelated changes in the biological, cognitive, psychological, and social domains. This course covers theories and research in adolescence and explore connections between research and policy. We also consider whether emerging adulthood is a separate stage of development.

Peer Relationships and Development (PSYC 397)
This seminar focuses on children and adolescents’ development within the context of their relationships with peers. In this course we examine how close friendships, the broader peer group, and romantic relationships influence youths’ development and well-being (e.g., the development of depression), how individual characteristics affect peer relations (e.g., gender identity), and contextual factors that impact peer relationships (e.g., sociocultural background).