Sara Masland

Associate Professor of Psychological Science; On leave Fall 2023
With Pomona Since: 2017
  • Expertise


    Sara Rose Masland is a clinical and personality psychologist. She studies treatment improvement and accessibility for people with personality disorders, including the ways that mental health stigma may create barriers to care.

    She also studies individual differences in social cognition and emotion processes and their relevance for personality disorders, particularly borderline personality disorder (BPD) and narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).

    In an additional line of research, Professor Masland studies psychosocial predictors of poor clinical outcomes for people with a range of psychopathology, including expressed emotion and the perception of criticism in close relationships.

    Areas of Expertise

    • Psychopathology
    • Clinical Psychology
    • Personality Disorders
    • Borderline Personality Disorder
    • Mental Health Stigma
    • Psychosocial Predictors of Relapse
  • Work


    Selected Publications

    Fleisher, C., & Masland, S.R. (2021). Psychopharmacology and comorbidity. In L.W. Choi-Kain & C. Sharp (Eds.). Handbook of Good Psychiatric Management for Adolescents with Borderline Personality Disorder. American Psychiatric Association Publishing.

    Iliakis, E.A., & Masland, S.R. (2021). Internet interventions for perfectionism: A meta-analysis and proposals for the college setting. Journal of American College Health. Online First.

    Masland, S.R., & Fleisher, C. (2021). Multimodal treatments. In L.W. Choi-Kain & C. Sharp (Eds.). Handbook of Good Psychiatric Management for Adolescents with Borderline Personality Disorder. American Psychiatric Association Publishing.

    Masland, S.R., & Null, K.E. (2021). Effects of diagnostic label construction and gender on stigma about borderline personality disorder. Stigma and Health. Advance online publication.

    Choi-Kain, L.W., Reich, D.B., Masland, S.R., Iliakis, E.A., & Ilagan, G.S. (2020).  Longitudinal study of borderline personality disorder: What every clinician should know. Current Treatment Options in Psychiatry, 7, 429-445.

    Masland, S.R., & Hooley, J.M. (2020). When trust does not come easily: Negative emotional information unduly influences trustworthiness appraisals for individuals with borderline personality features. Journal of Personality Disorders, 33, 1-16.

    Masland, S.R., Schnell, S.E., & Shah, T.V. (2020). Trust beliefs, biases, and behaviors in borderline personality disorder: Empirical findings and relevance to epistemic trust. Current Behavioral Neuroscience Reports. Online First.

    Masland, S.R., Shah, T.V., & Choi-Kain, L.W. (2020). Boredom in borderline personality disorder: A lost criterion reconsidered. Psychopathology. Online First.

    Masland, S.R., Yeomans, F.E., Tusiani-Eng, P., Nouvini, R., & Ferri, B. (2020). Myths and facts about borderline personality disorder: A video companion teaching and discussion guide. [White paper/training materials].

    Finch, E.F., Iliakis, E.A., Masland, S.R., & Choi-Kain, L.W. (2019). A meta-analysis of treatment as usual for borderline personality disorder. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 10(6), 491-499.

    Hooley, J.M., & Masland, S.R. (2019). Positive emotion in borderline personality disorder. In J. Gruber (Ed.). Handbook of Positive Emotion and Psychopathology (pp. 333-352). Oxford University Press.

    Masland, S.R., Cummings, M.H., Null, K.E., Woynowskie, K.M., & Choi-Kain, L.W. (2019). Changes in post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms during residential treatment for borderline personality disorder: A longitudinal cross-lagged study. Borderline Personality Disorder and Emotion Dysregulation, 6(15), 1-9.

    Gunderson, J.G., Masland, S.R., & Choi-Kain, L.W. (2018). Good Psychiatric Management for borderline personality disorder: A review. Current Opinion in Psychology, 21, 127-131.

    Masland, S.R. (2018). Managing mistrust, paranoia, and relationship rupture. In B. Palmer and B. Unruh (Eds.), Borderline Personality Disorder: A Case-Based Approach (pp. 49-60). Springer International Publishing.

    Masland, S.R., Drabu, S., & Hooley, J.M. (2018). Is perceived criticism an independent construct? Evidence for divergent validity across two samples. Journal of Family Psychology, 33(2), 133-142.

    Masland, S.R., Price, D., MacDonald, J., Finch, E.F., Gunderson, J.G., & Choi-Kain, L.W. (2018). Enduring effects of one-day training in Good Psychiatric Management on clinician attitudes about borderline personality disorder. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 206(11), 865-869.

    Choi-Kain, L.W, Finch, E.F., Masland, S.R., Jenkins, J., & Unruh, B. (2017). What works in the treatment of borderline personality disorder? Current Behavioral Neuroscience Reports, 4(1), 21-30.
    -Media Coverage: Huffington Post

    Hooley, J.M., & Masland, S.R. (2017). Borderline personality disorder. In W.E. Craighead, D.J. Miklowitz, & L.W. Craighead (Eds.). Psychopathology: History, Diagnosis, and Empirical Foundations (3rd ed.; pp. 562-611). John Wiley & Sons.

    Hooley, J.M., & Masland, S.R. (2017). Expressed emotion. In A.E. Wenzel (Ed.). The SAGE Encyclopedia of Abnormal and Clinical Psychology. Sage Publications.

    Hooley J.M., & Masland S.R. (2016). Borderline personality disorder. In: H.S. Friedman (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Mental Health (2nd ed.; Vol 1.; pp. 204-209). Academic Press.

    Masland, S.R., & Hooley, J.M. (2015). Perceived criticism: A research update for clinical practitioners. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 22(3), 211-222.

    Masland, S.R., Hooley, J.M., Tully, L.M., Dearing, K., & Gotlib, I.H. (2015). Cognitive processing biases in individuals high on perceived criticism. Clinical Psychological Science, 3, 3-14.

  • Education


    Ph.D., Harvard University

    M.A., Harvard University

    A.B., Bowdoin College

  • Awards & Honors

    Awards & Honors

    • Wig Fund Curriculum Development Grant (2017)
    • Harvard Medical School Post-Doctoral Fellowship (2016-2017)
    • Award for Best Speed-Data Presentation, North American Society for the Study of Personality Disorders (2016)
    • Bok Center Certificate of Distinction and Excellence in Teaching, Harvard University (2014) 
    • George W. Goethals Award for Excellence in Teaching, Harvard University (2013, 2014)
    • American Psychological Foundation Graduate Student Scholarship (2014)
    • A.A. Robak Research Fund Award, Harvard University (2014)
    • Sackler Scholar Programme Award in Psychobiology (2013)
    • Barbara Ditmars Research Fund Award, Harvard University (2011)