Sarah Stoycos

Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry & the Behavioral Sciences

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Dr. Stoycos is Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences at Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California and Attending Psychologist for the Burn & Plastic Surgery Service. Their research focuses on development and implementation of screening and early intervention for traumatic stress in inpatient medical populations, treatment development for PTSD, and impact of PTSD treatments on co-occurring conditions. Dr. Stoycos earned her B.A. from University of Maryland, completed her M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Southern California in the Department of Psychology, Clinical-Science Area, and completed her predoctoral internship at VA Boston Healthcare System in affiliation with Harvard Medical School and Boston University School of Medicine, specializing in rehabilitation and trauma psychology. They went on to complete a clinical research fellowship as a NIMH T32 Research Fellow in Traumatic Stress Disorders in the Behavioral Science Division of the National Center for PTSD at VA Boston Healthcare System and Boston University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry working with Drs. Denise Sloan and Johanna Thompson-Hollands.

In addition to their research, Dr. Stoycos has expertise in development and implementation of standardized mental health screening-intervention-referral pipelines, for inpatient/outpatient medicine units serving traumatic injury patients, to meet new accreditation requirements by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma and American Burn Association. Dr. Stoycos is currently the Attending Psychologist at the LA General Burn ICU and Acute Floor, working with the Burn & Plastic Surgery Service to build a standardized mental health screening-intervention-referral program for burn patients and their loved ones.


  • Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Keck School of Medicine of USC : Psychiatry Faculty Academic Presentation Award, 2023
  • Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology: Outstanding Clinician Award, 2019
  • Department of Psychology, University of Southern California: Gerald C. Davison Award for Excellence in Science-Based Clinical Practice, 2019
  • Osker Schindler Humanities Foundation: Irving and Jeanne Glovin Dissertation Research Award, 2018
  • University of Southern California: Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant Award, 2018
  • USC Gould School of Law: Saks Institute for Mental Health Law, Policy, and Ethics Student Scholar Research Fellowship, 2016-2017
  • National Science Foundation: Honorable Mention, Graduate Research Fellowship Program, 2016
  • National Academy of the Sciences: The Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences Cozzarelli Prize, 2015
  • National Science Foundation: Honorable Mention, Graduate Research Fellowship Program, 2015
  • University of Southern California: Kellerman Graduate Research Fellowship, 2014-2020
  • Department of Psychology, University of Southern California: Research Travel Award, 2014-2020
  • Department of Psychology, University of Southern California: Summer Research Funding Award, 2014-2020
  • UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center: 2014’s Top 10 Scientific Insights for Meaningful Life Award, 2014
  • Department of Psychology, University of Maryland: Outstanding Research Poster Presentation in Social or Developmental Psychology Award, 2012


  • A Scoping Review of PTSD and Depression in Adult Burn Patients: A Call for Standardized Screening and Intervention Research J Burn Care Res. 2024 Jun 19. . View in PubMed
  • White matter microstructure organization across the transition to fatherhood Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2024 Jun; 67:101374. . View in PubMed
  • Benchmarking secondary outcomes to posttraumatic stress disorder symptom change in response to cognitive processing and written exposure therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder J Anxiety Disord. 2023 Dec; 100:102794. . View in PubMed
  • Breaking Silos to Address Medical Trauma: The Need for Integration of Trauma and Health Psychology Training J Clin Psychol Med Settings. 2023 06; 30(2):380-386. . View in PubMed
  • Predictors of treatment completion in group psychotherapy for male veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder J Trauma Stress. 2023 04; 36(2):346-358. . View in PubMed
  • Worse Itch and Fatigue in Racial and Ethnic Minorities: A Burn Model System Study J Burn Care Res. 2023 11 02; 44(6):1445-1451. . View in PubMed
  • Psychiatric Illness and Substance Abuse: Unaddressed Factors in Burn Injury J Burn Care Res. 2023 11 02; 44(6):1393-1399. . View in PubMed
  • Family Involvement in PTSD Treatment: Perspectives from a Nationwide Sample of Veterans Health Administration Clinicians Adm Policy Ment Health. 2022 11; 49(6):1019-1030. . View in PubMed
  • Stronger mentalizing network connectivity in expectant fathers predicts postpartum father-infant bonding and parenting behavior Soc Neurosci. 2022 02; 17(1):21-36. . View in PubMed
  • Theory of mind processing in expectant fathers: Associations with prenatal oxytocin and parental attunement Dev Psychobiol. 2021 07; 63(5):1549-1567. . View in PubMed
  • The Impact of Peer Support Group Programs on Psychosocial Outcomes for Burn Survivors and Caregivers: A Review of the Literature J Burn Care Res. 2021 08 04; 42(4):600-609. . View in PubMed
  • Prenatal relationship conflict behavior predicts childbirth experiences and birth outcomes J Fam Psychol. 2020 Sep; 34(6):759-765. . View in PubMed
  • Social Allostasis and Social Allostatic Load: A New Model for Research in Social Dynamics, Stress, and Health Perspect Psychol Sci. 2020 03; 15(2):469-482. . View in PubMed
  • Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2020 06 23; 15(4):437-446. . View in PubMed
  • Community violence exposure in early adolescence: Longitudinal associations with hippocampal and amygdala volume and resting state connectivity Dev Sci. 2018 11; 21(6):e12686. . View in PubMed
  • Amygdala-midbrain connectivity indicates a role for the mammalian parental care system in human altruism Proc Biol Sci. 2017 Oct 25; 284(1865). . View in PubMed
  • Neural correlates of inhibitory spillover in adolescence: associations with internalizing symptoms Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2017 10 01; 12(10):1637-1646. . View in PubMed
  • Sci Rep. 2016 Jan 07; 6:18974. . View in PubMed
  • The impact of autism spectrum disorder and alexithymia on judgments of moral acceptability J Abnorm Psychol. 2015 Aug; 124(3):589-95. . View in PubMed
  • Neural and cognitive characteristics of extraordinary altruists Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Oct 21; 111(42):15036-41. . View in PubMed