Yvette Z. Szabo, PhD

College of Natural and Social Sciences
Department of Psychology


Teaching Interests:

My teaching interests and style are reflections of my other professional interests: traumatic stress, clinical psychology, biological psychology, research methods and professional development. My approach to teaching varies based on the course (lecture vs. seminar), but across classrooms I want to ensure that students develop a sense of mastery over core topics, fine tune critical thinking skills and build knowledge that stays with them for years to come.

Great topics for drop in / office hours include: adjusting to Cal State LA, questions about course material, career paths with a degree in psychology or related field, connection to resources on campus, how to get involved on campus, reviewing old exams and study tips. This list is certainly not exhaustive.


PSY 3100: Psychopathology

PSY 3040: Research Methods in Psychology

PSY 5100: Advanced Psychopathology


Research Interests:

I am the director of the PROSPER Lab at Cal State LA. PROSPER is an acronym for our research focus: Psychoneuroimmunology Research on Stress, PTSD, Emotions and Recovery. Broadly, our research is interested in factors that connect stress and trauma to poor health, with a focus on inflammation, emotion and cognition. Our lab uses observational and experimental methods. I believe science is a team sport, and I have interdisciplinary collaborations.  We have several ongoing projects and will update this section of the website when we are recruiting!

Interested in working with me?

I mentor both undergraduate and graduate students. Undergraduate students interested in working with me should email me for an application to join my lab, but please note that spots are limited. I prefer at least a 2 semester commitment and completion of core psychology courses, but I do consider applicants holistically. Master’s students need to apply for the Cal State LA MA program (/academic/psych/MA%20grad%20program.html). 

I will be reviewing applications for graduate students for the 2024/2025 academic year.

Notes on mentorship style: All members will gain research skills and work on existing projects, but are encouraged to develop their own interests within these projects that are of interest to them. I use hierarchical mentoring, where more senior lab members offer peer supervision and feedback, but all lab members will also meet individually and in a group with me. The lab values rigorous research, professional development and a growth-focused collaborative environment. I am committed to supporting my mentees in their chosen career path, whether that is a doctoral degree, industry position or other field.

Some selected publications (* trainee author):

Szabo, Y. Z., *Burns, C. M., & Lantrip, C. (2022). Understanding associations between rumination and inflammation: A scoping review. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 104523.

Szabo, Y. Z., Fernandez-Botran, R., & Newton, T. L. (2019). Cumulative trauma, emotion reactivity and salivary cytokine levels following acute stress in healthy women. Anxiety, Stress, & Coping32(1), 82-94.

Szabo, Y. Z., Warnecke, A. J., Newton, T. L., & Valentine, J. C. (2017). Rumination and posttraumatic stress symptoms in trauma-exposed adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Anxiety, Stress, & Coping30(4), 396-414.


Other professional activities:

I am also active in professional organizations and the community. Some highlights include

2022-present     Psychosomatic Medicine Early Career Editorial Board

2021-present     American Psychosomatic Society Anti-Racism Task Force Member

2019-present     American Psychosomatic Society, Ad hoc program reviewer

Education and Professional Background

Prior to joining the faculty at Cal State LA, I was a clinical psychologist within the Department of Veteran Affairs. My roles included being a staff investigator in the Biomarkers & Genetics Core at the VISN 17 Center of Excellence for Research on Returning War Veterans, as well as a licensed psychologist in the Mental Health Clinic with particular focus on the treatment of PTSD.

2012                    B.S. Psychology, San Jose State University, Minors in Business & Nutrition and Food Science

2014                    M.A. Clinical Psychology, University of Louisville

2017                    Ph.D. Clinical Psychology, University of Louisville

2017                    Predoctoral Internship, Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center

2019                    Postdoctoral fellowship, VISN 17 Center of Excellence for Research on Returning War Veterans