Sarah Racine

Academic title(s): 

Associate Professor


Contact Information:


Office: 2001 McGill College, 1412
Phone: 514.398.3649
Email: sarah.racine[at]


Mailing Address:
Department of Psychology
2001 McGill College Avenue
7th Floor
Montreal, QC
H3A 1G1


Sarah Racine

Research Areas:

Clinical Psychology | Health Psychology | Social & Personality

Research Summary:

My research examines risk and maintenance factors for eating disorders and related forms of psychopathology from a transdiagnostic perspective. The co-occurrence of eating disorders with both internalizing (e.g., major depression) and externalizing (e.g., substance use disorders) disorders points to the importance of fundamental processes that relate to multiple forms of psychiatric illness. One of my primary research goals is to identify the biobehavioural mechanisms that underlie transdiagnostic risk factors and their relation to eating disorder symptoms. One transdiagnostic risk factor that I have studied extensively is negative urgency – the tendency to act impulsively when experiencing negative emotions.

In addition, I aim to identify disorder- and symptom-specific disease mechanisms that shape transdiagnostic risk and predispose an individual to develop one form of psychopathology over another. For example, my work has demonstrated that sociocultural and behavioural risk factors for eating disorders (e.g., internalization of cultural ideals of thinness) interact with negative urgency to lead to eating disorder symptoms, but not depressive symptoms or problematic alcohol use.

I examine transdiagnostic and symptom-specific processes across multiple units of analysis (e.g., biological, behavioural, self-report), capitalizing on my methodological expertise in behavioural genetics, neuroendocrinology, and psychophysiology. Ultimately, I hope to identify key etiologic and maintenance mechanisms that can be targeted in individualized prevention and treatment programs in hopes of reducing the suffering and costs associated with eating disorders.

Selected References:

Racine, S.E., VanHuysse, J.L., Keel, P.K., Burt, S.A., Neale, M.C., Boker, S., & Klump, K.L. (in press). Eating disorder-specific risk factors moderate the relationship between negative urgency and binge eating: A behavioral genetic investigation. Journal of Abnormal Psychology.

Racine, S.E. & Martin, S.J. (2016). Exploring divergent trajectories: Disorder-specific moderators of the association between negative urgency and dysregulated eating. Appetite, 103, 45-53.

Racine, S.E., Forbush, K.T., Wildes, J.E., Hagan, K.E, Pollack, L.O, & May, C.  (2016). Voluntary emotion regulation in anorexia nervosa: A preliminary emotion-modulated startle study. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 77, 1-7.

Racine, S.E., & Wildes J.E. (2015). Dynamic longitudinal relations between emotion regulation difficulties and anorexia nervosa symptoms over the year following intensive treatment. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 83, 785-795.

Culbert, K.M., Racine, S.E., & Klump, K.L. (2015). What have we learned about the causes of eating disorders: A synthesis of sociocultural, psychological, and biological research. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 56, 1141-1164.

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