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Sandra Stith

Sandra Stith

University Distinguished Professor

Contact Information

211 Campus Creek Complex
(785) 532-4377


  • Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy, Kansas State University
  • M.S. in Life Span Human Development, Kansas State University
  • B.S. in Education, Oklahoma State University

Credentials and/or Certifications

  • LCMFT, State of Kansas

Area(s) of Specialization

  • Domestic Violence
  • Marriage and Family Therapy

Research, Scholarship and Creative Endeavors

  • Couples treatment for domestic violence
  • Developing and testing a family violence risk assessment tool for the Department of Defense
  • Developing and testing a prevention program for individuals with a maltreatment allegation in the USAF
  • Conducting a large meta-analysis of risk factors for domestic violence
  • Understanding state-wide standards for batterer intervention programs

Courses Taught

  • FSHS 869 Systemic Treatment of Domestic Violence and Substance Abuse
  • FSHS 878 Professional Studies in Marriage and Family Therapy
  • FSHS 885 Practicum in MFT (Master's)
  • FSHS 970 Clinical Specialization in MFT
  • FSHS 985 Ph.D. Practicum in MFT
  • FSHS 986 Practicum in Supervision of MFT

Professional Biography

Sandra M. Stith is a University Distinguished Professor and the Vera Mowrey McAninch Endowed Professor in the School of Family Studies and Human Services. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist and is a professor and director of the Marriage and Family Therapy program. Before coming to Kansas State University in 2007, she was a professor at Virginia Tech for 20 years. Since coming to Kansas State University, she has brought in more than $12 million in research grants from the Department of Defense, and the USAF, USDA and NIFA. Her primary interest is in understanding and treating intimate partner violence (IPV). She has edited four books and authored over 90 articles and book chapters on the topic. In 1997 she and her colleagues at Virginia Tech received funding from NIMH to develop and test a couples treatment program for IPV. Since that time, they have continued to develop their treatment program and have provided training on the model throughout North and South America, Europe and Africa. In 2011, the American Psychological Association published their most recent book, "Couples Treatment for Domestic Violence: Finding Safe Solutions."

Dr. Stith also works with the USAF Family Advocacy Program, managing and conducting a variety of family violence-related research projects, including a project to develop and test a risk assessment measure for IPV. In 2004 Dr. Stith received the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy's Outstanding Contribution to Marriage and Family Therapy Award, and in 2007 she received the American Family Therapy Association's Distinguished Contribution to Family Systems Research Award. She received Kansas State University's College of Human Ecology Research Excellence Award in 2011. In 2013 she was named Fellow of the National Council on Family Relations. She currently serves as a board member and secretary/treasurer of the National Council on Family Relations and as a board member of the American Family Therapy Academy.

Personal Information

Sandra has been married to her husband, Gary, for 45 years. Gary is a regional planner and teaches part-time in the planning department at K-State. They have two children and five grandchildren. They love tailgating at K-State football games with old friends and they love traveling. They also love theater and appreciate all the cultural opportunities in Manhattan. She returned to K-State after being at Virginia Tech in the Washington, D.C., area for 20 years. Even though she loved Virginia Tech, she felt like she was coming home when she and her husband came back to Manhattan. She says they enjoy the wonderful community, both within the university and outside of the university. They love cheering on the Wildcats, and they love the enthusiasm in the entire community at K-State.

Vita (pdf)

Publications (pdf)