Susan Holtzman

(She, Her, Hers)

Associate Professor

Other Titles: Registered Psychologist #2006
Office: ASC 283
Phone: 250.807.8730

Graduate student supervisor. Not considering psychology graduate students for September 2024 intake.

Research Summary

Health psychology; social relationships; stress and coping; adjustment to chronic illness/chronic pain; psychology of technology; digital communication and wellbeing.

Courses & Teaching

Introduction to psychology; health psychology.


Dr. Susan Holtzman is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Lead Investigator of the Health Psychology Lab at the University of British Columbia (Okanagan). She is a Registered Psychologist with the College of Psychologists of British Columbia.  Dr. Holtzman received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. She completed a clinical internship at the University of Washington School of Medicine and a post-doctoral research fellowship at the University Health Network, University of Toronto.


Health Psychology Lab


MA University of British Columbia
PhD University of British Columbia

Research Interests & Projects

Social Relationships in the Digital Age
Computer-mediated communication (e.g., texting, social media, video-chatting) has achieved widespread popularity across the globe. Our lab is currently using experimental paradigms, intensive longitudinal designs, and qualitative methods to understand how remote technologies can influence the nature and quality of our social relationships and wellbeing.

Psychosocial Aspects of Chronic Pain
An estimated 1 in 4 Canadian adults live with chronic pain, but access to mental health support is limited. We are conducting a number of ongoing studies to better understand the role of psychosocial factors in coping with chronic pain. We are particularly interested in developing and testing novel strategies, including online support, to increase social support for adults living with chronic pain.

Selected Publications & Presentations

Coady, A., Lainchbury, K., Godard, R., & Holtzman, S. (2022). What Twitter can tell us about user experiences of crisis text lines: A qualitative study. Internet Interventions, 28, 100526.

Godard, R. & Holtzman, S. (2022). The Multidimensional Lexicon of Emojis: A new tool to assess the emotional content of emojis. Frontiers in Psychology.

MacPhearson, M., Bakker, A.M., Anderson, K., & Holtzman, S. (2022). Do chronic pain management apps use evidence-based psychological components? A systematic review of app content and quality. Canadian Journal of Pain, 6(1), 33–44.

Holtzman, S., Wozny, A., Kushlev, K., & Godard, R. (2021). Long-distance texting: Text messaging is linked with higher relationship satisfaction in long-distance relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. [Special Issue: Communication Technologies and Relationships], 38(12), 3543–3565. 

DeClerck, D. & Holtzman, S. (2018). To talk or to text: Does communication modality matter when providing criticism to others? Computers in Human Behavior, 87, 109–120.

Holtzman, S., DeClerck, D., Turcotte, K., Lisi, D., & Woodworth, M. (2017). Emotional support during times of stress: Can text messaging compete with in-person interactions? Computers in Human Behavior, 71, 130–139.

Beggs, T., Holtzman, S., & DeLongis, A. (2016). Predicting satisfaction with spouse responses among patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Annals of Behavioural Medicine, 50(1), 24-33.

Holtzman, S., O’Connor, B., Barata, P., & Stewart, D. E. (2015).  The Brief Irritability Test (BITe):  A measure of irritability for use among men and women. Assessment, 22, 101–115.


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