Mary Beth Spitznagel

Mary Beth Spitznagel

Department of Psychology
Office Location:
Room 325 Kent Hall
Contact Information


Research Areas:

Does Dr. Spitznagel plan to recruit a doctoral student for the next incoming class?


Neuropsychology/Health; Veterinary Psychology

Research Interests:

Caregiver burden, burden transfer, dementia, wellness

Lab Sites:

Clinical Neuropsychology Research Lab

Pet Caregiver Burden Science Blog

Burden Transfer Research in Veterinary Medicine

Courses Frequently Taught:

  • Introduction to Psychological Assessment (graduate)
  • Advanced Psychological Assessment (graduate)
  • Clinical Neuroanatomy (graduate/undergraduate)
  • Neuropsychological Assessment (graduate)
  • Neuropsychology Practicum (graduate)
  • Psychology of Exercise (undergraduate)

Selected Recent Publications:


  • Patrick KS, Gunstad J, Martin JT, Chapman KR, Drost J, Spitznagel MB. (2022). Specific agitation behaviors in dementia differentially contribute to aspects of caregiver burden. Psychogeriatrics. Online ahead of print. doi: 10.1111/psyg.12871.
  • Patrick K, Sanborn V, Gunstad J, Spitznagel MB. (2022). Poorer cognitive performance is associated with gastrointestinal symptoms in otherwise healthy young adults. Digestive Diseases. doi: 10.1159/000523865
  • Martin JT, Chapman KR, Was C, Spitznagel MB. (2021). Factors of dementia caregiver burden differentially contribute to desire to institutionalize. Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology. doi: 10.1177/08919887211036183
  • Patrick K, Martin J, Chapman K, Anderson J, Spitznagel MB. (2021). The moderating role of pain self-efficacy in the relationships among caregiver burden and care recipient pain and neuropsychiatric symptoms in a sample of persons with dementia. Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders, doi: 10.1097/WAD.0000000000000451
  • Chapman KR, Tremont G, Spitznagel MB. (2021). Development of an assessment measure for sexual disinhibition in dementia. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry,
  • Anderson JR, Maki KC, Palacios OM, Edirisinghe I, Burton-Freeman B, Spitznagel MB. (2020). Varying roles of glucoregulatory function measures in postprandial cognition following milk consumption. European Journal of Nutrition, doi: 10.1007/s00394-020-02343-9.
  • Chapman KR, Tremont G, Malloy P, Spitznagel MB. (2019). The role of sexual disinhibition to predict caregiver burden and desire to institutionalize among family dementia caregivers. Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology,  doi.10.1177/0891988719856688
  • Anderson JR, Gunstad J, Updegraff J, Sato A, Hagerdorn PL, Spitznagel MB. (2018). Biological sex and glucoregulation modulate postprandial cognition following dairy milk and fruit juice in healthy school-age children. Nutritional Neuroscience, 10:1-10. doi: 10.1080/1028415X.2018.1507963. 

Veterinary Psychology

  • Spitznagel MB, Updegraff ASG, Was C, Martin JT, Wiborg LM, Sislak M, Twohig MP. (2022). Acceptance and commitment training program reduces burden transfer, stress, and burnout in veterinary healthcare teams. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
  • Spitznagel MB, Patrick K, Hillier A, Gober M, Carlson MD. (2022). Caregiver burden, treatment complexity, and the veterinarian-client relationship in owners of dogs with skin disease. Veterinary Dermatology. doi: 10.1111/vde.13065
  • Spitznagel MB, Anderson JR, Marchitelli B, Bibbo J, Sislak M, Carlson MD. (2021). Owner quality of life, caregiver burden, and anticipatory grief:  How they differ and why it matters. Veterinary Record. doi/10.1002/vetr.74.
  • Shaevitz M, Tullius J, Callah RT, Fulkerson C, Spitznagel MB. (2020). Early caregiver burden in owners of pets with suspected cancer:  Relationship to owner psychosocial outcomes, communication behavior, and treatment factors. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. doi: 10.1111/jvim.15905.
  • Spitznagel MB, Mueller MK, Fraychak T, Hoffman AM, Carlson MD. (2019). Validation of an abbreviated instrument to assess veterinary client caregiver burden. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, doi.10.1111/jvim.15508
  • Spitznagel MB, Ben-Porath YS, Rishniw M, Kogan L, Carlson MD. (2019). Development and validation of a Burden Transfer Inventory measure for predicting veterinarian stress related to client behavior. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 254, 124-132.  
  • Spitznagel MB, Jacobson DM, Cox MD, Carlson MD (2018). Predicting caregiver burden in general veterinary clients: Contribution of companion animal clinical signs and behavior problems. The Veterinary Journal, 236; 23-30.
  • Spitznagel MB, Jacobson DM, Cox MD, Carlson MD (2017). Caregiver burden in owners of a sick companion animal: A cross-sectional observational study. Veterinary Record. doi: 10.1136/vr.104295


Ph.D., Ohio University (2003)


Neuropsychology, Dementia, Veterinary Psychology