Collegiate Affiliation

In collaboration with several research teams, my lab investigates close relationships and interpersonal processes from different theoretical perspectives. Most of our current work focuses on several areas, including attachment processes in relationships, human mating, social influence in relationships, relationships and physical health, and the role of social development on relationships, health, and parenting.

For example, our longstanding program of research on adult attachment, funded by NIMH, examines how attachment processes and adult attachment orientations are associated with relationship functioning and well-being, particularly when partners are distressed. Our program of work on human mating, funded by NSF, examines how individuals make mating decisions, the conditions under which they do and do not delay gratification, and how they make trade-offs on different life history-relevant dimensions. Our research on social influence examines when, how, and why individuals use different social influence tactics to persuade their partners and which tactics tend to be more effective in different situational contexts. Our work on relationships and physical health investigates when, how, and why partners attempt to influence each other's health outcomes and with what degree of success.  Our research on social development and adult health outcomes, funded by the NIA, investigates how social experiences particularly early in life are linked with physical health at mid-life. And our most recent program of research, funded by NSF, examines how early life experiences in combination with interpersonal factors are prospectively related to parenting and co-parenting in adulthood.

Educational Background & Specialties
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Educational Background

  • Ph.D.: Psychology, University of Minnesota, 1986
  • B.A.: Political Science/Psychology, University of Illinois, 1981


  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Attachment processes
  • Social development
  • Social influence
  • Relationships and health