R. Rogers Kobak

Associate Professor 
Ph.D., University of Virginia, 1985

Phone: Office (302) 831-6431: Lab 831-1692: Fax (302) 831-3645

Office: Room 209 Wolf Hall

Director, Clinical Psychology Training Program 

Research Interests

Over the past decade, I have explored how adolescents' and young adults' attachment strategies are related to family processes and outcomes. I have examined the link between attachment and conflict in parent-teen, dating, and marital relationships and the influence of these relationships on adolescent and adult depression. My guiding hypothesis is that attachment disturbances increase risk for dysfunctional family conflict that, in turn, contributes to depressive symptoms. I am currently exploring the mechanisms that link attachment problems to relationship conflict. These mechanisms include emotional flooding, decreased cognitive flexibility, emotional reactivity, and reduced capacity for cooperative communication. Identifying these mechanisms can contribute to the development of empirically guided assessment and intervention techniques for family and marital therapies.

In the Lab

Andrea (Drea) Burland (1990, University of Michigan). Andrea is currently completing her master's thesis investigating how attachment security with parents influences emotional reactivity to negative events in dating relationships. She is assessing reactivity to negative events by collecting two weeks of diary records that record daily changes in partner behavior and global ratings of self-esteem and relationship satisfaction.

Holland (Holly) Cole-Detke (1987, Princeton University). Holly is currently completing her dissertation on attachment strategies among depressed and eating disordered college women. This work extends Holly's master's thesis (Cole & Kobak, 1996) that found that women with insecure/dismissing attachment strategies were vulnerable to eating disorder while those with insecure/preoccupied strategies were vulnerable to depression.

Sandra (Sandi) Duemmler (1992, Drew University). Sandi's master's thesis focused on developing a measure of individual differences in sexual decision-making in college men and women. She is currently following out ideas developed in a chapter (Kobak & Duemmler, 1994) about the relation between attachment and conflict management. She is currently conducting a longitudinal study of how attachment and conflict management processes in dating couples predicts relationship satisfaction and stability following graduation from college. She has developed two observational coding systems to assess differences in couples conflict communication.

Recent (Selected) Publications

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