R. Rogers Kobak
Ph.D., University of Virginia, 1985
Phone: Office (302) 831-6431: Lab 831-1692: Fax
Office: Room 209 Wolf Hall
Clinical Psychology Training Program
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
Cole, H., & Kobak, R. (in press). Attachment processes in depression
and eating disorder. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.
Cole, H., & Kobak, R. (in press). The effects of multiple abuse in
interpersonal relationships: An attachment perspective. Journal of Child
Kobak, R., & Ferenz-Gillies, R. (1995). Maternal attachment strategies
and depressive symptoms in adolescent offspring. Development and Psychopathology.
Kobak, R., Everhart, E., Seabrook, L., & Ferenz-Gillies, R. (1994).
Maternal attachment strategies and emotion regulation with adolescent offspring.
Journal of Research on Adolescence, 4, 553-566.
Kobak, R., Hazan, C., & Ruckdeschel, K. (1994). From symptom to signal:
An attachment view of emotion in marital therapy. Chapter for S. Johnson
and L. Greenberg (Eds.), Emotions in Marital Therapy (pp. 46-71).
Kobak, R., & Duemmler, S. (1994). Attachment and conversation: A discourse
analysis of goal-corrected partnerships. Chapter for D. Perlman and K.
Bartholomew (Eds.), Advances in the study of personal relationships,
Vol. 5, (pp. 121-149). London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Kobak, R., & Cole, C. (1994). Attachment and meta-monitoring: Implications
for adolescent autonomy and psychopathology. Chapter for D. Cicchetti (Ed.),
Rochester symposium on development and psychopathology, Vol. 5: Disorders
of the self (pp. 267-297). Rochester, NY: Rochester University Press.
Kobak, R. (1994). Adult attachment: A personality or relationship construct?
Commentary on attachment as an organizational framework for research on
close relationships. Psychological Inquiry, 5, 42-44.
Kobak, R., Cole, H., Fleming, W., Ferenz-Gillies, R., & Gamble, W.
(1993). Attachment and emotion regulation during mother-teen problem-solving:
A control theory analysis. Child Development, 64, 231-245.
Kobak, R. (1993). Attachment and the problem of coherence: Implications
for treating disturbed adolescents. Adolescent Psychiatry: Developmental
and Clinical Studies, 19, 137-149.
Dozier, M., & Kobak, R. (1992). Psychophysiology in adolescent attachment
interviews: Convergent evidence for deactivating strategies. Child Development,
Kobak, R., Sudler, N., & Gamble, W. (1991). Attachment and depressive
symptoms during adolescence: A developmental pathways analysis. Development
and Psychopathology, 3, 461-474.
Kobak, R., & Hazan, C. (1991). Attachment in marriage: The effects
of security and accuracy of working models. Journal of Personality and
Social Psychology, 60, 861-869.
Kobak, R., & Sceery, A. (1988). Attachment in late adolescence: Working
models, affect regulation, and representations of self and others. Child
Development, 59, 135-146.