Stony Brook Attachment Lab
Faculty and Post-Doctoral Researchers

Click here for pictures from the 2004 Winter Lab Party

Everett Waters 

Everett began his undergraduate study at Johns Hopkins as a Chemistry major.  By his senior year he was a Mary Ainsworth research assistant.   Already interested in theory, he took his experience with the Bowlby- Ainsworth attachment paradigm with him to graduate school at Minnesota's Institute of Child Development where he began career long collaborations with Alan Sroufe and Brian Vaughn. Trips to European ethology labs sponsored by Bill Charlesworth consolidated his interest in behavior observation and exposure to the Minnesota psychometric tradition instilled an interest in measurement.  After two years at the Univ. of British Columbia in Vancouver, he moved to Stony Brook.  His collaboration with Judy Crowell began soon thereafter. In recent years, his interest in mental representations of secure base experience has led to a busy collaboration with his wife Harriet as well. He is currently preparing research reports on their work, writing theoretical articles with students, and editing video documentaries of attachment behavior and oral history intervies about John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth. As one of the founders of the NY Attachment Consortium, he is also involved in a wide range of Consortium activities.

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Judy Crowell

Judy earned her degree in Medicine from the University of Vermont in 1978 and is board certified in Psychiatry, Child and Adolscent Psychiatry, and Neurology.  After medical school she was for five years a post-doctoral fellow in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford.  She joined the Stony Brook faculty in Child Psychiatry in 1987.  In addition to serving as Director of  Clinical Training in Child Psychiatry, her busy office in the Department of Psychology is the center of the Stony Brook Attachment Lab.  She is currently Principal Investigator on the lab's ten year longitudinal study of attachment representations in marriage.

Harriet Waters

Harriet began her graduate training with an M.A. in adult Experimental Psychology from the University of Colorado. She then transfered to Minnesota's Institute of Child Development to study cognitive development with John Flavell, with whom she did studies on spacial perspective taking, strategy use, and memory. Independently, she developed a line of research on children's memory and narrative prodiction skills. This work proved useful when Everett and Judy enlisted her to work on the cognitive architecture of adult attachment representations. Finding AAI transcripts too complex to examine formally, she adapted a prompt-word narrative production procedure from her earlier work and developed a method of assessing adults' script-like representations of early secure base experience. She is currently preparing an SRCD Monograph submission based on 8 studies of script-like attachment representations, the AAI, the Strange Situation, adolescent and cross cultural data, and student-mentor relationships.

Dominique Treboux

Dominique earned her Ph.D. from Fordham University in 1989.  Her dissertation focussed on adolescent sexual behavior. She joined the Stony Brook Attachment Lab in 1992 and is currently Co-PI of our ten year longitudinal study of attachment representations in marriage.  She has worked closely with Judy Crowell in the development on methods for assessing adult's representations of relationships to romantic partners and spouses.  In addition, she has taken on several mentoring relationships with graduate and undergraduate students.  Kate Potenza's success as a Finalist in the Westinghouse Science Contest was typical of these relationships. She is currently on the faculty at St. Joseph's College on Long Island.


Recent International Visitors and Collaborators

Xenia Bowlby, Harriet,
Richard Bowlby

Richard and Xenia first visited Stony Brook in 2003 and have visited several times since then. Richard has been particularly encouraging and helpful with our efforts to produce good quality documantary videos on attachment behavior and oral history interviews about Mary Ainsworth and John Bowlby.

Bulent Turan

Bulent has been an associate and collaborator with the NY Attachment Consortium since he visited Stony Brook from his native Turkey in 2003. He is currently a Ph.D. student in Personality at Stanford. In addition to a new line of research on individual differences attachment and trust, he is continuing experimental studies on attachment representations with Everett, Dave Corcoran, and Markus Maier.

Markus Maier

After completing his Ph.D with Ph.D. with Klaus Grossmann at Regensburg Germany, Markus joined the faculty of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich. He first visited Stony Brook 2002 and has collaborated with the NY Attachment Consortium and attended conferences with us since then. He, Everett, Dave, and Bulent have designed a number of experimental studies of attachment representations.

Simone Cuva

A 2004 fellowship allowed Simone to spend the final year of his child psychiatry training at Stony Brook. He participated in a number of training and research activities in Child Psychiatry, audited classes in Psychology, and worked with Everett on a review of current attachment theory and assessment methods. The review is scheduled to appear in the Italian journal Psicoterapia in 2005.

Meltem Anafarta

Meltem had considerable clinical experience working with earthquate victims in her native Turkey before visiting Stony Brook. A distinguished fellowship from her university in Ankara Turkey allowed her to spend the 2003-2004 academic year in our lab. She worked extensively with Everett, Judy, and Joanne Davila on a variety of projects. She Everett, and Dave have an article in press in Human Development. Now that hse has returned to Turkey, she is planning her wedding to Barak and beginning her Ph.D. thesis research. She is also continuing her collaboration with the lab.

Vanessa Gomes

A 2004 dissertation fellowship from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil.
allowed Vanessa to spend a year in Stony Brook studying and planning her dissertation project. She is auditing courses on statistics and social development and working on several writing projects with Everett and Dave. Alan Sroufe has generously provided voidetaped data that she is hoping to use in a dissertation study on attachment and cognitive social learning. She is also conducting research with Harriet on co-construction of attachment scripts. Current plans are to extend her stay for an additional year.

Kiyomi Kondo-Ikemura

Kiyomi was trained as a primatologist at Hokaido University in Japan. She was a post-doctoral fellow with Everett from 1987-1989. During her stay they developed q-sets to measure secure base behavior in infant macaques and secure base support behavior of their mothers. Using field data Kiyomi collected at the Texas Primate Observatory, they showed that infant secure base behavior is closely tied to the quality of concurrent maternal support. Kiyomi was also a co-author with Everett and others on the 1991 Minnesota Symposium article, Learning to Love.

Kiyomi is currently on the Clinical Psychology faculty of the in the School of Psychological Sciences, Health Sciences University of Hokkaido, in Sapporo, Japan.

Current Graduate Students

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Dave Corcoran

Dave, an undergraduate student of David Pederson's at the University of Western Ontario, arrived in Stony Brook in the Fall of 2000. He is currently working on two observational studies.  The first looks at links between maternal attachment representations and their skill in providing secure base support for their preschool age children.  The second is a study of links between script-based assessment of mothers' attachment representations and their infants attachment security in the Strange Situation. As an active participant in the New York Attachment Consortium, Dave was very helpful with the recent conference on adult attachment. He is also conducting collaborative research on the representation of early secure base experience with Consortium colleagues in Germany and California.

Susan Brockmeyer

After studying for a year in a sleep research lab at City College, Susan joined the Stony Brook Attachment Lab in the Spring semester of 2002. She is looking forward to specializing in quantitative and research methods and participating in the new Close Relationships Concentration. She has worked with Judy Crowell on attachment and divorce and with Judy and and Sarit Guttman-Steinmetz on maternal attachment representations in a child out-patient clinic sample. She is beginning work with Dave Corcoran on attachment representations and memory in adults.

Ana Zevallos

Ana is a PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology at Stony brook University and proud Turner Fellow. Her dissertation examines the link between attachment style and first-year students’ ability to seek and receive social support in the form of mentoring as well as factors that impact the academic achievement and social adjustment of all students, more specifically that of underrepresented students to the University culture and environment. Ana is a prime mover in the W. Burghardt Turner Minority Fellowship program and co-founder of the campus Minorities in Psychology organization. Her research interests and passion for social equality in higher education led her to the Alliance for Graduate Education Professoriate (AGEP) funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) where she currently works as a senior graduate assistant. Ana is the focal person for the Community of Science Mentors (CSM) program and helps coordinate the Summer Research Institute (SRI). Both programs deal directly with the recruitment and retention of underrepresented students in academic settings, a mission that is very close to her heart. Ana will complete her Ph.D. this August 2007.

Adela Apetroaia

Adela comes to Stony Brook from Romania. In her first year she is already working with Harriet on co-construction of attachment representations and on attachment and the socialization of affect regualtion skills in preschool age children.


Busy Graduates  

Sarit Guttman-Steinmetz

Sarit came to Stony Brook from Haifa, Israel where she had worked as an undergraduate assistant studying co-construction processes with David Oppenheim. She continued this line of interest in several studies with Harriet. Her Ph.D. thesis, conducted with Judy Corwell, examined mothers' and their children's attachment-related narratives and secure base scripts, and interactive/co-constructive processes underpinning intergenerational transmission of attachment representations. In addition to completing her Ph.D. research this year, she also completed her clinical internship and gave birth to her third child.

Gerald Shephard

Gerald has had a dual career at Stony Brook. Throughout his Ph.D. training, he has also been a full-time therapist at the University Student Health Service. His 2005 dissertation project was a study of how attachment representations affect college students' use of faculty and staff as mentors. His results showed that more coherent script-like representations of attachment to parents is associated with greater willingness to accept offers of mentoring, higher expectations and demands of the mentoring relationship, and more effective use of the mentor. He also showed that lack of coherent attachment representation with parents does not preclude developing a well formed representation of secure base support in the mentoring relationship. He is continuing this research in a follow-up study. He is also continuing his clinical work.

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Lisa Rodrigues Doolabh

Lisa came to Stony Brook from Zimbabwe and completed her dissertation on adults' script-like representations of early secure base experience (with Dr. Harriet Waters).   She continued this work and as a post-doctoral fellow with Everett and Judy.   She now lives in Connecticut and is continuing her work with Harriet's collaborative project on secure base script representations across cultures.

Mealnie Elliott Wilson
Melanie came to Stony Brook from the University of Arizona with an interest in emotion, attachment, and health.   She is currently working with Yuan on maternal secure base support and with Everett and Dr. Dan Klein on mood induction and temperament.  The mood induction study is pilot work for a planned study on children at risk for depression.  Her 2002 dissertation involved observational studies of maternal and paternal secure base support of their 3-5 year-olds' free play in large playground settings. In addition to demonstrating important points about the continuing role of secure base support after infancy, she found that attachment representations and family interaction affect maternal and paternal behavior very differently. She is currently a post-doc with the UNC Consortium training grant. She and her fiancee, John,, a recent Ph.D experimental physicist from Stony Brook, are making do with a commuting relationship during their transition to academic careers.

Diana Wais

Diana has completed several attachment related studies and written an important theoretical article on neural network models and attachment representations.  Her first study examined links between adult attachment security and communal thinking.  She also participated in Dr. Harriet Waters' cross-cultural study of attachment representations. Diana's defended her Ph.D. thesis on the specificity/ generality of adult attachment representations using Harriet's script based assessment method in September 2002. She completed her clinical internship in London and is currently practicing and teaching Accelerated Experiential-Dynamic Psychotherapy. She is interested in research exploring and expanding its applications to clinical work in AEDP

Kathy Park Kerns

In graduate school, Kathy conducted studies of mother-child attachment and peer relationships under Everett’s mentoring. Following a postdoc at the University of Denver, she moved to Kent State University where she is now a Professor in the Psychology Department. Most recently she has been studying children in the later middle childhood years (9 - 12 year-olds), investigating different approaches to measuring attachment and examining how attachment is related to children’s emotional competence and the quality of a child's relationships with peers. Her work on attachment in middle childhood has attracted considerable attention, and she recently hosted a conference and co-edited a book on the topic. She has enjoyed mentoring many graduate students in addition to serving as an attachment figure for her two sons.

Kerns, K. A., Tomich, P. L., Aspelmeier, J. E., & Contreras, J. M. (2000).
Attachment based assessments of parent-child relationships in middle childhood.
Developmental Psychology, 36, 614-626.)

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Tricia Lawrence-Savane
Tricia earned her Stony Brook Ph.D. in 1999.  Her dissertation focussed on relations between secure base behavior in adults and attachment representations.  In January 2000 she was awarded a prestigious Turner Foundation Faculty Fellowship and was appointed Research Assistant Professor.  In 2000 she and Michel Savane were married in his native country of Senegal. They now have a daughter, Macire (ma-see-ray). After several years with the grants program of the Credit Suisse First Boston Bank in New York where she plays an important role in awarding and evaluating grants to community projects, Tricia has moved to Senegal where she is teaching university level psychology courses and considering applying her training to work in the US Foreign Service.

Celene Fyffe
with Macire Lawrence-Savane

Celene's discriminant analysis of a large set of AAI data demonstrated that the secure-insecure distinction can be effectively scored on a continuum using either a linear combination of AAI scales or simply the Coherence scale.

Her dissertation, much of which is included in our 2002 Dev. Psych. report, examined the interaction of communication skills and secure base behavior as predictors of marital functioning. After graduating in Clinical Psychology, Celene accepted an internship with the US Air Force and now holds the rank of Major. The military has afforded her a very wider range of clinical experience as well as specialized training in such issues as acute psychological trauma. She is currently stationed in Hawaii and trying to decide whether to continue her clinical work in the military or move into private practice.

Chiyoko ("Cini") Lord
Chiyoko is interested in the evolutionary foundations of attachment theory and in interaction between partners in adult relationships.  Her dissertation examines the reliability and stability of individual differences in specific behaviors and behavior sequences when couples discuss marital problems in a laboratory context.   This work is an integral part of the labs work on the assessment and importance of secure base support and secure base requests in marriage.

Christina Colon-Downs
From the start, Chris Colon-Downs' Native American and Puerto Rican heritage fit perfectly into an already very diverse lab family.  She completed her dissertation  "Disorganized attachment in young adults" in 1997.  This follow-up of a sample with psychiatric diagnoses in adolesence was completed in collaboration with Stuart Hauser's research group at Harvard Medical School.  Always expert in managment and organizational matters, Chris is now working in the grant development program of the Suffolk County Department of Labor. She spends much of her time designing program evaluation projects and formulating research and funding proposals for the Department's Human Services Programs.

Maureen Olmstead
Maureen came to the lab with longstanding interest in alcoholism and women's studies.  Her 1997 dissertation examined relations between attachment security and alcohol abuse.  She has also been interested in our data on marital violence.  Her recent SRCD paper examined the mechanisms (including attachment) that mediate the effects of having an alcoholic parent on a person's likelihood of becoming or marrying and alcoholic.

Maureen married in early 2003 and is currently a Research Scientist at the University of Arizona.

Jodie Steele
Jodie studied attachment in our lab and self theory and persuasion in close relationships with Dr. Art Aron.  Her first attachment project examined relations between attachment security and infancy and self report attachment measures completed 20 years later.  Her 1999 dissertation examined heuristic thinking in experimentally created close relationships.  She is now a statistician working for a large consulting firm in NYC.

Yuan Gao
Yuan Gao came to Stony Brook from Beijing.  She is now a US citizen and the mother of two sons.  Her 1995 dissertation on Secure Base Behavior in Adults illustrated the power of the secure base concept across age and provided important validation for the Audlt Attachment Interview.

Yuan is continuing work on secure base behavior in adult couples and also looking at mothers' secure base support behavior while their 3-year-olds play in a large indoor playground. Both lines of research have been presented at SRCD.  She also assists in her husband's medical practice which seeks especially to serve the Chinese speaking community.

German and Maggie
Invited address in Portugal

Originally from Colombia and now a US citizen, German .(pronounced "hair mahn") received his Ph.D. in 1989. He is currently Assistant Professor in Child and Family Studies at Purdue University.  He is interested in secure base behavior in early childhood, marital functioning and child behavior problems. He organized the first multi-national comparative study of secure base behavior (SRCD Monograph, 1995) and continues cross-cultural research in several settings. His reports on the cross-cultural generality of the link between maternal sensitivity and infant security in home and hospital settings among very poor families in Colombia demonstrate the robustness of some of Mary Ainsworth's most important findings. German and Maggie have two sons, Juan and Pedro, and a daughter expected at the end of 2002.

German was a recipient of the 2004 Bowlby-AInsowrth Award for his coross-cultural research.

Gretchen Owens
Gretchen received her Ph.D. in 1994 and is on the faculty in Child and Family Studies at St. Joseph's College. The work she and Judy Crowell initiated on working models of current romantic relationships is described in the 1995 SRCD Monograph. This work remains a focus of our longitudinal study of attachment representations in marriage.

Xiao-Dong Liu
Xiao Dong came to Stony Brook from Beijing Normal University. Her research revolves around a measure she has developed for obtaining adults' reports of secure base behavior in marriage. She received her Ph.D. in 1996 and found her calling as primary attachment figure and secure base to her two wonderful and very bright children.

Keng-Ling Lay
Keng-Ling received her Ph.D. in 1991. She, along with Doreen Ridgeway was instrumental in ourstudies of mood induction links between attachment and defensive (affect regulating) cognitions (SRCD Monograph, 1995). She is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the National University of Taiwan. She is currently working on the differential effects on children of distinct patterns of critical and demeaning parental verbal abuse. She is also working with Harriet to collect cross-cultural data on the secure base script and collaborating with German and Brian Vaughn on a proposal for a major cross-national study of parental attachment representations and child competence.

Doreen Ridgeway
Doreen moved with Everett & Harriet from Vancouver to finish her Ph.D. at Stony Brook. Her primary interest was in emotion. After completing her Ph.D. in 1986 and working with Inge Bretherton and Carolyn Zahn-Waxler as a MacArthur Foundation Fellow, she returned to Long Island and collaborating with EW and HW on the socialization of attachment representations and affect regulating cognitions. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1994 but remained interested and productive until her death in April 1999. The lab has in preparation a monograph that will be dedicate to her. It reports six important studies of attachment representation that arose from Doreen's work with us.

Everett and John Richters
John (right) received his Ph.D. in 1986. His research interests are in delinquency and developmental psychopathology. Relations between attachment and socialization are an important part of his theoretical framework. He is currently Chief of the Disruptive Disorders Program of the Child and Adolescent Psychopathology at NIMH.

Distinguished H.S. Researcher

Kate Potenza

Kate worked with us during her junior and senior years at Ward Melville High School. Dominique served as her mentor for the Westinghouse Science Talent Competition. Her project examines relations of parent marriage variables and child rearing practices to adolescents' behavior and attitudes in romantic relationships.

Fewer than 100 contestants were invited to Washington, D.C. for the competition Finals. Kate was there !  She is the third finalist or semifinalist from our lab.

Kate has been awarded a full scholarship to study in the accelerated science program at NYU.


Lab Photos

Click here for 2004 Winter Lab Party Pics


Attachment Lab / Harriet Waters Social Cognition Lab 2003
Reporting 3 years worth of research on secure base scripts at
2003 SRCD in Tamps, Florida

Front (l to r):  Dave Corcoran, Bulent Turan, Ana Zevallos, Diana Wais
Middle: Melanie Elliott, Bulent Turan, Sarit Guttmann-Steinmetz, Meltem Anafarta
Back:  Gary Cox-Steiner, Harriet Waters, Everett Waters,
Not pictured: Susan Brockmeyer, Morgan Tini, Lisa Rodrigues,
Michelle Steiner
Minou Arjomand, Dominique Treboux, Judy Crowell

Photo by Brian Vaughn



Attachment Lab / Harriet Waters Social Cognition Lab 1999 
Eight years into our longitudinal study of attachment representations in marriage.
Combined End-of-the-year party and (double) baby shower.

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l to r: Front:  Sarit, Yuan, Diana, Celene; Row 2:  Maureen, Judy, Michelle, Jody, Holly;
Back:  Trisha, Dominique, Zhao Dong
& Harry, Harriet, Jody, Allison, Bushra; Photo Everett.


Attachment Lab Portrait 1991