I have been a member of the University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty since 2006. I teach in the Department of Human Development & Family Studies and lead a research team in the UW Couples Lab. At UW-Madison, I serve as Associate Dean of Research in the School of Human Ecology, as a member of the Social Sciences Divisional Committee, and as a mentor in the Provost’s Mid-Career Mentoring Program. I recently ended a 5-year term serving on the Division of Student Life’s Dean of Students Advisory Committee, including 3 years as chair, and was appointed to the search committee for the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs position. My service to the profession includes editorial board positions at Journal of Family Psychology and Family Process and membership on the NIH Psychosocial Development, Risk, and Prevention study section (PDRP).
My broad program of research has focused on the role of intimate and family relationships in shaping development across the lifespan. My studies here have capitalized on methods for assessing romantic partners’ and family members’ experiences in daily life. As an example, my colleagues and I have conducted a series of studies on the occurrence of marital conflict in families’ homes and its implications for child, parent, and family functioning. We have also documented interdependence or close connection between romantic couples as well as family members along multiple domains, recently finding congruency in spouses’ negative affect during conflict (more so for anger and hostility than for sadness and fear), and demonstrating reliable covariation in family members’ cortisol levels across the day.
I am fortunate to study other aspects of human development that are closely tied to my work on relationships and highly compelling to me, primarily for their relevance to health and well-being and potential to inform pressing societal issues. These lines of investigation have addressed breastfeeding and psychosocial outcomes, mental health symptoms, and prescription drug misuse. In addition, I collaborate with Dr. Sigan Hartley to improve understanding of marital and family outcomes in autism spectrum disorders.
My lab is currently recruiting college students to participate in the UWellness Study.
For more information on my research, please visit my lab’s website.