Faculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics
Ph.D., Human Development, 1990
Brenda Volling’s research focuses on the social and emotional development of infants and young children and the role of family relationships in facilitating children’s developmental outcomes. Her research is guided by family systems theory and she has examined the relations between marital, parent-child and sibling relationships in several studies. She is particularly interested in the role of fathers for infant development and is one of the leading experts on the development of infant-father attachment relationships. Her current research, funded by NICHD, focuses on changes in the family and the firstborn child’s adjustment after the birth of a second child (the Family Transitions Study). She has also collaborated on studies looking at maternal post-partum depression and infant self-regulation, as well as the early development of preterm infants. She plans on continuing her research along these lines by looking at (a) the supportive role of fathers during the perinatal period, paternal depression and parent-infant relationships, (b) examining parents’ and siblings’ adaptation to the birth of a premature infant; (c) children’s sibling relationships across early development; and (d) developing hospital-based interventions and parent education programs directed at parents expecting their second child
Lucassen, N., Tharner, A., Van Ijzendoorn, M.H., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M.J., Volling, B.L., Verhulst, F.C., Lambregtse-Van den Berg, M.P., Tiemeier, H. (2011). The association between paternal sensitivity and infant-father attachment security: A meta-analysis of three decades of research. Journal of Family Psychology, 25, 986-992.
Song, J., & Volling, B. L. (2015). Coparenting and children’s temperament predict firstborns’ cooperation in the care of an infant sibling. Journal of Family Psychology, 29(1), 130-135.
Volling, B.L. (2012). Family transitions following the birth of a sibling: An empirical review of changes in the firstborn's adjustment. Psychological Bulletin, 138, 497-528.
Volling, B. L., Yu, T., Gonzalez, R., Kennedy, D. E., Rosenberg, L., & Oh, W. (2014). Children’s responses to mother–infant and father–infant interaction with a baby sibling: Jealousy or joy? Journal of Family Psychology, 28(5), 634-644.