Professor, Department of Psychology
ResearchMy research focuses on the study of interpersonal relations. Much of my work examines questions about how close relationships help people to thrive through adversity and through the pursuit of life challenges. My program of research focuses on topics including social support and caregiving, attachment, exploration, touch, and play -- and the effects that these relationship processes have on important outcomes such as personal health/well being, personal growth, and relationship stability/well-being. This research involves the use of observational and physiological assessments of relational dynamics, as well as longitudinal methods to identify predictors of health and longevity.
Examples of research projects involve investigations of (a) the importance of relationships in the lives of the older adults -- the impact of relationship dynamics on the happiness, health, and quality of life of the elderly, (b) the importance of the marital relationship in facilitating the transition to retirement, (c) relationship processes in newlyweds that predict flourishing, stable relationships versus decline and divorce, and (d) predictors and consequences of support/caregiving, play, and various forms of touch, within relationships. This work has been funded by the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the National Science Foundation.
RESEARCH PAPERSFeeney, B. C., Collins, N. L., Van Vleet, & Tomlinson (in press). Motivations for providing a secure base as predictors of secure base behavior. Attachment & Human Development.
Feeney, B. C., & Lemay, E. P. (2012). Surviving Relationship Threats: The role of emotional capital. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38, 1004-1017.
Monin, J. K., Feeney, B. C., & Schulz, R. (2012). Attachment orientation and reactions to anxiety expression in close relationships. Personal Relationships, 19, 535-550.
Monin, J. K., Schulz, R., Feeney, B. C., & Cook, T. (2010). Attachment insecurity and perceived partner suffering as predictors of personal distress. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 1143-1147.
Feeney, B. C., & Van Vleet, M. (2010). Growing through attachment: The interplay of attachment and exploration in adulthood. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 27, 226-234.
Feeney, B. C., & Thrush, R. L. (2010). Relationship influences on exploration in adulthood: The characteristics and function of a secure base. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 98, 57-76.
Feeney, B. C., Cassidy, J., Lemay, E., & Ramos-Marcuse, F. (2009). Affiliation with new peer acquaintances during two initial social support interactions. Personal Relationships, 16, 489-505.
Feeney, B. C., Cassidy, J., & Ramos-Marcuse, F. (2008). The generalization of attachment representations to new social situations: Predicting behavior during initial interactions with strangers. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 1481-1498.
Feeney, B. C., & Monin, J. K. (2008). An attachment-theoretical perspective on divorce. In J. Cassidy, & P. R. Shaver (Eds.), Handbook of attachment: Theory, research, and clinical applications. 2nd Ed. New York: Guilford Press.
Kane, H. S., Jaremka, L. M., Guichard, A. C., Ford, M. B., Collins, N. L., & Feeney, B. C. (2007). Feeling supported and feeling satisfied: How one partner’s attachment style predicts the other partner’s relationship experiences. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 24, 535-555.
Lemay, E. P., Clark, M. S., & Feeney, B. C. (2007). Projection of responsiveness to needs and the construction of satisfying and communal marriages. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92, 834-853.
Feeney, B. C. (2007). The dependency paradox in close relationships: Accepting dependence promotes independence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92, 268-285.
Feeney, B. C. (2004). A secure base: Responsive support of goal strivings and exploration in adult intimate relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87, 631-648.
Collins, N. C., & Feeney, B. C. (2004). Working models of attachment shape perceptions of social support: Evidence from experimental and observational studies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87, 363-383.
Feeney, B. C., & Cassidy, J. (2003). Reconstructive memory related to adolescent-parent conflict interactions: The influence of attachment-related representations on immediate perceptions and changes in perceptions over time. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 85, 945-955.
Feeney, B. C., & Collins, N. C. (2003). Motivations for caregiving in adult intimate relationships: Influences on caregiving behavior and relationship functioning. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29, 950-968.
Cassidy, J. A., Ziv, Y., Mehta, T., & Feeney, B. C. (2003). Feedback-seeking in children and adolescents: Associations with self-perceptions, attachment representations, and depression. Child Development, 74, 612-628.
Feeney, B. C., & Collins, N. L. (2001). Predictors of caregiving in adult intimate relationships: An attachment theoretical perspective. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80, 972-994.
Murray, S. L., Bellavia, G., Feeney, B., Holmes, J. G., & Rose, P. (2001). The contingencies of interpersonal acceptance: When romantic relationships function as a self-affirmational resource. Motivation & Emotion, 25, 163-189.
Collins, N. L., & Feeney, B. C. (2000). A safe haven: An attachment theory perspective on support-seeking and caregiving in adult romantic relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78, 1053-1073.