Who We Are



The Center for Attachment Research (CAR)

The Center for Attachment Research (CAR) was established in 2004 with the arrival of Miriam Steele and Howard Steele to the Department of Psychology at The New School for Social Research. The center is engaged in the application of attachment theory to clinical and developmental research questions concerning child, parent, and family development. CAR initiatives involve New School for Social Research, Parsons, Lang, and other New School students and faculty, as well as ongoing collaborations with senior consultants and colleagues in New York and internationally. For more information on CAR, you may also visit the New School for Social Research website

The Center for Attachment Research is currently engaged in a range of projects. The primary project at the moment involves studying the effectiveness of a Group Attachment Based Intervention provided to vulnerable families in the Bronx. This project is supported by and in affiliation with colleague Anne Murphy at The Early Child Care Center at The Albert Einstein College of Medicine. For more details on this project, click here.

Other projects at The Center for Attachment Research include research on the intergenerational transmission of body image (in collaboration with the “BODI group”*); research on childhood anxiety at the “I Have a Dream” Foundation, in collaboration with visiting professor Barbara Hoff; research on peer play therapy at JBFCS’ Relationships for Growth & Learning, in collaboration with colleagues there. For more details on all of these projects, click here





Howard Steele, Ph.D. is a professor of psychology and the Director of Graduate Studies at The New School for Social Research, Clinical Psychology department.  Dr. Steele is the co-director of the Center for Attachment Research with Dr. Miriam Steele. Research concentrations are in the bonds between parents and children and the intergenerational consequences on attachment, and children's understanding of emotion. 








Miriam Steele, Ph.D.
is a professor of psychology and the Director of Clinical Training at The New School for Social Research, Clinical Psychology department. Dr. Steele is the co-director of the Center for Attachment Research  with Dr. Howard Steele. Research concentrations included the bonds between parents and children and the intergenerational consequences on attachment, adoption and foster care, and the intergenerational transmission of body image.





Doctoral Student Research at CAR


Kelsey Armusewicz is a doctoral candidate in Clinical Psychology and a senior research assistant working on the pragmatic clinical trial of the Group Attachment Based Intervention (GABI). Her research focuses on coding clinician competence in GABI and measuring the effects of training on later clinician performance in the therapeutic model. She co-led the development of an online training course for the dissemination of GABI and is also interested in the implications of using competency measures in the dissemination and implementation process.



Jordan Bate is a doctoral candidate in Clinical Psychology and the research assistant to Dr. Miriam Steele, focused on running a pragmatic clinical trial of Group Attachment Based Intervention (GABI). Her research interests include studying the effectiveness of parent-child interventions, identifying therapeutic action, and evaluating clinical training in parent-child therapies.












































































 Or Dagan is a doctoral candidate in Clinical Psychology. Research interests are psychophysiology and biological markers of attachment patterns. In particular, Or is interested in examining associations between attachment quality, physiological regulation of stress, and health outcomes in early adulthood. Or is a reliable coder of Reflective Functioning (RF), and after attending the Adult Attachment Interview training program with Drs. Mary Main and Erik Hesse, Or is a certified AAI coder.





Lauren deFressine
is a doctoral candidate in Clinical Psychology.  She is involved in conducting research on the effectiveness of the Relationships for Growth and Learning Peer Play Psychotherapy program for at-risk preschool children.  Her research focuses on positive and negative peer pressure behaviors observed during a delay of gratification task, as compared with parent and teacher perceptions of child behavior








Jeana DeMairo
 is a doctoral candidate in Clinical Psychology and a senior research
 assistant facilitating the pragmatic clinical trial of the Group Attachment Based Intervention (GABI). Her research focuses on assessing factors that contribute to greater rates of attendance for mothers and their children enrolled in GABI and evaluating the dyadic relationship using the Coding Interactive Behavior (CIB) paradigm to assess changes across the 6-month treatment period.




Rachel Ganz is a doctoral candidate in Clinical Psychology. Her research focuses on a community sample of mother's Adult Attachment Interviews and their daughter's story stem narratives. She is reliable in coding the Attachment Focused Coding System. Her research looks at the intra-correlations and inter-correlations with mothers' AAI rating scale and the AFCS story stem codes.  She believes mothers' AAI security codes correlate with children's story stem narrative coherence and there exists a powerful association between parents' attachment interviews and infants' attachments to parents.






Amanda Helmers
is a doctoral candidate in Clinical Psychology working at the Center for Attachment Research. Her research interests include the clinical applications of attachment theory and the dynamics between Reflective Functioning, self regulation, and mental representations of relationships. She is a reliable coder of Reflective Functioning and her Master's thesis examined school teacher’s Reflective Functioning in relation to stress and burnout.






































Michael Kinsey is a doctoral candidate in Clinical Psychology and has been a member of the Center for Attachment Research since 2011. His research focuses on the use of video in the Group Attachment-Based Intervention (GABI). He is particularly interested in working to identify therapeutic action in GABI as well as exploring ways that video can be used to enhance clinical intervention.





Hannah Knafo
is a doctoral candidate in Clinical Psychology. Hannah's research focuses on the intergenerational transmission of body image. In particular, Hannah's work includes examining the nonverbal behaviors of women being interviewed in front of a mirror. Hannah is also further investigating the development of body image dissatisfaction in children ages 5-7 and how body image relates to the parent-child relationship. Hannah studied at the AAI institute with Mary Main, Ph.D. and Erik Hesse, Ph.D. and is a reliable coder of Adult Attachment Interviews. www.hannahknafo.com






Jaclyn Levy
is a doctoral candidate in Clinical Psychology. Jaclyn's research focuses on studying the efficacy of a Peer Play Psychotherapy (PPP) group at the Relationships for Growth and Learning (RfGL). Particular assessments that are studied as part of this research are the Delay of Gratification Task, a Peer Delay of Gratification Task, and a Peer Co-Construction Task. Children are assessed at the beginning of treatment and again after one year of treatment.





           
 
Adella Nikitiades  is a doctoral candidate in Clinical Psychology. Her research interests focus on the intergenerational transmission of trauma and the identification of parent-child specific relational patterns under the context of dual exposure to domestic violence and other adverse childhood experiences, using observational and quantitative measures.  Adella has been trained in the Attachment Organization and Disorganization Strange Situation Paradigm at University of Minnesota by Dr Allan Sroufe and Dr. Elizabeth Carlson and in Coding Interactive                                                          Behaviors (CIB coding system) by Ruth Feldman.    

                            





Aniella Perold
is a doctoral candidate in Clinical Psychology. Her research focuses on the influence of attachment relationships on the development of body image. She hopes to identify some of the particular facets of mothers' own body representations and caregiving behavior that influence children's awareness of, and attitudes toward, their bodies. Aniella is also a reliable coder of Reflective Functioning in the Adult Attachment Interview.





 
Camila M. Rivera-Morales
 is a doctoral candidate in Clinical Psychology, working at the Center for Attachment Research.
 Her research concerns treatment development for hard-to-reach families, adolescents, and children who are at-risk for developing chronic maladaptive behaviors and psychopathology. Her Master's thesis explores parents’ experiences of Group Attachment-Based Intervention and parenting classes. An aim of this project is to  better understand how these interventions impact parents, as well as to inform clinical training and practice.






Karen Rosenfeld
 is involved with the Friends and Family Interview research project as part of a longitudinal study with students attending the I Have a Dream (IHAD) after-school program in Chelsea.  Our intention is to compare changes noted in attachment representations as coded on the FFI from time 1 (age 11) to time 2 (age 14) in our study group (IHAD participants)  with those we intend to code for in our future control group through the lens of consideration that perhaps the additional, consistent social opportunity may have influenced attachment representations of the experimental (IHAD) group.


Jessica Usem
is a doctoral candidate in Clinical Psychology. Her research interests include exploring the impact of maternal depression and anxiety as well as adverse childhood experiences on parent-child attachment patterns. After attending training in the Strange Situation Laboratory Procedure with Dr. Alan Sroufe and Dr. Elizabeth Carlson at the University of Minnesota, Jessica is a reliable coder of attachment organization and disorganization in the Strange Situation.
  




Shulamit Pinchover is a Post-doctoral fellow at the Center for Attachment Research. She received a PhD from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, focusing on play interactions and playfulness of young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). She is currently involved in GABI. Her research focuses on children's play, using the Test of Playfulness (ToP), and its relation to other children, parent, and interactional characteristics before and after the intervention. 


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