Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan.
Dr. Volling is the Lois Wladis Hoffman Collegiate Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on the social and emotional development of infants, parent-infant interaction, and the role of family relationships in facilitating children’s developmental outcomes. She has conducted extensive research on the role of fathers for infant development and is one of the leading experts on the development of infant-father attachment relationships. She is the Principal Investigator of the Family Transitions Study (FTS), a longitudinal investigation of changes in the firstborn’s adjustment and family functioning after the birth of a second child, which has received funding from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the Fetzer Foundation. She was the recipient of an Independent Scientist Award from NICHD and received a Faculty Recognition Award for outstanding research, teaching and service at the University of Michigan. She recently received the MICHR Distinguished Clinical and Translational Research Mentor Award. She is also a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science. Dr. Volling received her Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies at Penn State University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Carolina Consortium on Human Development at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Children’s attachment relationships with mother and father and their adjustment after the birth of an infant sibling
In this talk, I will describe recent findings from a longitudinal investigation of children’s adjustment after the birth of a sibling with a specific focus on the role of attachment relationships. I will present findings from two separate investigations, the first examining how attachment security with mothers and fathers predicts firstborn children’s jealousy when parents interact with a newborn sibling. The second investigation addresses patterns of attachment relationships with mothers and fathers from a family-level perspective, examining whether one secure attachment, either to mother or father, is enough to buffer children from the stresses that accompany the transition to siblinghood and whether it matters if that attachment is with the mother or the father.