My research spans a wide range of topics, from romantic relationships and parenthood to team communication and patient safety. Although these areas seem unrelated, they share an underlying theme: their focus on interdependencies. In marriage, the workplace, and the healthcare system, individuals are deeply embedded in networks of relationships. Our social connections shape who we are and the decisions we make. At a group level, these relationship networks have a profound impact on how groups define themselves, how they behave, and how they evolve over time.
My primary research interest is in teams, particularly within the context of healthcare. Teams are more than just a combination of the abilities and characteristics of individual team members. Although individual characteristics are important, my interest lies in the patterns of relationships and interactions within the team. To study these complex systems, I have incorporated literature and methods from psychology, medicine, management, and human factors research. This line of research is currently focused in two areas. The first area involves a set of laboratory experiments surrounding team structure and cognition. The second involves observing communication patterns in physician teams to determine team-level factors that impact patient outcomes.
As a secondary interest, I also study the role of adult attachment orientations in romantic relationships, parenthood, and social cognition. Attachment theory provides a powerful framework to examine how early relationship experiences shape what we expect from close others and how we perceive our environment. My work in this area is currently focused on two projects. First, research (including my own) shows that attachment dynamics influence how individuals regulate their emotions and memories. My current research explores the role of attachment in emotion, self-regulation, and psychopathology. Second, I am investigating how individuals and couples change during the transition to parenthood. This research emphasizes the interdependence of relationship partners, as well as nonlinear change over time.
On this site, I have organized my ongoing research projects into two sections: healthcare/organizational research and attachment/relationships research. All published work can be found on the Publications page. More information can be found on specific projects at the links below.