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Department of Psychology

College of Arts & Sciences

Robin A. Barry

Assistant Professor

Couple and Family Relationships and Individual Well-being

Clinical Psychology

** Dr. Barry is currently accepting graduate students

Ph.D., University of Iowa, 2010

M.A., University of Iowa, 2005

B.A., University of Michigan, 1996
; 307-223-5219; Biological Science Building 128

Research Interests

My research focuses on processes that contribute to couple and family relationship health and how these relationships impact individual well-being. A major emphasis of my work is romantic disengagement -- distancing from one’s partner within specific contexts (e.g., conflict) or more globally (i.e., growing apart over time). I have developed and validated theoretically informed measures of romantic disengagement and other relationship constructs (emotional intimacy, social support receipt), elucidated factors that determine whether individuals will disengage from partners during specific discussions, and demonstrated how disengagement during specific interactions contributes to a process of relationship decline over time. In addition to contributing to relationship decline, romantic disengagement interferes with individuals’ ability to experience the emotion and behavior regulatory benefits of romantic relationships. A major goal of my research program is to develop relationship-based interventions that enhance meaningful and effective engagement or disengagement with close relationship partners to promote individual and relationship health and well-being. Applications of my research have included intimate partner violence prevention. Currently, I am investigating applications for caregivers and traumatized populations.

 I am also interested in mindfulness, interventions aimed at enhancing individuals’ intentional and values-driven behavior, and technology that can expand the reach and utility of psychological services and applications.

Couple and Family Relations Lab

Academic Positions

2016 – present       University of Wyoming, Assistant Professor, Clinical Psychology

 2010 – 2016          University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Assistant Professor, Clinical Psychology

Click here for Vitae (Complete listing of Publications, Grants, Teaching, Etc.)


Research Methods
Introduction to Clinical Psychology

Representative Publications

Khalifian, C. E., Murphy, C. M., Barry, R. A., & Herman, B. (2016). Skills for Healthy Adult Relationships at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (SHARe@UMBC): Program development and preliminary data. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. doi: 10.1177/0886260516662303

Khalifian, C. E. & Barry, R. A. (2016). Trust, attachment and mindfulness influence intimacy and disengagement during newlyweds’ discussions of relationship transgressions. Journal of Family Psychology.

Barden, E. P., Barry, R. A., Khalifian, C. E., & Bates, J. M. (2016). Sociocultural influences on positive affect: Social support adequacy from ones’ spouse and the intersections of race and SES.  Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 35, 455-470.

Barry, R. A. & Lawrence, E. (2013). “Don’t stand so close to me”: An attachment perspective of disengagement and avoidance in marriage. Journal of Family Psychology, 27, 484-494. doi: 10.1037/a0032867

Lawrence, E., Barry, R. A., Brock, R. L., Bunde, M., Langer, A., Ro, E., Fazio, E., Mulryan, L., Hunt, S., Madsen, L., & Dzankovic, S. (2011). The Relationship Quality Interview: Evidence for reliability, convergent and divergent validity, and incremental validity. Psychological Assessment, 23, 44-63.

Barry, R. A. & Kochanska, G. (2010). A longitudinal investigation of the affective environment in families with young children: From infancy to early school age. Emotion, 10, 237-249.

Barry, R. A., Bunde, M., Brock, R. L., & Lawrence, E. (2009). Validity and utility of a multidimensional model of received support in intimate relationships. Journal of Family Psychology, 1, 48-57.

Barry, R. A., Lawrence, E., & Langer, A. (2008). Conceptualization and assessment of disengagement in romantic relationships. Personal Relationships, 15, 297-315.

Barry, R. A., Kochanska, G., & Philibert, R.A. (2008). G x E interaction in the organization of attachment: Mothers’ responsiveness as a moderator of children’s genotypes. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 12, 1313-1320.

Barry, R. A., Lakey, B. & Oreheck, E. (2007). Links among attachment dimensions, affect and the self for attachment styles and specific bonds. Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, 33, 340–353.


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