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Germán Posada, PhD

Research Interests

Child-mother attachment relationships, secure base phenomenon, attachment representations, caregiving and socialization outcomes, marital relationship and attachment, cross-cultural issues in attachment research


Dr. Posada's interests are in the area of social-emotional development; focusing on the study of child-parent attachment relationships and parenting. He is specifically interested in investigating the development of the secure base phenomenon, its relations to the quality of caregiving and characteristics of the family (e.g., marital conflict and support), and children's behavioral outcomes. An important emphasis of his work is the study of those issues from a cross-cultural perspective. Similarly, a characteristic of his research is the use of observational methodologies in naturalistic settings (e.g., home, hospitals, and playgrounds). Dr. Posada also uses interview and questionnaire techniques, and occasionally brings participants to a laboratory context.

One of his current studies concerns the study of relations between maternal secure base representations and secure base support, and children's secure base behavior. This study has a cross-cultural component since information is being collected in two countries. In a different project, he is investigating the longitudinal relations between maternal caregiving and infant attachment security at one and three years of age. Dr. Posada is also studying the relations between the context in which attachment relationships develop (e.g., socioeconomic group, and/or marital relationship: conflict and exposure of the child to it) and secure base relationships.

Selected Publications

  • Posada, G., Lu, T., Trumbell, J., Kaloustian, G., Trudel, M., Plata, S., Peña, P., Perez, J., Tereno, S., Dugravier, R., Coppola, G., Constantini, A., Cassiba, R., Kondo-Ikemura, K., Noblega, M., Haya, M. I., Pedraglio, C., Verissimo, M., Santos, A. J., Monteiro, L., & Lay, K. L. (In press). Is the secure base phenomenon evident here, there, and anywhere? A cross-cultural study of child behavior and experts' definitions. Child Development.
  • Torres, B., Causadias, J., & Posada, G. (In press). Attachment theory, research, and clinical applications. Madrid: Psimatica.
  • Posada, G., & Waters, E. (In press). The caregiving behavioral system: Sensitivity and secure base support. In B. Torres, J. Causadias, & G. Posada (Eds.), Attachment theory, research, and clinical applications. Madrid: Psimatica.
  • Posada, G., Carbonell, O. A., Plata, S. J., Perez, J., & Peña, P. A.  (In press). The attachment Q-set: A tool to evaluate behavioral organization and security in attachment relationships. In B. Torres, J. Causadias, & G. Posada (Eds.), Attachment theory, research, and clinical applications. Madrid: Psimatica.
  • Posada, G., Waters, E., Moran, G., Pederson, D., & Vaughn, B. (In press). Mary Ainsworth, Ethology, and Maternal Sensitivity.  In E. Waters, B. E. Vaughn, & H. S. Waters (Eds.), Measuring attachment. New York: Guilford.
  • Wachs, T. D., Posada, G., Carbonell, O. A., Creed-Kanashiro, H., & Gurkas, P. (2011). Infant nutrition and 12 and 18 months secure base behavior: An exploratory study. Infancy, 91-111.
  • Posada, G., & Lu, T. (2011). Individual-mother attachment relationships: A life-span phenomenon. In K. L. Fingerman & T. C. Antonucci (Eds.), Handbook of lifespan development, 87-115. New York: Springer.
  • Posada, G., Longoria, N., Cocker, C., & Lu, T. (2011). Child-caregiver attachment ties in military families: Mothers' view on interactions with their preschooler, stress, and social competence. In S. MacDermid-Wadsworth (Ed.), Stress in U.S. military families, 131-147. New York: Springer.
  • Carbonell, O. A., Plata, S. J., Peña P. A., Cristo, M. B., & Posada, G. (2010). Quality of maternal care: A comparison of preterm infants in kangaroo mother care and full-term infants in regular care. Universitas Psychologica, 9, 773-785. 
  • Posada, G.  (2010).  Attachment in infancy.  In G. Bremner & T. Wachs (Eds.), The Wiley-Blackwell handbook of infant development, Vol. 1, pp. 483-509. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.
  • Posada, G., & Pratt, D. M. (2008). Physical aggression in the family and attachment security in preschoolers. Journal of Family and Marital Therapy, 34, 14-27.
  • Posada, G. (2008). Attachment in infancy and early childhood. In M. Haith & J. Benson (Eds.), Encyclopedia of infant and early childhood development (Vol. 1) (pp. 96-106). London: Elsevier.
  • Posada, G., Jacobs, A., Richmond, M., & Kaloustian, G. (2007). Maternal secure base support and preschoolers' secure base behavior in natural environments. Journal of Attachment and Human Development, 4, 393-411.
  • Vaughn, B. E., Copolla, G., Verissimo, M., Montiero, L., Posada, G., Carbonell, O. A., Plata, S. J., Waters, H., Bost, K. K., McBride, B., & Korth, B. (2007). Coordination between the organization of mothers' secure base knowledge and their children's secure base behavior at home. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 31, 65-76.
  • Posada, G. (2006). Assessing attachment security at age three: Q-sort observations and the MacArthur Strange Situation adaptation. Social Development, 15(4), 644-658.
  • Posada, G., Alzate, G., Carbonell, O. A., & Plata, S. J. (2006). Infant emotional security and quality of care across social and cultural contexts. In H. Escobar (Ed.), Knowledge, the individual and society: A decade of research in psychology (pp. 81-98). Bogotá: Editorial Pontificia Universidad Javeriana.
  • Moreno, A. J., Posada, G., & Goldyn, D. T. (2006). Presence and quality of touch influence co-regulation in mother-infant dyads. Infancy, 9, 1-20.
  • Posada, G., & Pratt, D. M. (2005). Child-mother secure base relationships and culture. Psicoterapia, 10, 133-142.
  • Carbonell, O. A., Posada G., Plata, S. J., & Mendez, S. (2005). Attachment relationships: A context to promote the welfare of boys and girls. Cuadernos de Psicologia, 1, 31-38.
  • Myers-Walls, J. A., Myers-Bowman, K. S., & Posada, G. (2005). Parenting practices worldwide. In B. Ingoldsby & S. Smith (Eds.), Families in global and multicultural perspective (pp. 147-167). Newbury Park: Sage.


  • Post-Doctoral Research Associate, 1990-1994, State University of New York at Stony Brook.
  • PhD in Developmental Psychology, December 1990, State University of New York at Stony Brook.
  • MA in Developmental Psychology, August 1986, State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Courses Recently Taught

  • HDFS 311: Child Development
  • HDFS 318: Developmental Assessment
  • HDFS 601: Developmental Processes During Childhood
  • HDFS 616: Theory Construction in Child and Family Studies
  • HDFS 619: Developmental Processes
  • HDFS 685: Attachment Relationships Across the Life-Span


  • 2007: Nomination for the Mary L. Matthews Outstanding Teaching Award
  • 2006: Nomination for the Mary L. Matthews Outstanding Teaching Award
  • 2004: The Bowlby-Ainsworth Award for observational studies of maternal sensitivity and infant secure base behavior across cultures. The Bowlby-Ainsworth award recognizes founders and singular contributions to the Bowlby-Ainsworth tradition of attachment theory and research.
  • 1999: Recognition Award for outstanding teaching and support to undergraduates with special needs

External Grants

  • Talk, Listen, Connect II Evaluation. Sesame Workshop. 2008-2009.
  • Child-mother secure base relationship processes and social competence in early childhood: A cross-cultural perspective. Principal Investigator. National Science Foundation, 2007-2012.
  • Early infant-mother skin-to-skin contact: Relations to quality of care and secure base behavior in a high risk sample. Principal Investigator. Center for Mental Health Promotion, New York, 2004-2007.
  • An intervention model in early infant-mother attachment relationships. Co-Principal Investigator. Colciencias and Javeriana University, 2000-2002.
  • The transition to parenthood. Principal Investigator. The Hunts Alternatives Fund, 1996-1997.

Professional Service and Experience

  • Consulting editor, Early Childhood Research Quarterly
  • Ad-hoc reviewer for Developmental Psychology, Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, Journal of Attachment and Human Development, Journal of Family Psychology, Journal of Gerontology, Infant Mental Health Journal, Social Development, and Traumatology
  • Grant reviewer for COLCIENCIAS, the Colombian Institute for the Advancement of the Sciences
  • Reviewer for the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development
  • Co-organizer and current contributor to the research program on attachment relationships at the Department of Psychology, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá, Colombia 1996-present