Deborah Jacobvitz, Ph.D. is the Phyllis L. Richards Endowed Professor in Child Development and Director, School of Human Ecology at The University of Texas at Austin. She specializes in parent-child interactions and their transmission from one generation to the next. She draws on attachment theory to understand how parents' reconstructions of their relationships with their own parents during childhood affect their parenting practices with their own children.
Jacobvitz's current research interests focus on three related areas: 1) the transmission of parenting from one generation to the next including the intergenerational cycle of abuse; 2) the development of emotional and behavior problems in children; and 3) the effects of family conflict on children’s developing friendships and emotional and behavior problems. Funded by the St. Davids Foundation, she is currently collecting a new study that involves a new feeding sensitivity and nutrition intervention with grandparents, parents and young children to enhance caregiving sensitivity and prevent child obesity. An expert on the widely used Adult Attachment Interview, she leads workshops on this important technique for psychologists in the United States, Europe and Asia.
Jacobvitz is past president of the Southwestern Society for Research on Human Development, is on the Editorial Board of Attachment and Human Development, and has published numerous articles in Child Development, Developmental Psychology, Development and Psychopathology, and other journals.