Columbia University Medical Center
Beatrice Beebe, PhD, is Clinical Professor of Medical Psychology (in Psychiatry), College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University; Division of Child & Adolescent Pschiatry, New York State Psychiatric Institute. She directs a basic research lab on mother-infant communication. She is faculty at several psychoanalytic institutes, and she has a private practice for adults and mother-infant pairs. She is author or coauthor of six books. The most recent is The Mother-Infant Interaction Picture Book: Origins of Attachment (Beebe, Cohen & Lachman, Norton, 2016). For a decade, she directed a pro bono primary prevention project for mothers who were pregnant and widowed on 9-11 (Beebe, Cohen, Sossin, & Markese, Eds., Mothers, infants and young children of September 11, 2001: A primary prevention project, 2012). A documentary film about her research is available (website of the Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing Company [PEP-Web], Mother-Infant Communication: The Research of Dr. Beatrice Beebe, by Karen Dougherty, 2016).
We study the social transmission of maternal psychopathology and the origins of infant insecure attachment, examining nonverbal communication as the mode of transmission. This work defines precise individual and dyadic social patterns of behavior organizing early relatedness, with direct implications for early intervention. Our current research program involves the longitudinal followup of 3 cohorts assessed for mother-infant communication and infant attachment in the first year of life. Two cohorts from the community are currently being assessed for attachment and social communication as the offspring turn age 21.
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