Associate Professor Psychology

Dr. Brock received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Iowa in 2012. She was a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Iowa from 2012-2015, and joined the UNL faculty in 2015. She is the director of the UNL Family Development Lab, and is a core faculty member in the Clinical Psychology Training Program (CPTP). She is currently associate editor for the journal Family Process. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Research Interests:

Broadly speaking, my research program is aimed at understanding how couple and family relationships ameliorate or perpetuate depression, anxiety, and related aspects of health (e.g., alcohol use, sleep dysfunction, poor diet, lower gut microbiome diversity). My work is largely focused on couple relationships, investigating how multiple relationship processes (e.g., humanization and respect, support, closeness and intimacy, sexual satisfaction, conflict management strategies) impact partners and their children. My research includes the translational goal of informing interventions that minimize family dysfunction, build healthy couple dynamics, and promote adult and child health throughout the lifespan. There are four primary lines of inquiry I am currently pursuing:

  1. Family resiliency in the context of stress, adversity, and trauma: How do couples and families navigate various forms of stress and adversity (e.g., economic hardship, trauma, discrimination and marginalization stress, major life transitions), and what are sources of risk or resiliency within the family (e.g., partner support, responsive parenting)? My team is currently conducting research on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on couples and families with young children, how couples navigate the stress associated with pregnancy and childbirth, and the impact of discrimination and harassment on sexual and gender minority couples living in rural Nebraska.
  2. Regulatory processes linking family processes to health outcomes: How do family relationships contribute to key regulatory processes that, in turn, play a central role in health? My research team is currently investigating how family relationships promote the development of executive functioning in preschoolers, how intimate partners can promote self-compassion and psychological flexibility, and how parents socialize their children around emotions and promote emotion regulation (e.g., through mindful parenting).
  3. Differential susceptibility and sensitivity to family environments. How do adults and children differentially experience and respond to their environments? My research team is currently investigating how individuals exhibiting traits indicative of high sensitivity to the environment falter or flourish in the context of different family dynamics.
  4. Measurement of couple and family relationships. I pursue novel and innovative ways of measuring family relationships and systems using multiple methodologies (self-report, interview, behavioral observation). For example, my research team published a behavioral observation coding system for measuring mutually responsive orientation in couple relationships (i.e., the degree of synchronicity, cooperation, and positive emotional expression between partners). I have published other measures assessing dimensions of relationships (The Support in Intimate Relationships Rating Scale-Revised, The Relationship Quality Interview) and have several scale development projects that are underway.
Teaching Interests:

Dr. Brock teaches courses in quantitative methods and provides statistical consultation in the department. She also provides clinical consultation (individual and couples therapy). She was a recipient of the Dean's Award for Excellence in Graduate Education for teaching and mentoring. Dr. Brock is NOT planning to accept a graduate student for 2022 admission.

Upcoming Course Offerings:

  • PSYC-948, Structural Equation Modeling in the Behavioral Sciences (spring 2023)

For more information about quantitative training in the Department of Psychology, please visit our training website. If you are a student or faculty member in the UNL Department of Psychology, please click here to schedule an appointment for statistical consultation.

Representative Publications:

For a complete list of publications please visit Google Scholar, ResearchGate, or NCBI.

*Denotes Student Author

Brock, R. L., & *Laifer, L. (2020). Family science in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic: Solutions and new directions. Family Process. doi: 10.1111/famp.12582

Brock, R.L., *Ramsdell, E., *Franz, M., & *Volk, S. (2020). Validation of a behavioral coding system for measuring mutually responsive orientation in intimate relationships. Psychological Assessment.

Brock, R.L., *Ramsdell, E., Sáez, G., & Gervais, S. (2020). Perceived humanization by intimate partners during pregnancy is associated with fewer depressive symptoms, less body dissatisfaction, and greater sexual satisfaction through reduced self-objectification. Sex Roles. doi: 10.1007/s11199-020-01166-6

Brock, R. L., *Franz, M., & *Ramsdell, E. (2020). An integrated relational framework of depressed mood and anhedonia during pregnancy. Journal of Marriage and Family, 82, 1056-1072. doi: 10.1111/jomf.12611

Brock, R. L., *Franz, M., O'Bleness, J., & Lawrence, E. (2019). The dynamic interplay between satisfaction with intimate relationship functioning and daily mood in low-income outpatients. Family Process, 58, 891-907. doi: 10.1111/famp.12402.

Brock, R. L., & Kochanska, G. (2019). Anger in infancy and its implications: History of attachment in mother-child and father-child relationships as a moderator of risk. Development and Psychopathology, 23, 7-28. 10.1017/S0954579418000780

Brock, R. L., Kochanska, G., & Boldt, L. (2017). Interplay between children's biobehavioral plasticity and interparental relationship in the origins of internalizing problems. Journal of Family Psychology, 31, 1040-1050. doi: 10.1037/fam0000335

Brock, R.L., Dindo, L., Clark, L.A., Gamez, W., Aksan, N., & Kochanska, G. (2017). Attachment and effortful control in toddlerhood predict academic achievement over a decade later. Psychological Science, 28, 1786-1795. doi: 10.1177/0956797617721271

Brock, R.L., & Kochanska, G. (2016). Toward a developmentally-informed approach to parenting interventions: Seeking hidden effects. Development and Psychopathology, 28, 583-593. doi: 10.1017/S0954579415000607

Brock, R.L., & Kochanska, G. (2016). Interparental conflict, children's security with parents, and long-term risk of internalizing problems: A longitudinal study from Age 2 to 10. Development and Psychopathology, 28, 45-54. doi: 10.1017/S0954579415000279

Brock, R.L., Kochanska, G., O'Hara, M.W., & Grekin, R. (2015). Life satisfaction moderates the effectiveness of a play-based parenting intervention in low-income mothers and toddlers. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 43, 1283-1294. doi: 10.1007/s10802-015-0014-y

Brock, R.L., & Kochanska, G. (2015). Decline in quality of family relationships predicts escalation in children's internalizing symptoms from middle to late childhood. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 43, 1295-1308. doi: 10.1007/s10802-015-0008-9

Brock, R.L., & Lawrence, E. (2014). Intrapersonal, interpersonal, and contextual predictors of support overprovision in marriage. Journal of Family Psychology, 28, 54-64. doi: 10.1037/a0035280

Brock, R.L. & Lawrence, E. (2011). Marriage as a risk factor for internalizing disorders: Clarifying scope and specificity. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 79, 577-589. doi: 10.1037/a0024941

Brock, R. L., & Lawrence, E. (2009). Too much of a good thing: Underprovision versus overprovision of partner support. Journal of Family Psychology, 23, 181-192. doi: 10.1037/a0015402

Brock, R. L., & Lawrence, E. (2008). A longitudinal investigation of stress spillover in marriage: Does spousal support adequacy buffer the effects? Journal of Family Psychology, 22, 11-20. doi: 10.1037/0893-3200.22.1.11