Glenn Roisman

Photo of Glenn Roisman
Distinguished McKnight University Professor
Robert Holmes Beck Chair of Ideas in Education
Institute of Child Development

Professor Roisman’s scholarly interests concern the legacy of early relationship experiences as a foundation for psychological, interpersonal, physical, and cognitive health across the lifespan. As such, his program of research focuses on the childhood antecedents of adaptation within the developmentally salient contexts of adolescence and adulthood. This work is multi-informant and multi-method, employing self-report, observational, psychophysiological, and interview-based methods with individuals and couples. In spanning multiple levels of a developmental analysis of individual and dyadic trajectories, his laboratory's goal is to provide insight into the childhood experiences and resources that scaffold adjustment in the years of maturity, with a particular focus on prospective assessment of individuals’ experiences within the normative range (e.g., direct observations of parental sensitive-responsiveness and romantic interactions) as well as atypical early care (e.g., objective reports of abuse and neglect in childhood).

For over two decades, Professor Roisman has been pursuing this research agenda through: (a) longitudinal investigations of the fate of early experience as a Co-PI on both the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development and the Minnesota Longitudinal Study of Risk and Adaptation, (b) a programmatic set of observational laboratory analogue studies involving administering in-depth Adult Attachment Interviews to college students, stranger dyads, siblings, parents, and romantically involved couples (dating, engaged, married, gay male, and lesbian) about their childhood experiences, (c) experiments designed to better understand the ways in which interpersonal experiences are embodied in fMRI, electrophysiological, and autonomic activation, and (d) secondary analyses of large datasets that provide opportunities to demonstrate the utility of genetically informed, taxometric, and meta-analytic approaches for simultaneously resolving questions at the heart of social developmental theory while improving methodology in the study of the legacy of early experience.

In the next several years, Professor Roisman will continue to study to what extent, through what mechanisms, and for whom anthropometric indicators and biomarkers of adult physical health have their roots in childhood and adult interpersonal experiences.