I am the Alfred J. and Monette C. Marrow Professor of Psychology at The New School for Social Research, and Co-Director of the Center For Attachment Research. My work aims to bridge the world of psychoanalytic thinking and clinical practice with contemporary research in child development. My research began with the study “Intergenerational Patterns of Attachment,” which embodied one of the first prospective longitudinal studies incorporating the Adult Attachment Interviews and Strange Situation protocols. This work was important in initiating the concept of “reflective functioning” and providing empirical data to demonstrate the importance of parental states of mind in the social and emotional development of their children. I am also interested in the field of adoption and foster care with a view to understanding the impact of attachment representations from both the adopters and the children's point of view. This work was important in initiating the concept of reflective functioning and provided empirical data to demonstrate the importance of parental states of mind in the social and emotional development of their children with a longitudinal focus on their development into adulthood. I have been involved in an NIH funded study on the efficacy of an innovative attachment-based intervention with high-risk families, a collaborative venture with colleagues at the Rose Kennedy Center, Albert Einstein School of Medicine. My current projects include studies exploring attachment and body representations across a range of individuals including the transmission of body representations from mothers to their daughters and studies of body representations in individuals with physical disabilities. I am interested in conducting research with children in foster care and adoption contexts and the field of child and adolescent global mental health.
PhD 1990, University College, London
Steele, H., Murphy, A., Bonuck, A, Meissner, P., & Steele, M. (2019).
Randomly control trial report on the effectiveness of Group Attachment-
Based Intervention (GABI©): Improvements in the parent-child
relationship not seen in the control group. Developmental
Psychopathology, 31(1), 203-217.
Beebe, B., Hoven, C., Kaitz, M., Steele, M., Musa, G., Margolis, A.,
Ewing, J., Sossin, M., & Lee, S. (2020). Urgent engagement in 9/11
pregnant widows and their infants: Transmission of Trauma. Infancy,
25, 165-189. https://doi.org/10.1111/infa.12323
Hillman S, Hodges J, Steele M, Cirasola A, Asquith K, Kaniuk J. (2020)
Assessing changes in the internal worlds of early- and late-adopted
children using the Story Stem Assessment Profile (SSAP). Adoption &
Fostering. 44, 4, 377-396. doi:10.1177/0308575920971132
Forslund, T., Granqvist, P., van IJzendoorn, M., Sagi-Schwartz, A.,
Glaser, D., Steele, M., et al (2021) Attachment goes to court: child
protection and custody issues, Attachment & Human
Development, DOI: 10.1080/14616734.2020.1840762
Steele, M., Steele, H. & Murphy, A. (in press) Bringing Reflective
Functioning to the Community: Aspects of psychotherapy process in the
Group Attachment Based Intervention. Psychoanalytic Study of the
Bekar, O., Steele, M., Shahmoon-Shanok, R., & Steele, H. (2018) Mothers’ Mental State Talk and Preschool Children’s Social-Behavioral Functioning: A Multidimensional Account. Journal of Infant, Child, and Adolescent Psychotherapy, 17:2, 119-133.
Archer, M., Steele, M., Lan, J., Jin, X., Herreros, F., & Steele, H. (2015). Attachment between infants and mothers in China. International Journal Of Behavioral Development, 39(6), 485-491.
Steele, M., Steele, H., Bate, J., Knafo, H., Kinsey, M. Bonuck, K., Meisner, P. & Murphy, A. (2014) Looking From the Outside In: The Use of Video in Attachment-Based Interventions. (.pdf) Attachment & Human Development, 16, 402–415.
Murphy, A., Steele, M., Dube, S.R., Bonuck, K., Meissner, P., Bate, J., Goldman, H., Steele, H. (2013) Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Questionnaire and Adult Attachment Interview (AAI): Implications for Parent Child Relationships. (.pdf) Child Abuse and Neglect, 38, 224-233.
Beebe, B. & Steele, M. (2013) How does microanalysis of mother-infant communication inform maternal sensitivity and infant attachment? (.pdf) Attachment & Human Development, 15, 583-602.
Intergenerational Patterns of Attachment
Attachment based Interventions
Prevention of Maltreatment
Adoption and Foster Care
Intergenerational Transmission of Body Representations
Child and Adolescent Global Mental Health
Body Representations and Physical Disabilities
Awards And Honors
$15,000 Co-Investigator with Sabine Seymour: “The Body as Metaphor” New School Research Cluster Award
$900,000 Co-Investigator: "Birth to Three: A Pragmatic Clinical Trial for Child Maltreatment Prevention Extramural MCH Research" (MCHR) Program Award R40MC23629-01-01
Center for Attachment Research website