Professor, Clinical Child
My interests are centered around the study of close relationships in childhood, adolescence and early adulthood. Of particular interest to me are peer relationships, the problems which occur in them, and their consequences for health and adjustment. In the past, I have conducted studies on friendships, sibling relationships, friendships, adolescent groups and cliques, and parent-child relationships. My research on "normal" peer relations has been complemented by research on problems in peer relations and their development. By combining these different facets of my work, I hope to understand both normal development and its associated problems.
My current work focuses on romantic relationships in adolescence and emerging adulthood. We have developed a behavioral systems theory of these relationships that is based on an integration of attachment theory and Sullivanian theory. My lab and I have been conducting a large research project in which we have gathered interview, observational and questionnaire data on relationships with their parents, friends, and romantic partners. We have been following a sample of 200 individuals for over a decade to see how their romantic relationships develop, and how these affect and are affected by their other close relationships and their psychological adjustment (internalizing and externalizing problems, substance abuse, risky sexual behavior). We expect to follow them for another five years as cohabitation and marriage become more common.
Students working with me have the opportunity to participate in a large research project and learn the Adult Attachment Interview, observational methods, and questionnaire techniques. Students are able to take a particular part of the project to do their research projects on and we often collaborate on papers together.
I have taught graduate courses on research methodology, assessment techniques with children, personality, personal relationships of children, and teaching psychology.
Furman, W. & Simon, V. A. (2006). Actor and partner effects of adolescents� working models and styles on interactions with romantic partners. Child Development, 77, 588-604.
Furman, W. & Collins, W. A. (2008). Adolescent romantic relationships and experiences. In K. H. Rubin, W. Bukowski, & B. Laursen (Eds.). Peer interactions, relationships, and groups, pp. 341-360. New York: Guilford Press.
Young, B. J. & Furman, W. (2008). Interpersonal factors in the risk for sexual victimization and its recurrence during adolescence. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 37, 297-309.
Furman, W. & Shomaker, L. (2008). Patterns of interaction in adolescent romantic relationships: Distinct features and associations with other close relationships. Journal of Adolescence, 31, 771-778.
Furman, W., Low, S., & Ho, M. (2009). Romantic experience and psychosocial adjustment in middle adolescence. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 38, 1-16.
Branstetter, S. A., Furman, W. & Cottrell, L. (2009). The influence of representations of attachment, maternal-adolescent relationship quality, and maternal monitoring on adolescent substance use: A two-year longitudinal examination. Child Development, 80, 1448-1462.
Hand, L. S. & Furman, W. (2009). Rewards and costs in adolescent other-sex friendships: Comparisons to same-sex friendships and romantic relationships. Social Development, 18, 270-287.
Shomaker, L. B. & Furman, W. (2009). Parent-adolescent relationship qualities, internal working models, and styles as predictors of adolescents� observed interactions with friends, Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 26, 579-603.
Simon, V. A. & Furman, W. (2010). Interparental conflict and adolescents� romantic relationships. Journal of Research in Adolescence, 20, 188-209.
Furman, W. & Winkles, J. K. (in press). Predicting romantic involvement, relationship cognitions, and relationship qualities from physical appearance, perceived norms, and relational styles regarding friends and parents. Journal of Adolescence.
Jones, M. C. & Furman, W. (in press). Representations of romantic relationships, romantic experience and sexual behavior in adolescence. Personal Relationships.
Vuyeva, H. & Furman, W. (in press). Depressive symptoms and romantic relationship qualities from adolescence through emerging adulthood: A longitudinal examination of influences. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.
University of Minnesota
Professor, Clinical Child
office: Frontier Hall,