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College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Department of Psychology


Clare Stocker

Dr. Stocker is not interested in taking a new graduate student.

Areas of expertise/research interests

  • Sibling relationships across the lifespan
  • Family relationships (parent-child, marital, sibling) and psychological adjustment
  • Genetic and environmental interplay in predicting psychological adjustment

Current Research and Projects

My research focuses on associations among family relationships, environmental stressors, genetic factors, and psychological adjustment in children, adolescents, young adults, and older adults.

My main research project is The Family Relationships Project (FRS), funded by grants from the National Institute of Health. The FRS is a longitudinal study that examines links among marital relationships, parent-child relationships, sibling relationships, and psychological adjustment. Data were collected from a sample of families in Denver at four time points, starting when pairs of siblings were in middle childhood and ending when they were young adults.

I am collaborating with researchers from U.C. Davis and Iowa State University on the Family Transitions Project (FTP). This is a longitudinal study that follows a large group of families across three generations. The project focuses on associations among economic stress, family relationships, behavioral genetics, and physical and mental health outcomes.

I am currently working on three specific projects.

The first project explores characteristics of sibling relationships in midlife and older adulthood. I am studying how sibling relationship quality and loneliness interact to predict physical and mental health in older adults. I am also investigating how the quality of relationships between siblings in midlife impacts adult children's care of their aging parents and aging parents' physical and mental health.

The second project examines stability and change in sibling relationship quality and parental differential treatment of siblings from early adolescence to young adulthood.

The final project focuses on the how adolescents' genetic sensitivity (measured by a composite of variants from four dopaminergic and serotonergic candidate genes) moderates longitudinal associations between parenting and adolescents' mental health.


  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute for Behavioral Genetics, University of Colorado, Boulder, 1990
  • Ph.D. Penn State University, 1989
  • M.S. Cornell University, 1986
  • B.A. Hampshire College, 1982

Selected Publications

  • Stocker, C.M., Gilligan, M.  Klopack, E.T., Conger, K.J., Lanthier, R.P., Neppl, T.K. Walker O'Neal, C. & Wickrama, K.A.S. (2019). Sibling relationships in older adulthood: links with loneliness and well-being. Journal of Family Psychology.
  • Stocker, C.M., Masarik, A.S., Widaman, K.F., Reeb, B.T., Boardman, J.D., Smolen, A., Neppl, T.K. & Conger, K.J. (2017). Parenting and adolescents' psychological adjustment: Longitudinal moderation by adolescents' genetic sensitivity. Development and Psychopathology, 29(4), pp. 1289-1304.
  • Conger, K.J., Stocker, C. & McGuire, S. (2009). Sibling socialization: The effects of stressful life events and experiences. In L. Kramer & K.J. Conger (Eds.), Siblings as agents of socialization. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 126, 45-60. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Richmond, M.K. & Stocker, C.M. (2008). Longitudinal associations between parents' hostility and siblings' externalizing behavior in the context of marital discord. Journal of Family Psychology, 22(2), pp. 231-240.
  • Richmond, M.K. & Stocker, C.M. (2007). Changes in children's appraisals of marital discord from childhood through adolescence. Journal of Family Psychology, 21(3), pp. 416-425.
  • Stocker, C.M. & Richmond, M.K. (2007). Longitudinal associations between hostility in adolescents' family relationships and friendships and hostility in their romantic relationships. Journal of Family Psychology, 21(3), pp. 490-497.
  • Stocker, C.M., Richmond, M.K., Rhoades, G. & Kiang, L. (2007). Family emotional processes and adolescents' adjustment, Social Development. 16(2), pp. 310-325.
  • Richmond, M.K. & Stocker, C.M. (2006). Associations between family cohesion and Adolescent siblings' externalizing behavior. Journal of Family Psychology, 20(4), pp. 663-669.