Assistant Professor
Clinical Program
156 Psychology Building
(706) 542-3033
Curriculum Vitae: 
Dr. Lavner will be reviewing applications for the admission of a graduate student for Fall 2018.



Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 2014

Research Interests

My research examines couple and family relationships.  Much of my research focuses on understanding couple relationships over time, including (1) how relationship satisfaction changes and how changes in satisfaction occur alongside other changes in couples' lives (e.g., changes in personality, communication, or external stress), and (2) initial vulnerabilities such as maladaptive personality traits that put couples at risk for poor outcomes. I am also interested in understanding the unique challenges facing disadvantaged couples, including financial strain, racial discrimination, and other contextual stressors. Across these areas, I am interested in how basic research can inform preventive and therapeutic interventions for couples and families.

A secondary area of interest is family and mental health issues among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) populations. I have examined family functioning among LGBT adolescents, same-sex couples, and same-sex parents and their adoptive children. 

Recent Publications

Barton, A. W., Beach, S. R. H., Lavner, J. A., Bryant, C. M., Kogan, S. M., & Brody, G. H. (in press). Is communication a mechanism of relationship education effects among rural African Americans? Journal of Marriage and Family. 

Lavner, J. A., Karney, B. R., Williamson, H. C., & Bradbury, T. N. (in press). Bidirectional associations between newlyweds' marital satisfaction and marital problems over time. Family Process. 

Weiss, B., Lavner, J. A., & Miller, J. D. (in press). Self- and partner-reported psychopathic traits' relations with communication, satisfaction, and divorce in a longitudinal sample of newlywed couples. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment. 

Lavner, J. A. (2017). Relationship satisfaction in lesbian couples: Review, methodological critique, and research agenda. Journal of Lesbian Studies, 21, 7-29.

Lavner, J. A., & Bradbury, T. N. (2017). Protecting relationships from stress. Current Opinion in Psychology, 13, 11-14.

Lavner, J. A., & Clark, M. A. (2017). Workload and marital satisfaction over time: Testing lagged spillover and crossover effects during the newlywed years. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 101, 67-76. 

Lavner, J. A., Karney, B. R., & Bradbury, T. N. (2016). Does couples’ communication predict marital satisfaction, or does marital satisfaction predict communication? Journal of Marriage and Family, 78, 680-694.


Courses Taught: