Assistant Professor
Clinical Program
156 Psychology Building
(706) 542-3033


B.A., Williams College, 2006

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

Research Interests

My research focuses on understanding couple and family relationships.  I am particularly interested in how relationship satisfaction changes, the processes underlying these changes, and the individual, couple, and external factors that put relationships at risk for poor outcomes.  I am also interested in family and mental health issues among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) populations, and have examined family functioning among LGBT adolescents and among same-sex parents and their adoptive children.  Across these areas, I am interested in how basic research can inform preventive and therapeutic interventions for couples and families. 


Selected Publications

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., 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.

Lavner, J. A., Lamkin, J., Miller, J. D., Campbell, W. K., & Karney, B. R. (2016). Narcissism and newlywed marriage: Partner characteristics and marital trajectories. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 7, 169–179.

Lavner, J. A., Karney, B. R., & Bradbury, T. N. (2015). New directions for policies aimed at strengthening low-income couples’ relationships. Behavioral Science and Policy, 1, 13-24.

Lavner, J. A., Lamkin, J., & Miller, J. D. (2015). Borderline personality disorder symptoms and newlyweds’ communication, partner characteristics, and longitudinal marital outcomes. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 124, 975-981.