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Robert E. Emery, Ph.D.

Robert Emery, Ph.D. is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Children, Families, and the Law at the University of Virginia, where he has spent his entire academic career (beginning in 1981). He was Director of Clinical Training at UVA from 1993-2002. He received his B.A. from Brown University in 1974 and his Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1982. 

            Dr. Emery's research focuses on family relationships and children's mental health, including parental conflict, divorce, child custody, family violence, and genetically informed studies of all these issues, as well as associated legal and policy issues.  His 1982 Psychological Bulletin paper, “Interparental Conflict and the Children of Discord and Divorce,” was designated a “Citation Classic” by the Institute for Scientific Information.  His Child Development paper, “Family Members as Third Parties in Dyadic Family Conflict: Strategies, Alliances, and Outcomes” (with Samuel Vuchinich and Jude Cassidy), won the 1989 "Outstanding Research Publication Award" from the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. In December 2000, he presented his research findings to the National Academy of Sciences. The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts gave the “Distinguished Researcher” and “Myer Elkin Address” awards to Dr. Emery in 2002. His book, The Truth about Children and Divorce, was a finalist for the Books for a Better Life Award and Library of Virginia Literary Award in 2005. In 2012, Division 43 of the American Psychological Association honored him with their award for Distinguished Contributions to Family Psychology.

            Dr. Emery has authored over 150 scientific publications and several books. Marriage, Divorce, and Children's Adjustment (1999, 2nd Ed., Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications) won the Outstanding Academic Book award from Choice magazine, and was translated into Chinese. Abnormal Psychology (2014, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson [with Thomas Oltmanns]) is in its eighth edition.  His book, Renegotiating Family Relationships: Divorce, Child Custody, and Mediation (2nd Ed. 2011, New York: Guilford Publications), was translated into Italian (Il Divorzio: Renegoziare le Relazioni Familiari). His 2004 book, The Truth about Children and Divorce: Dealing with the Emotions So You and Your Children Can Thrive (New York: Viking [Plume paperback, 2006]) is written for a broad audience and was featured when Dr. Emery presented on the Today Show, Good Morning America, The Jane Pauley Show, National Public Radio, in Newsweek and Time magazines, and in many other print and electronic media. The book has been translated into Italian and Korean.

Dr. Emery has served on the editorial board of twelve professional journals, and was a member of the Social Sciences and Population study section of the National Institutes of Health. He currently is Associate Editor of Family Court Review. He has lectured extensively across the United States and in many countries throughout the world. In addition to his research, teaching, and administrative responsibilities, Dr. Emery maintains a practice as a clinical psychologist, divorce mediator, and parenting coordinator. He is the father of five children.

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