Beatrice Beebe is a Clinical Professor of Psychology (in Psychiatry), College of P&S, Columbia Univ.
Her research program investigates mother-infant face-to-face communication and infant social development: the dyadic mechanisms organizing mother-infant social communication, the role that maternal distress plays in this communication, the effects of early mother-infant communication patterns on emerging infant attachment styles, and the long-term continuity of communication and attachment styles from infancy to young adulthood. Video and audio microanalysis of mother-infant behavior has been her focus for four decades. This precise coding, together with a sophisticated statistical method of multi-level time-series analysis, functions like a social microscope, identifying different patterns of contingent relating. These methods were used in two NIMH RO1 Grants. She was co-investigator on NIMH RO1 41675 (1985-1990), Interpersonal timing and infant social development, which documented that the degree of contingent vocal coordination between mothers and infants, and strangers and infants, at 4 months, predicted infant attachment at one year. She was PI on NIMH RO1 MH 56130 (1999-2004) which also predicted attachment at one year from mother-infant and stranger-infant interaction at 4 months. In addition, this study showed the impact of maternal depression and anxiety on mother-infant interaction. She has been the PI of a longitudinal follow-up study of these two cohorts, from infancy to young adulthood, funded by the American Psychoanalytic Association and the International Psychoanalytic Association. This study has predicted young adult attachment from degrees of mother-infant and stranger-infant vocal coordination in infancy at 4 and 12 months. Since the spring of 2002 she has been directing a clinical/research primary prevention project which follows a cohort of 36 women who were pregnant and widowed on September 11, 2001. Her clinical work focuses on primary prevention in mother-infant dyads at risk for dysregulated social development, a topic on which she has published five articles.
1999: Distinguished Scientific Award, Amer. Psychological Assoc, Division Psychoanalysis, April.
2002: John Bowlby Memorial Lecture, London, March.
2005: Solnit Award, Psychoanal.Study Child, “Mother-infant research informs mother-infant treatment.”
2008: Morton Schillinger Award for Lifetime Contributions to Psychoanalysis, American
Psychological Assoc., Divis Psychoanalysis, Section V. April 12, with Frank Lachmann, PhD.
1. Jaffe, J., Beebe, B., Feldstein, S., Crown, C.L., & Jasnow, M. (2001). Rhythms of Dialogue in Infancy. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, Series 264, Vol 66 (2), 1-132.
2. Beebe, B., & Lachmann, F. (2002). Infant Research and Adult Treatment: Co-Constructing Interactions. Hillsdale, N.J.: Analytic Press.
3. Beebe, B., Knoblauch, S., Rustin, J., & Sorter, D. (2005). Forms of Intersubjectivity in Infant Research and Adult Treatment. New York: Other Press.
4. Beebe, B., Cohen, P., Sossin, M. & Markese, S. (Eds.) (2012). Mothers, infants and young children of September 11, 2001: A primary prevention project. New York: Routledge Press.