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Erika Lunkenheimer

Erika Lunkenheimer

Associate Professor of Psychology

Associate Director of Education, Child Maltreatment Solutions Network

448 Moore Building
Office Phone: (814) 863-1991


  1. Ph.D., Developmental Psychology, University of Michigan


Research Interests

Dr. Lunkenheimer’s research program revolves around regulatory processes in the family, with the dual goals of (1) understanding how mother-child and father-child interaction patterns act as risk and protective processes for developmental psychopathology and (2) uncovering malleable relationship processes that could aid in the tailoring and improvement of preventive intervention programs for families at risk.  Grounded in dynamic systems theory and using dynamic time series statistical approaches, Dr. Lunkenheimer studies the moment-to-moment coregulation of emotions, goal-oriented behaviors, and physiology between parents and young children in relation to familial risk factors and child outcomes (e.g., children’s self-regulation).  A primary interest is examining the role that these parent-child coregulation patterns play in the development of child maltreatment, as well as their association with related maltreatment risk factors (e.g., harsh parenting, parental mental health problems and stress, children’s behavior problems).  Ultimately, this work is designed to obtain a better understanding of the etiology of developmental psychopathology and inform the prevention of child maltreatment. 

Erika Lunkenheimer's Vita

Recent Publications

Kemp, C.J., Lunkenheimer, E., Albrecht, E.C., & Chen, D.Y. (2016). Can we fix this? Parent-child repair processes and preschoolers’ regulatory skills. Family Relations. Advance online publication. doi:10.1111/fare.12213

Lunkenheimer, E., Lichtwarck-Aschoff, A., Hollenstein, T., Kemp, C.J., & Granic, I. (2016). Breaking down the coercive cycle: How parent and child risk factors influence real-time variability in parental responses to child misbehavior. Parenting: Science and Practice. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/15295192.2016.1184925

Lucas-Thompson, R.G., Lunkenheimer, E., & Granger, D. (2016). Less negative conflict appraisals weaken the link between marital conflict and adolescent physiological stress reactivity. Journal of Research on Adolescence. Advance online publication. doi:10.1111/jora.12264

Lunkenheimer, E., Kemp, C.J., Lucas-Thompson, R. G., Cole, P.M., & Albrecht, E.C. (2016). Assessing biobehavioral self-regulation and coregulation in early childhood: The Parent-Child Challenge Task. Infant and Child Development. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/icd.1965

Lunkenheimer, E., Tiberio, S.S., Buss, K.A., Lucas-Thompson, R.G., Boker, S.M., & Timpe, Z.C. (2015). Coregulation of respiratory sinus arrhythmia between parents and preschoolers: Differences by children’s externalizing problems. Developmental Psychobiology, 57(8), 994-1003. doi: 10.1002/dev.21323

Timpe, Z.C., & Lunkenheimer, E. (2015). The long-term economic benefits of natural mentoring relationships for youth. American Journal of Community Psychology, 56(1-2), 12-24. doi: 10.1007/s10464-015-9735-x

Lucas-Thompson, R.G., Lunkenheimer, E., & Dumitrache, A. (2015). Associations between marital conflict and adolescent conflict appraisals, stress physiology, and mental health. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. Advance online publication. doi:10.1080/15374416.2015.1046179

Lunkenheimer, E.S., & Leerkes, E.M. (2015). Innovative methods in the science of parent-child relations. Infant and Child Development, 24(3), 215-219. doi: 10.1002/icd.1920

MacPhee, D., Lunkenheimer, E., & Riggs, N. (2015). Resilience as regulation of family and developmental processes. Family Relations, 64, 153-175. doi: 10.1111/fare.12100

Ram, N., Shiyko, M., Lunkenheimer, E.S., Doerksen, S., & Conroy, D. (2014). Families as coordinated symbiotic systems: Making use of nonlinear dynamic models. In S.M. McHale, P. Amato, & A. Booth (Eds.), Emerging methods in family research: National symposium on family issues, Vol 4 (pp. 19-37). New York, NY: Springer.

Research Interests:


Research Interests:

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