Dr. Patricia Crittenden
Patricia M. Crittenden studied under Mary. D. Ainsworth from 1978 until 1983, when she received her Ph.D. as a psychologist in the Social Ecology and Development Program at the University of Virginia.
In addition to Mary Ainsworth's guidance and support, her psychology master's thesis, on the CARE-Index, was developed in consultation with John Bowlby and her family systems research, on patterns of family functioning in maltreating families, was accomplished with guidance from E. Mavis Hetherington. She also holds a Master's Degree in Special Education, with specializations in mental retardation and emotional disturbance (University of Virginia, 1969.)
Dr. Patricia Crittenden has served on the Faculties of Psychology at the Universities of Virginia and Miami and held visiting professorships at the Universities of Helsinki (Finland) and Bologna (Italy) as well as San Diego State University (USA) and Edith Cowan University (Australia).
Mary Ainsworth and Patricia Crittenden in Ainsworth's lab, circa 1980
In 1992 she received a Senior Post-doctoral Fellowship, with a focus on child sexual abuse and the development of individual differences in human sexuality, at the Family Research Laboratory, University of New Hampshire. In 1993-4 she was awarded the Beverley Professorship at the Clark Institute of Psychiatry (Canada).
In the last two decades, Dr. Patricia Crittenden has worked cross-culturally as a developmental psychopathologist developing the Dynamic-Maturational Model (DMM) of attachment and adaptation, along with a developmentally attuned, life-span set of procedures for assessing self-protective strategies. DMM-based theory and empirical research authored by Dr. Patricia Crittenden have been widely published as books, chapters in books, and empirical articles in developmental and clinical journals.
In 2004, Dr. Patricia Crittenden received a career achievement award for "Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Child and Family Development" from the European Family Therapy Association in Berlin.
Currently, Dr. Patricia Crittenden's work is focused on preventive and culture-sensitive applications of the DMM to mental health treatment, child protection, and criminal rehabilitation.