Prof. Dr. E. Mark Cummings


Prof. Dr. E. Mark Cummings
University of Carolina, Los Angeles
Notre Dame Chair in Psychology
Family Studies Center


Dr. Cummings’ research interests focus on family factors, especially socioemotional processes, associated with normal development and the development of psychopathology in children. Current directions include (1) longitudinal studies of the influences of marital conflict and family processes on children’s adjustment, (2) the role of community, family and children’s emotional security in relations between political violence and child adjustment, and (3) research-based prevention and parent-educational programs. Another interest is emotional security theory (EST, Davies & Cummings, 1994) as a general theoretical model for children’s development in families and communities.


Cummings, E. M., & Davies, P. T. (2010). Marital conflict and children: An emotional security perspective. New York and London: The Guilford Press.

Cummings, E. M., Merrilees, C.E., Schermerhorn, A.C., Goeke-Morey, M. C., Sirlow, P., & Cairns, E. (in press). Longitudinal Pathways between Political Violence and Child Adjustment: The Role of Emotional Security about the Community in Northern Ireland. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology.

Erath, S., El-Sheikh, M., Hinnant, J., & Cummings, E. M. (in press). Skin Conductance Level Reactivity Moderates the Association Between Harsh Parenting and Growth in Child Externalizing Behavior. Developmental Psychology.

Merrilees, C.E., Cairns, E., Goeke-Morey, M.C., Schermerhorn, A.C., Shirlow,P., & Cummings, E.M. (in press). Associations between mothers’ experience with the Troubles in Northern Ireland and mothers’ and children’s psychological functioning: The moderating role of social identity. Journal of Community Psychology.

Sturge-Apple, M. L., Davies, P. T., & Cummings, E. M. (2010). Typologies of family functioning and children’s adjustment during the early school years. Child Development, 81(4), 1320-1335.

Cummings, E. M., Schermerhorn, A. C., Merrilees, C. M., Goeke-Morey, M. C., & Cairns, E. (2010). Political violence and child adjustment in Northern Ireland: Testing pathways in a social ecological model including single- and two-parent families. Developmental Psychology, 46(4), 827-841.

Schermerhorn, A. C., Chow, S-M., & Cummings, E. M. (2010). Developmental family processes and interparental conflict: Patterns of micro-level influences. Developmental Psychology, 46(4), 869-885.

Kouros, C.D., Cummings, E.M., & Davies, P.T. (2010). Early trajectories of interparental conflict and externalizing problems as predictors of social competence in preadolescence. Development and Psychopathology, 22, 527-538.

Cummings. E. M., Merrilees, C. M., Schermerhorn, A. C., Goeke-Morey, M. C., Shirlow, P., & Cairns, E. (2010). Testing a social ecological model for relations between political violence and child adjustment in Northern Ireland. Development and Psychopathology, 22, 405-418.

Cummings, E. M., El-Sheikh, M., Kouros, C. D., & Buckhalt, J. A. (2009). Children and violence: The role of children’s regulation in the marital aggression-child adjustment link. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 12(1), 3-15.

Cummings, E. M., Goeke-Morey, M. C., Schermerhorn, A. C., Merrilees, C. E., & Cairns, E. (2009). Children and political violence from a social ecological perspective: Implications for research on children and families in Northern Ireland. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 12 (1), 16-38.

Erath, S. A., El-Sheikh, M., & Cummings, E. M. (2009). Harsh parenting and child externalizing behavior: Skin conductance reactivity as a moderator. Child Development, 80(2), 578-592.

Davies, P. T., Sturge-Apple, M. L., Cicchetti, D. & Cummings, E. M. (2008). Adrenocorticol underpinnings of children’s psychological reactivity to interparental conflict. Child Development, 79(6), 1693-1706.

El-Sheikh, M., Cummings, E.M., Kouros, C.D., Elmore-Staton, L., & Buckhalt, J.A. (2008). Marital psychological and physical aggression and children’s mental and physical health: Direct, mediated, and moderated effects. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 78(1), 138-148.

Davies, P. T., Woitach, M. J., Winter, M. A., & Cummings, E. M. (2008). Children’s insecure representations of the interparental relationship and their school adjustment: The mediating role of attention difficulties. Child Development, 79(5), 1570-1582.

Faircloth, B. F., & Cummings, E. M. (2008). Evaluating a parent education program for preventing the negative effects of marital conflict. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 29, 141-156.

Cummings, E. M., Faircloth, B. F., Mitchell, P. M., Cummings, J. S., & Schermerhorn, A. C. (2008). Evaluating a brief prevention program for improving marital conflict in community families. Journal of Family Psychology, 22, 193-202.

Schermerhorn, A. C., Cummings, E. M., & Davies, P. T. (in press). Children’s representations of multiple family relationships: Organizational structure and development in early childhood. Journal of Family Psychology.

Shoppe-Sullivan, S., Schermerhorn, A., & Cummings, E. M. (in press). Marital conflict and children’s adjustment over time: Testing parental behavioral control, psychological autonomy, and warmth as mediators. Journal of Marriage and the Family.

Goeke-Morey, M. C., Cummings, E. M., & Papp, L. M. (in press). Children and marital conflict resolution: Implications for emotional security and adjustment. Journal of Family Psychology.

Keller, P. S., Cummings, E. M., Davies, P. T., & Mitchell, P. M. (in press). Longitudinal relations between parental drinking problems, family functioning, and child adjustment. Development and Psychopathology.

Du Rocher Schudlich, T. & Cummings, E. M. (in press). Parental dysphoria and children’s adjustment: marital conflict styles, children’s emotional security, and parenting as mediators of risk. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology.

Cummings, E. M., Schermerhorn, A. C., Keller, P. S., & Davies, P. T. (in press). Parental depressive symptoms, children’s representations of family relationships, and child adjustment. Social Development.

Davies, P.T., Cicchetti, D., Sturge-Apple, M.L., & Cummings, E.M. (in press). The role of child adrenocortical functioning in pathways between interparental conflict and child maladjustment. Developmental Psychology.

Papp, L. M., Goeke-Morey, M. C., & Cummings, E. M. (in press). Linkages between spouses’ psychological distress and marital conflict in the home. Journal of Family Psychology.

Gomulak-Cavicchio, B. M., Davies, P. T., & Cummings, E. M. (in press). The Role of Maternal Communication Patterns About Interparental Disputes in Associations Between Interparental Conflict and Child Psychological Maladjustment. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology.

Larrosa, S. L., Escudero, V., & Cummings, E. M. (in press). Preschool children and marital conflict: A constructive view. The European Journal of Developmental Psychology.

Schermerhorn, A.C., Cummings, A.C., DeCarlo, C.A., & Davies, P.T. (2007).Children’s influence in the marital relationship. Journal of Family Psychology, 21(2), 259-269.

Cummings, E. M., El-Sheikh, M., Kouros, C. D., & Keller, P. S. (2007). Children’s skin conductance reactivity as a mechanism of risk in the context of parental depressive symptoms. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 48(5), 436-445.

Cummings, E. M., Kouros, C.D., & Papp, L.M. (2007). History of marital aggression, everyday interparental conflict, and children’s responding to everyday conflicts. European Psychologist, 12(1), 17-28.

Cummings, E. M., & Keller, P. S. (2007). How interparental conflict affects children. Directions in Mental Health Counseling, 17(8), 85-96.