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The Child Development and Family Relationships Laboratory at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, directed by Naama Atzaba-Poria,PhD, explores relationships and child development in families experiencing stressful life conditions (e.g., immigration, raising children with developmental or chronic health problems).

Our research is guided by the ecological and transactional models; we believe that children can affect their environment and study children and their families while taking into account the multiple layers of environmental experience. Furthermore, we are especially interested in the process whereby children and parents develop and thrive, or alternatively, put them at-risk for maladjustment and developmental difficulties. We are particularly interested in the role of the father in facilitating healthy child outcomes. We believe that fathers are not a replica of mothers and merit more investigation. Finally, through working with clinical populations, our research provides theoretical, basic scientific insights as well as practical, clinically-relevant contributions. 

Lab News

"Mahar" Prize for best paper in Humanities and Social Sciences Awarded to Tal Yatziv


Windows into the Future of Infants Born Preterm conference

Dr. Naama Atzaba-Poria have presented her talk : The relationship between maternal mentalization and perspective and preterm feeding disorders

Roth Prize for Excellence in Teaching Awarded to Dr. Naama Atzaba-Poria

June 29, 2015

The Prof. Charles Roth prize is awarded to proffesors who had a decisive influence on students' life in general and academic life in particular, as indicated by their students. The prize is awarded to one proffessor in each academic year.

The BGU Reflective Parenting Program

February 1, 2015

Level 1 training has begun!

April 19, 2015

The English edition of the Israeli newspaper "Haaretz" has recently published an article on our Preterm Study, lead by Dr. Noa Gueron-Sela and Dr. Naama Atzaba-Poria, emphasizing the finding that infants born prematurely are more sensitive to caregiving environments.

The BGU Reflective Parenting Program - Training in Hura

Novermber 16, 2015

Dr. Naama Atzaba-Poria and Shlomit Shneor (from the Preschool Psychiatry Unit in Soroka Medical Center) have completed a 2-days Reflective Parenting Program training (level 1) in the Bedouin town of Hura. For more information, see link "read more".

One-day Seminar: "Mentalization in Therapy: The Therapist, the Parent and the Child"

June 22nd 2016

What are the consequences of the thinking about attachment and mentalization for psychotherapy work with parents and children?


Prof. Mary Target, Psychoanalyst and Clinical Psychologist

Psychoanalysis Unit, Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, University College London 

Anna Freud Centre, London

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