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Daniel O' Leary, Ph.D.

University of Illinois (1967)
Distinguished Professor, Clinical Psychology

Dr. O'Leary plans to admit a new graduate student pending approval of funding.



Office: Psychology A-110
Phone: (631) 632-7850

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Research Interests:

Etiology, prevention, and treatment of psychological and physical aggression in intimate relationships; multivariate models (biological, psychological, and social) of intimate partner aggression; the bidirectional role of marital problems and depression; marital and dyad based treatments for clinical depression; prevalence and correlates of intense love.

Current Research:

My research has long focused on the etiology, treatment, and prevention of intimate partner violence (IPV; physical and psychological aggression in intimate relations). I am pleased that this work has been expanded through partnerships with faculty in psychology, emergency medicine, and neurology at Stony Brook University, as well as the Suffolk County Department of Probation. Through the work of my team of graduate students, we are currently investigating IPV in a number of on-going and new research projects which include biological factors (e.g., head injury, diurnal cortisol, and testosterone), psychological factors (e.g., emotional dysregulation and various forms of marital discord), and behavioral factors (e.g., communication and the consumption of pornography) that affect individuals, relationships, and family functioning. In addition to our work on IPV, there are diverse issues being examined by our research team in the areas of the consequences of divorce on college students, the treatment of sexual trauma in college students, and the effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI) on individual and relationship functioning. And we are collaborating on a multisite study headed by Ernest Jouriles at Southern Methodist University to reduce sexual harassment and assault of college students through a video based program, TakeCAre.

Etiology: Katie Lee Salis, a former graduate student, faculty member, Kristin Bernard, and I are evaluating the role of cortisol and testosterone on general aggression and IPV in both undergraduates and in perpetrators of domestic assault. I have also spent a number of years studying the association between alcohol use and partner aggression. In particular, I have worked to address the fact that the overall association of alcohol use and engaging in physical aggression against a partner is significant but quite small. However, problematic alcohol use is significantly related to partner aggression in our research as well as in the research of others. With a faculty colleague, Nicholas Eaton, and a graduate student from his lab (Craig Rodriguez-Seijas) and mine (Ingrid Solano), we have recently found that personality factors like trait aggression or impulsivity and impulse control problems account for the bulk of the variance in the intersect between problematic alcohol use and IPV in a national sample.  We are currently preparing these findings for publication.

Treatment/Intervention: Our team is consulting with our Suffolk County program for batterers to develop an intervention that uses Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) as a broad foundation (Sarah Bannon).  Currently, we are working with the same individuals in the Suffolk County probation department to evaluate whether having perpetrators arrested for partner violence wear a GPS tracking bracelet leads to fewer violations of orders of protection and ultimately reduces fear in victims (Caitlin Kehoe, Sarah Bannon, and myself). 

Stemming from our team’s work with forensic evaluations through the family court system, Sarah Bannon, Nicole Barlé, Michael Menella and I recently studied college students and found that having been “caught in the middle” between divorcing parents operates over and above direct exposure to marital conflict and aggression between the parents.  This research is now being extended to a more diverse college student sample with a focus on junior college students and the development of measures to examine the varied ways in which divorcing or just conflictual parents place their children in the middle of their conflict.

In addition to projects that closely align with my own research interests, our research team has a number of projects that have stemmed from the unique research interests of my graduate students. For example, following one graduate student’s interest in psychotherapy research for trauma-exposed individuals (Nicole Barlé), we are evaluating a group treatment protocol for female college students who have been sexually assaulted while in college. Following another graduate student’s interest in understanding the connection between head injury and aggression (Sarah Bannon), we are collaborating with colleagues in the departments of emergency medicine and neurology both at Stony Brook University and at Mount Sinai Medical Center to assess the impact of TBI on individual psychological functioning and intimate relationship variables. Additionally, with my graduate student Ingrid Solano and faculty colleague, Nicholas Eaton, we are examining the prevalence of pornography consumption in a large online sample.  Our interest in pornography stems from the frequent mention of pornography consumption in custody cases. We are evaluating how such use varies with age, gender, and relationship status. Ingrid Solano has helped move pornography research forward in that she has examined pornography consumption differences among three different media modalities: prose, pictures, and videos, and has shown that women are much more likely to use pornography in the form of prose than men. Further, she has shown that the self-reported function of pornography use is almost identical for men and women, namely sexual excitement and masturbation. Currently we are exploring the impact of the negotiation of pornography consumption in relationships as well as outcome correlates (e.g., IPV) and personality factors correlated with use and type of pornography used. Finally, Sarah Bannon and I have been validating the utility of a communication assessment protocol (referential communication task) for intimate partners that she


O'Leary, K. D., Heyman, R. E., & Jongsma Jr, A. E. (2015).  The Couples Psychotherapy Treatment Planner, with DSM-5 Updates, 2 nd Ed., John Wiley & Sons.

Publications in Edited Journals:

Solano, I., Eaton, N. R. & O’Leary, K. D. (Under revision for Journal of Sex Research, September 2017). Pornography consumption, modality, and function in a large internet sample.

Bannon, S., & O’Leary, K. D. (September, 2017). Conversational efficiency predicts relationship satisfaction in couples.  Manuscript submitted for publication.

Cucci, G., O’Leary, K. D., Olivari, M. G., & Confaloneri, E.  (Under revision for Journal of Interpersonal Violence).  Gender and age differences of dating aggression among Northern Italians. 

Bannon, S., Barlé, N., Menella, M., & O’Leary, K. D. (Accepted pending revisions). Parental conflict, and college student functioning: Impact of child involvement in conflict. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage.

O’Leary, K. D. & Solano, I. (2018).  Relationship discord, intimate partner physical aggression, and externalizing problems of children (pp 291-306).   In Lochman, J. E. & Matthys, W. (Eds.), The Wiley Handbook of Disruptive & Impulse Disorders.  New York: Wiley. 

O’Leary, K. D. & Salis, K. D. (2018). Violence in couples and families. In Lebow, J., Chambers, A., & Breunlin, D. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy. Springer: New York.

Jouriles, E. N., Sargent, K. S., Salis, K. L., Caiozzo, C., Rosenfeld, D., Cascardi, M., Grych, J. H., O’Leary, K. D. & McDonald, R. (August, 2017). TakeCARE, a video to promote bystander behavior on college campuses: Replication and extension. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 1-14.

Graña, J. L., Montesino, M. L. C., Redondo, N., & O’Leary, K. D. (2016). Can you be hit by your partner and be intensely in love? Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 31 (12), 2156-2174.

Salis, K. L. & O’Leary, K. D., (2016). Treatment of partner aggression in intimate relationships (pp. 96-112). In Sullivan, K. T. & Lawrence, E. (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Relationship Science and Couple Interventions. New York:Oxford. 

Salwen, J. K., Daniel O'Leary, K., & Hymowitz, G. F. (2016). The roles of body mass index and jealousy in women's perpetration of sexual coercion. Partner Abuse7(2), 111-124.

Llorens, N. G., Salis, K. L., O’Leary, D. K., & Hayward, J. (2016). A focus on the positive: Reasons for not engaging in physical aggression against a dating partner.  Journal of Family Violence31(1), 75-83.

Babcock, J., Armenti, N., Cannon, C., Lauve-Moon, K., Buttell, F., Ferreira, R., Cantos, A., Hamel, J., Kelly, D., Jordan, C., Lehman, P., Leisring, P., Murphy, C., O’Leary, K. D., Bannon, S., Salis, K. L.., & Solano, I. Domestic violence perpetrator programs: A proposal for evidence based standards in the United States. (2016). Partner Abuse, 7, #4, 355-460.

Bannon, S. M., Salis, K. L., & O'Leary, K. D. (2015). Structural brain abnormalities in aggression and violent behavior.  Aggression and Violent Behavior25, 323-331.

Cantos, A. L., Goldstein, D. A., Brenner, L., O'Leary, K. D., & Verborg, R. (2015). Correlates and program completion of family only and generally violent perpetrators of intimate partner violence.  Psicología Conductual23(3), 549.

Salwen, J. K., Solano, I. A., & O'Leary, K. D. (2015). Sexual coercion and psychological aggression victimization: Unique constructs and predictors of depression.  Partner Abuse6(4), 367-382.

Salwen, J. K., Hymowitz, G. F., Bannon, S. M., & O’Leary, K. D. (2015). Corrigendum to “Weight-related abuse: Perceived emotional impact and the effect on disordered eating.” Child Abuse Neglect, 45, 163–171.

Lorber, M. F., Erlanger, A. C. E., Heyman, R. E., & O’Leary, K. D. (2015). The honeymoon effect: does it exist and can it be predicted?  Prevention Science16(4), 550-559.

O’Leary, K. D. (2015). Time for dyadic treatments for low-level partner aggression.  The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry76(6), 824-825. .

Montesino, M. L. C., Gómez, J. L. G., & O'Leary, K. D. (2015). Intensity of love in a community sample of Spanish couples in the region of Madrid. The Spanish Journal of Psychology, (18), 1-9.


Take CARE: A Video Bystander Program to Prevent Sexual Violence on College Campuses, NIMH, April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2018 (Co-Investigator: PI E Jouriles).

Biomarkers of Batterers, Carlos Albizu University, San Juan Puerto Rio, September 1, 2016 to August 31, 2017, Co-Investigator with K. L Salis & S Bannon ; PI A. Cantos  


Fellow, American Association for Advancement of Science, Receiving Medal February 2019, Wash, DC

Board of Directors, NY Chapter of Association of Family and Conciliation Courts 2018 & 2019

President, NY Chapter of Association of Family and Conciliation Courts 2016-2017; Vice Pres. (2014/2015) of AFCC, an organization composed of judges, attorneys, psychologists, and divorce mediators.

Family Psychologist of the Year Award, August 2105, American Psychological Association

Elizabeth Beckman Trust Award for Mentoring graduate students that included a $25,000 cash prize, Nov 2015

Psychologist of the Year, Suffolk County Psychological Association, June 17, 2011.

Lifetime Achievement Award by National Family Violence Legislative Resource Center, June 27, 2009.

Distinguished Professor of Psychology, State University of New York, 1988.

Installed into the National Academies of Practice in Psychology, August 21, 1986.

Distinguished Scientist Award from the clinical division (12, Section III) of the American Psychological Association in August, 1985.

President of the Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy, 1982-1983.

Among the top 100 cited psychologists in the English-speaking world (American Psychologist, December, 1978). 

Elected Office:  

President, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, NY Chapter, Two Year Term: Jan 1, 2016- Dec 31, 2017.

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