CONTACT INFORMATION:

Department of Education and Educational Counseling

The Max Stern Yezreel Valley College, Israel

Room 5118

Phone number (office): 972-4-6423880

Emails:

Ohads@yvc.ac.il

Ohad.sheps@gmail.com

ABOUT ME:

I study the effects of childhood and current environments on parental investment, interpersonal relationships, and self-regulation. My main emphasis is on the psychological and behavioral consequences of exposure to unpredictability or morbidity and mortality in one's close environment. My research is interdisciplinary in nature. As such, it combines theories and methods from various fields, including social psychology, developmental psychology, evolutionary psychology, family studies, and relationship science. In my work I employ a variety of research designs, including lab experiments, longitudinal, and dyadic designs.


WEB PRESENCE:


RESEARCH INTERESTS:

  • Early-life and proximate predictors of marital and parental functioning.

  • Early-life predictors of emotion regulation and stress reactivity.

  • Romantic relationships: initiation, functioning, and maintenance.


ACADEMIC POSITIONS:

  • 2006 – 2007: Statistics and methodology advisor, School of Education, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel.

  • 2007 – 2010: External faculty member, Department of Psychology, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel.

  • 2008 – 2013: External faculty member, School of Psychology, Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya, Israel.

  • 2011 – 2013: Research director - Humanization Project (US-Israel Binational Science Foundation, PIs: Doron, G., Saguy, T., & ‎Dovidio, J)

  • 2013 – 2014: Project coordinator – Relationship Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (ROCD) (Israel Science Foundation Grant, PI: Doron, G.)

  • 2013 – 2016: Post-doctoral researcher, Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota, MN.

  • 2014 – 2016: Lecturer, Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota, MN.

  • 2016 – 2017: Post-doctoral fellow, School of Social Work and Social Welfare, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

  • 2016 – 2018: Lecturer, School of Psychology, Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya, Israel.

  • 2017 – 2018: Teaching associate, School of Social Work and Social Welfare, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

  • 2018 – 2020: Senior lecturer: The Max Stern Yezreel Valley College, Israel

  • 2020 – present: Associate professor: The Max Stern Yezreel Valley College, Israel


QUALIFICATIONS:

  • 2005: Bachelors degree in Psychology from Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel.

  • 2011: Ph.D. in Psychology from Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel (Direct route to Ph.D. as part of the Bar-Ilan doctoral fellowships of excellence program).


AWARDS AND SCHOLARSHIPS:

  • 2005 – 2009: Recipient of the Bar-Ilan doctoral fellowships of excellence (160000 ILS).

  • 2017 – Teaching excellence award, School of Social Work & Social Welfare, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel


EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBER (JOURNALS):

  • Journal of Counseling Psychology (2020-2022)


AD HOC REVIEWER (JOURNALS):

  • Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin

  • Journal of Social and Personal Relationships

  • Personal Relationships

  • Personality and Individual Differences

  • Self and Identity

  • Basic and Applied Social Psychology

  • Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders

  • International Journal of Psychology

  • European Journal of Social Psychology

  • Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences

  • Clinical Psychological Science

  • Journal of Counseling Psychology

  • Plos One

  • Journal of Affective Disorders

  • Child Development

  • Development and Psychopathology


PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS:

  • Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP)

  • International Association for Relationship Research (IARR)


PHD DISSERTATION:

  • Szepsenwol, O. (2011). The role of the sexual behavioral system in regulating the use of evolutionary strategies for mate selection (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel.


PUBLICATIONS:

  1. Shamay-Tsoory, S., Harari, H., Szepsenwol, O., & Levkovitz, Y. (2009). Neuropsychological evidence of impaired cognitive empathy in euthymic bipolar disorder. The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 21(1), 59-67. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.neuropsych.21.1.59

  2. Shahar, B., Carlin, E. R., Engle, D., Hegde, J., Szepsenwol, O., & Arkowitz, H. (2012). A pilot investigation of emotion-focused two-chair dialogue intervention for self-criticism. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 19(6), 496-507. https://doi.org/10.1002/cpp.762

  3. Britton, W. B., Shahar, B., Szepsenwol, O., & Jacobs, J. W. (2012). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy improves emotion reactivity to social stress: Results from a randomized controlled trial. Behavior Therapy, 43(2), 365-380. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beth.2011.08.006

  4. Doron, G., Derby, D., Szepsenwol, O., & Talmor, D. (2012). Tainted Love: Exploring relationship-centered obsessive compulsive symptoms in two non-clinical cohorts. Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders, 1(1), 16-24. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jocrd.2011.11.002

  5. Doron, G., Derby, D., Szepsenwol, O., & Talmor, D. (2012). Flaws and all: Exploring partner-focused obsessive-compulsive symptoms. Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders, 1(4), 234-243. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jocrd.2012.05.004

  6. Doron, G. Talmor, D., Szepsenwol, O., Derby, D. (2012). Relationship-centered obsessive-compulsive phenomena. Psicoterapia Cognitiva e Comportamentale, 18, 79-90.

  7. Szepsenwol, O., Mikulincer, M., & Birnbaum, G. E. (2013). Misguided attraction: The contribution of normative and individual-differences components of the sexual system to mating preferences. Journal of Research in Personality, 47(3), 196-200. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrp.2013.01.002

  8. Doron, G., Szepsenwol, O., Elad-Strenger, J., Hargil, E., & Bogoslavsky, B. (2013). Entity perceptions of morality and character are associated with obsessive compulsive phenomena. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 32(7), 733-752. https://doi.org/10.1521/jscp.2013.32.7.733

  9. Doron, G., Szepsenwol, O., Karp, E., & Gal, N. (2013). Obsessing about intimate-relationships: Testing the double relationship-vulnerability hypothesis. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 44(4), 433-440. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbtep.2013.05.003

  10. Doron, G., Derby, D., Szepsenwol, O. (2014). Relationship Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (ROCD): A conceptual framework. Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders, 3(2), 169-180. doi: 10.1016/j.jocrd.2013.12.005

  11. Levit-Binnun, N., Szepsenwol, O., Stern-Ellran, K., & Engel-Yeger, B. (2014). The relationship between sensory responsiveness profiles, attachment orientations, and anxiety symptoms. Australian Journal of Psychology, 66(4), 233-240. https://doi.org/10.1111/ajpy.12064

  12. Doron, G., Mizrahi, M., Szepsenwol, O. & Derby, D. (2014). Right or Flawed: Relationships obsessions and sexual satisfaction. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 11(9), 2218-2222. https://doi.org/10.1111/jsm.12616

  13. Birnbaum, G. E., Mikulincer, M., Szepsenwol, O., Shaver, P. R., & Mizrahi, M. (2014). When sex goes wrong: A behavioral systems perspective on individual differences in sexual attitudes, motives, feelings, and behaviors. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 106(5), 822-842. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0036021

  14. Shahar, B., Szepsenwol, O., Zilcha-Mano, S., Haim, N., Zamir, O., Levi-Yeshuvi, S., & Levit-Binnun, N. (2015). A wait-list randomized controlled trial of loving-kindness meditation program for self-criticism. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 22(4), 346-356. https://doi.org/10.1002/cpp. 1893

  15. Shahar, B., Doron, G., & Szepsenwol, O. (2015). Childhood maltreatment, shame-proneness, and self-criticism in social anxiety disorder: A sequential mediational model. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 22(6), 570-579. https://doi.org/10.1002/cpp.1918

  16. Szepsenwol, O., Mizrahi, M., & Birnbaum, G. E. (2015). Fatal suppression: The detrimental effects of sexual and attachment deactivation within emerging romantic relationships. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 6(5), 504-512. https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550615572636

  17. Doron, G., & Szepsenwol, O. (2015). Partner-focused obsessions and self-esteem: An experimental investigation. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 47, 173-179. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbtep.2015.05.007

  18. Szepsenwol, O., Simpson, J. A., Griskevicius, V., & Raby, K. L. (2015). The effect of unpredictable early childhood environments on parenting in adulthood. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 109(6), 1045-1067. https://doi.org/10.1037/pspi0000032

  19. Mizrahi, M., Hirschberger, G., Mikulincer, M., Szepsenwol, O., & Birnbaum, G. E. (2016). Reassuring sex: Can sexual desire and intimacy reduce relationship-specific attachment insecurities? European Journal of Social Psychology, 46(4), 467-480. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.2184

  20. Doron, G., Derby, D., Szepsenwol, O., Nahaloni, E., & Moulding, R. (2016). Relationship obsessive compulsive disorder (ROCD): Interference, symptoms and maladaptive beliefs. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 7, 58. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2016.00058

  21. Szepsenwol, O., Shahar, B., & Doron, G. (2016). Letting it linger: Exploring the longitudinal effects of relationship-related obsessive-compulsive phenomena. Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders, 11, 101-104. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jocrd.2016.10.001

  22. Szepsenwol, O., Griskevicius, V., Simpson, J. A., Young, E. S, Fleck, C., & Jones, R. E. (2017). The effect of predictable early childhood environments on sociosexuality in early adulthood. Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, 11(2), 131-145. https://doi.org/10.1037/ebs0000082

  23. Marshall, E. M., Kuijer, R. G., Simpson, J. A., & Szepsenwol, O. (2017). Standing on shaky ground? Dyadic and longitudinal posttraumatic stress effects on relationship quality post-earthquake. Journal of Family Psychology, 31(6), 721-733. https://doi.org/10.1037/fam0000305

  24. Doron, G., Derby, D, & Szepsenwol, O. (2017). “I can’t stop thinking about my child’s flaws”: An investigation of parental preoccupation with their children’s perceived flaws. Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders, 14, 106-111. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jocrd.2017.06.007

  25. Shai, D., Dollberg, D., Szepsenwol, O. (2017). The importance of parental verbal and embodied mentalizing in shaping parental experiences of stress and coparenting. Infant Behavior and Development, 49, 87-96. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.infbeh.2017.08.003

  26. Zamir, O., Szepsenwol, O., Englund, M., Simpson, J. A. (2018). The role of dissociation in revictimization across the lifespan: A 32-year prospective study. Child Abuse and Neglect, 79, 144-153. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2018.02.001

  27. Huelsnitz, C. O., Farrell, A. K., Simpson, J. A., Griskevicius, V., & Szepsenwol, O. (2018). Attachment and Jealousy: Understanding the dynamic experience of jealousy using the response escalation paradigm. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 44(12), 1664-1680. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167218772530

  28. Szepsenwol, O., & Simpson, J. A. (2019). Attachment within life history theory: An evolutionary perspective on individual differences in attachment. Current Opinion in Psychology, 25, 65-70. https://doi.org/ 10.1016/j.copsyc.2018.03.005

  29. Szepsenwol, O., Zamir, O., & Simpson, J. A. (2019). The effect of early-life harshness and unpredictability on intimate partner violence in adulthood: A life history perspective. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 36(5), 1542-1556. https://doi.org/10.1177/0265407518806680

  30. Witte, A. M., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J., van Ijzendoorn, M. H., Szepsenwol, O., & Shai, D. (2020). Predicting infant-father attachment: the role of pre- and postnatal triadic family alliance and paternal testosterone levels. Attachment and Human Development, 22(6), 653-667. https://doi.org/10.1080/14616734.2019.1680713

  31. Levy, A., Tibi, L., Szepsenwol, O., Doron, G. (2020). Why do I obsess about my child’s flaws?”: Assessing the role of parental self-vulnerabilities in parent-child ROCD symptoms. Clinical Psychologist, 24(3), 285-293. https://doi.org/10.1111/cp.12217

  32. Szepsenwol, O. (2020). The effect of childhood unpredictability on co-parenting relationships during the transition to parenthood: A life history approach. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 37(8-9), 2438-2458. https://doi.org/10.1177/0265407520918670

  33. Szepsenwol, O., Shai, D., Zamir, O., Simpson, J. A. (in press). The effects of morbidity-mortality and economic unpredictability on parental distress: A life history approach. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. https://doi.org/10.1177/0265407520959719


BOOK CHAPTERS:

  1. Simpson, J. A., Young, E. S., Szepsenwol, O., & Griskevicius, V. (2017). An evolutionary life history perspective on personality and mating strategies. In A. T. Church (Ed.), The Praeger Handbook of Personality across Cultures (pp. 728-757). New York: Praeger/Greenwood.

  2. Szepsenwol, O., & Simpson, J. A. (in press). Early attachment within a life history theory perspective. In R. A. Thompson, J. A. Simpson, & L. Berlin (Eds.), Attachment: The Fundamental Questions. Guilford Press.


CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS:

  1. Szepsenwol, O., Harari, H., Levkovitz, Y., Shamay-Tsoory, S., Lazovsky, M. (2007). Empathy deficits in bipolar disorder. Paper presented at the 11th conference of the Israel Society for Biological Psychiatry (ISBP), Kfar Giladi, Israel.

  2. Szepsenwol, O., & Mikulincer, M. (2010). Mating preferences: the moderating role of the sexual behavioral system. Paper presented at the International Association for Relationship Research (IARR) Biannual Conference, Herzliya, Israel.

  3. Szepsenwol, O. (2012). The role of the sexual behavioral system in moderating mating preferences. Poster presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) Annual Conference, San Diego, California.

  4. Szepsenwol, O., Mizrahi, M., & Birnbaum, G. E. (2012). Fatal suppression: The detrimental effect of sexual deactivation within romantic relationships. Paper presented at the International Association for Relationship Research (IARR) Biannual Conference, Chicago, Illinois.

  5. Mizrahi, M., Hirschberger, G., Birnbaum, G. E., Mikulincer, M., & Szepsenwol, O. (2012). Sexual Healing: Can Sex Repair Attachment Insecurities? Paper presented at the International Association for Relationship Research (IARR) Biannual Conference, Chicago, Illinois.

  6. Doron, G., Szepsenwol, O. Derby, S. D., & Talmor, D. (2012). Relationship-related obsessive compulsive phenomena: Is it worth a systematic investigation? Paper presented at the European Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies (EACBT), 2nd SIG meeting on OCD, Assisi, Italy.

  7. Doron, G., Szepsenwol, O. Derby, S. D., & Talmor, D. (2012). Relationship-related obsessive compulsive phenomena: What we know and what we don’t know. Paper presented at the Research Consortium on Intrusive Fear (RCIF), Montreal, Canada.

  8. Doron, G., Derby, D., Szepsenwol. O., & Talmor. D. (2012). Relationship-related obsessive compulsive (OC) symptoms: the case of partner focused OC phenomena. Paper presented at the 42nd Annual European Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies (EACBT) Congress, Geneva, Switzerland.

  9. Szepsenwol, O., Mizrahi, M., & Birnbaum, G. E. (2013). Fatal suppression: The detrimental effect of sexual deactivation within romantic relationships. Poster presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) Annual Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana.

  10. Mizrahi, M., Birnbaum, G. E., Hirschberger, G., Mikulincer, M., & Szepsenwol, O. (2013). Sexual healing: Can sex repair attachment insecurities? Paper presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) Annual Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana.

  11. Doron, G., & Szepsenwol, O. (2013). Relationship-related obsessive compulsive phenomena: A one-year follow-up study. Paper presented at the European Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies (EACBT), 3rd SIG meeting on OCD, Assisi, Italy.

  12. Doron, G., Derby. D., Szepsenwol., O., & Nahaloni. E. (2013). Dysfunctional beliefs and relationship-centered obsessive-compulsive symptoms in non-clinical and clinical samples. Paper presented at the 7th World Congress of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Lima, Peru.

  13. Doron, G., Efrati. Y., & Szepsenwol. O. (2013). Scrupulosity in religious Jews is linked with attachment anxiety and over-reliance on the morality self-domain for self-worth. Paper presented at the 7th World Congress of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Lima, Peru.

  14. Doron, G., Szepsenwol. O., Karp. E., & Gal. N. (2013). Relationship-centered obsessive compulsive symptoms: Evidence for the double-vulnerability hypothesis. Paper presented at the 7th World Congress of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Lima, Peru.

  15. Szepsenwol, O., Doron, G., Mizrahi, M. (2014). Attachment anxiety as a vulnerability factor for relationship-related obsessive-compulsive phenomena in emerging relationships: a longitudinal dyadic investigation. Paper presented in the International Association for Relationship Research (IARR) Biannual Conference, Melbourne, Australia.

  16. Szepsenwol, O., Simpson, J. A., & Griskevicius, V. (2015). Early stress and parenting: The effect of unpredictability experienced in early childhood on parenting orientations in adulthood. Paper to be presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) Annual Conference, Long Beach, California.

  17. Simpson, J. A., Szepsenwol, O., Griskevicius, V., & Raby, K. L. (2015). The effect of unpredictable early childhood environments on parenting orientation in adulthood. Address presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, New York, NY.

  18. Simpson, J. A., Szepsenwol, O., Overall, N. C., Young, E. S., & Johnson, W. (2015). The social and developmental origins of impulse control. Paper presented at the International Association for Relationship Research (IARR) Conference on Self-regulation and Close Relationships, Amsterdam, Netherlands

  19. Simpson, J. A., Szepsenwol, O., & Griskevicius, V. (2015). The effect of unpredictable early childhood environments on parenting in adulthood. Address presented at the SESP Relationships Pre-Conference, Denver, CO.

  20. Doron. G., Szepsenwol. O., & Derby, D., (2015). I Obsess about My Child's Flaws: Impact and Correlates of Parent-Child Obsessive-Compulsive Symptoms. Paper presented at the 45th Annual Congress of the European Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies (EACBT), Jerusalem, Israel

  21. Szepsenwol, O., Simpson, J. A., & Griskevicius, V. (2016). The effect of unpredictable early childhood environments on parenting in adulthood. Paper presented at the International Association for Relationship Research (IARR) Biannual Conference, Toronto, Canada.

  22. Szepsenwol, O., Griskevicius, V., Simpson, J. A., Young, E. S., Fleck, C., & Jones, R. E. (2017). The effect of predictable early childhood environments on sociosexuality in early adulthood. Paper presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) Annual Conference, San Antonio, TX.

  23. Szepsenwol, O., Simpson, J. A., & Griskevicius, V. (2018). The effect of childhood unpredictability on emotional control and relationship quality: A life history perspective. Poster presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) Annual Conference, Atlanta, GA.

  24. Szepsenwol, O., Simpson, J. A., & Griskevicius, V. (2018). The effect of childhood unpredictability on emotional control and relationship quality: A life history perspective. Paper presented at the International Association for Relationship Research (IARR) Biannual Conference, Fort Collins, CO.

  25. Szepsenwol, O., Shai, D., Zamir, O., & Simpson, J. A. (2019). The effects of morbidity-mortality and economic unpredictability on parental distress. Poster presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) Annual Conference, Portland, OR.

  26. Szepsenwol, O., & Zamir, O. (2020) The Effect of Childhood Unpredictability on Co-parenting Relationships: A Life History Approach. Poster presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA.