Clare Stocker

Clare Stocker

Associate Research Professor

What I do

I am an Associate Research Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Denver.


Family relationships and psychological adjustment, Genetic and environmental interplay in psychological adjustment, Sibling relationships across the lifespan

Professional Biography

Clare Stocker is an Associate Research Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Denver. She received her Ph.D. in Human Development / Developmental psychology from Penn State University. She completed an internship in child clinical psychology at The University of Colorado, School of Medicine, and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute for Behavioral Genetics, University of Colorado.

Dr. Stocker’s research focuses on associations among family relationships, environmental stressors, genetic factors, and psychological adjustment across the lifespan.


Ph.D. Human Development / Developmental Psychology, Penn State University, 1989

M.S. Human Development & Family Studies, Cornell University, 1986

B.A. Developmental Psychology & Cultural Anthropology, Hampshire College, 1982


I am currently working on two specific studies.

The first study explores characteristics of sibling relationships in midlife and older adulthood. I am studying how sibling relationship quality and loneliness interact to predict physical and mental health in older adults. I am also investigating how the quality of relationships between siblings in midlife impacts adult children’s care of their aging parents and aging parents’ physical and mental health.

The second study examines stability and change in sibling relationship quality and parental differential treatment of siblings from early adolescence to young adulthood. This project follows sibling pairs across multiple time points, beginning in adolescence and ending in midlife.

My main research project is The Family Relationships Project (FRS), funded by grants from the National Institute of Health. The FRS is a longitudinal study that examines links among marital relationships, parent-child relationships, sibling relationships, and psychological adjustment. Data were collected from a sample of families in Denver at four time points, starting when pairs of siblings were in middle childhood and ending when they were young adults.

I also work on the Family Transitions Project (FTP) with collaborators from U.C. Davis and Iowa State University. This is a longitudinal study that follows a large group of families across three generations. The project focuses on associations among economic stress, family relationships, behavioral genetics, and physical and mental health outcomes.

Featured Publications

Gilligan, M., Stocker, C.M. & Conger, K.J. (2020). Sibling relationships in adulthood: Research finding and new frontiers. Journal of Family Theory & Review 12, 305-320

Stocker, C.M., Gilligan, M. Klopack, E.T., Conger, K.J., Lanthier, R.P., Neppl, T.K. Walker O’Neal, C. & Wickrama, K.A.S.  (2019). Sibling relationships in older adulthood: links with loneliness and well-being. Journal of Family Psychology.

Stocker, C.M., Masarik, A.S., Widaman, K.F., Reeb, B.T., Boardman, J.D., Smolen, A., Neppl,      T.K. & Conger, K.J. (2017). Parenting and adolescents’ psychological adjustment: Longitudinal moderation by adolescents’ genetic sensitivity. Development and Psychopathology, 29(4), pp. 1289-1304.

Stocker, C.M. & Richmond, M.K. (2007). Longitudinal associations between hostility in        

adolescents’ family relationships and friendships and hostility in their romantic relationships. Journal of Family Psychology, 21(3), pp. 490-497.

Stocker, C., Lanthier, R. & Furman, W. (1997). Sibling relationships in early adulthood. Journal of Family Psychology, 11, 210-221.