The University of Texas at Dallas School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Karen J. Prager

Psychology Faculty Affiliate

Research Interests

Intimacy development, marital relations, and depression

Curriculum Vitae


Email: [email protected]
Phone: 972-883-2353
Office: GR_2.600
Campus Mail Code: GR41
Website: The Couples Daily Lives Project and Gender Studies


Dr. Karen Prager is a leading researcher in intimacy as an indicator of partner mental health and couple relationship functioning. Most recently, her research has addressed restored intimacy as an indicator of the partners’ ability to recover after their conflicts. Dr. Prager has published two books: in 2013, 1) for therapists on treating intimacy problems with lonely individuals and/or with couples, and 2) in 1995, a book for academics and researchers, The Psychology of Intimacy . Her current research explores couple strategies for recovering and reconciling after conflict as these strategies relate to partners’ attachment security and intimacy. Dr. Prager earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from The University of Texas at Austin.

Recent and Selected Representative Publications

Books and Book Chapters

Prager, K.J., (2013). The Dilemmas of Intimacy: Conceptualization, Assessment, and Treatment. Routledge.

Prager, K.J. and Roberts, L. (2004). Deep Intimate Connection: Self and Intimacy in Couple Relationships. In Mashek, D. and Aron, A. (Eds.) The Handbook on Closeness and Intimacy. Lawrence-Ehrlbaum.

Prager, K.J. (2002). Intimacy. Encyclopedia of Marriage and the Family. New York, Macmillion.

Prager, K. J. (1995). The Psychology of Intimacy. New York: Guilford.

Recent Articles in Peer-Refereed Journals

Prager, K.J., Shirvani, F.K., Poucher, J., Cavallin, G., Truong, M., & Garcia, J.J. (2015). Recovery from conflict and revival of intimacy in cohabiting couples. Personal Relationships, 22, 308-334.

Prager, K.J., Poucher, J., Shirvani, F.K., Parsons, J. A., & Allam, Z. (2019). Withdrawal, attachment security and recovery from conflict in couple relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 36, 573-598.

Parsons, J. A., Prager, K. J., Wu, S., Poucher, J. W., Hansen, M. P., & Shirvani, F. (2020). How to Kiss and Make-Up (or Not!): Post-conflict Behavior and Affective Recovery from Conflict. Journal of Family Psychology. Advance online publication.