Manuela Veríssimo


Manuela Veríssimo
Manuela Veríssimo

General Information

Academic Category: 
Associate Professor
Scientific-Pedagogical Department : 
Psychological Sciences
Research<br />Unit: 
Research Unit on Cognitive, Developmental and Educational Psychology I & D Unit (UIPCDE)
Phone extension: 

Biographical note

Obtained her Degree in Clinical Psychology at ISPA and PhD in Developmental Psychology at the University of Quebec in Montreal, Canada. She is presently the coordinator for the Developmental Psychology area. She was the coordinator of ISPA’s degree common areas and General-director of ISPA amongst other positions. She is presently Vice-Rector and Vice-President of the Scientific Council. Within the Research Unit on Cognitive, Developmental and Educational Psychology I & D Unit (UIPCDE) at ISPA she coordinates Line 1 – Developmental Psychology. She has coordinated several investigation projects within her area, funded by FCT and other institutions. She has published dozens of articles in national and international scientific reviews and presented papers the most important international conferences, relating to Developmental Psychology, having been invited to the organizing board of symposiums in her field of investigation. She has consulted in Investigation projects in Spain, France and the USA. In 2011 she received the Bowlby Ainsworth Award from the Center for Mental Health Promotion e The New York Attachment Consortium for her contribution in investigation and teaching within the field of Attachment Theory.


Research Interests

My research aims to emphasize the connection between the quality of secure-base relationships, during infancy and childhood, and a range of outcomes in the domains of social and emotional development. I consider that attachment theory needs to incorporate the notion that the child builds an attachment network in the first years of life that will constrain his/her development. In this sense, I am particularly interested in studying the role of father/child interaction and relationship. Another major research question concerns the construction of internal working models of attachment, which is the passage from the behavioural level to the representational level. Finally, my research is profoundly embodied in both developmental and cross-cultural perspectives, which in my opinion is the only way to promote a renewed understanding of attachment theory.

Current PhD Students (supervion and co-supervision)

Carla Fernandes

The quality of Attachment and Social Skills development in pre-school children. (FCT Grant)

Filipa Silva

Attachment and dynamic internal models: from sensorial-motor representation to symbolic representation. (FCT Grant)

Jordana Cardoso

Analysis of parental styles and attachment within the family context and its implications in the latter psychosocial and academic adaptation of the child to the school environment. (FCT Grant)

Marília Ferandes

Couple and Parental relations: The role of paternal involvement in the child’s social development.(FCT Grant)


Ligia Monteiro thesis investigated the organization of children’s secure base behaviour in two parent Portuguese families and Father’s participation in child related activities. She finished her PhD in 2008, did a post doc at Auburn University and is actually an assistant professor at ISCTE-IUL.


Fernanda Salvaterra theses examined the association between Maternal Secure-Base Scripts and Children’s Attachment Security in Adopted children. She completed her work in 2008 and is actually a senior member of the social security system in Portugal and Assistant Professor at Universidade Lusófona


Sónia Barcia explored the role of infant massage in the development of parental competencies in her theses. She ended in 2010 and is actually an Assistant Professor at Universidade Atlantica. 


Lisa Roque theses examined Emotion regulation strategies, attachment and Cortisol variability in infant mother dyads, during fear, positive affect and anger episodes. She finished in 2010 and is actually a research assistant at Universidade Católica.


Joana Maia studied gender differences in internal working models and the relation between quality of attachment and memory talk. Joana finished her theses in 2012 and is actually a student at the Faculty of Medicine of Porto. 


Mauro Pimenta theses explored father’s participation in child related activities, its relations with mother’s expectations and children’s characteristics. He finished in 2013 and is actually a school psychologist.


Paula Machado theses explored the role of emotion knowledge on children social adaptation to preschool. Paula completed her work in 2013 and is actually doing private practice while she waits for the results of her Pos Doc application.


Alexandra Pinto

Representations of Attachment, Representations of Self and quality in friendship: Relations and inter-relations for development (FCT Grant).


Ana Rebelo

Attachment relation, internal representations, communication and emotions. (FCT Grant)