Fields of Research
Personality factors of resilience and vulnerability
Transition to parenthood underscoring bonding (fear of childbirth, delivery process, postpartum psychopathology, bonding with the infant)
Psychosomatics in obstetrics and gynecology (sexuality, quality of life)
Sociocultural influences over body image (religion, media etc.')
I am a senior lecturer at the School of Behavioral Sciences at The Academic College of Tel Aviv Yaffo (MTA). I also have an appointment as an adjunct associate professor of psychology in the Psychiatry Department at the University of Michigan. I hold a B.A in Psychology and M.A and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, all from the Tel-Aviv University.
I maintain an active research program expressed in personal work, significant collaborations (Both nationally and internationally) and research mentoring of undergraduate as well as graduate level students. My research program revolves around my clinical experience and is greatly influenced by these activities. I have many research interests but most of my work regards transition to parenthood with a special interest in the peripartum period. I'm interested in how personality variables of resilience and vulnerability as well as factors associated with delivery are influencing postpartum psychopathology in general and bonding with the infant in particular. I have a special interest in programs supporting the parenting of high risk families studying group interventions for mothers and fathers.
I'm also interested in sociocultural influences over body image. Specifically, I study how religion as well as media are associated with both negative and positive body image.
I'm an active supervising clinical psychologist and a lecturer of clinical practice courses as well as more general courses in psychology. I see my professional work as a clinical psychologist, teacher in the undergraduate and graduate programs and researcher activities as sustaining and nurturing each other. I serve as an ad-hoc reviewer for several academic journals and I present my work in international conferences as well as academic journals.
Geller, S., Handelzalts, J.E.., Levy, S., Nofar Boxer, Viren Swami & Jennifer Todd (2020) Factor Structure and Psychometric Properties of a Hebrew Translation of the Body Appreciation Scale-2 (BAS-2) Body Image.
Swami, V.,…. Handelzalts, J.E … Voracek (2019) The Breast Size Satisfaction Survey (BSSS): Breast Size Dissatisfaction and its Antecedents and Outcomes in Women from 39 Nations. Body Image,32, 199-217
Handelzalts, J.E., Geller, S., Sidi, Y., & Levy, S. (2020). Religion and Body image (dis)Satisfaction: The mediating role of internalization of socio-cultural pressures, in Jewish Women. Mental Health Religion and Culture.
Handelzalts, J. E., Stringer, M. K., Menke, R. A., & Muzik, M. (2020). The Association of Religion and Spirituality with Postpartum Mental Health in Women with Childhood Maltreatment Histories. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 29(2), 502-513..
Handelzalts, J.E., Hairston, I.S., Muzik, M., Matatyahu, A., & Levy, S., (2019) A paradoxical role of childbirth-related PTSD symptoms in the association between personality factors and mother-infant bonding: A cross-sectional study. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy.
Hairston, I. S., Handelzalts, J. E., Lehman-Inbar, T., & Kovo, M. (2019). Mother-infant bonding is not associated with feeding type: a community study sample. BMC pregnancy and childbirth, 19(1)
Handelzalts, J.E., Matatyahu A., & Hairston I.S. (2018). Construct Validity and Psychometric Properties of the Hebrew version of the City Birth Trauma Scale. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 1726.