Prof. Handelzalts Jonathan
Fields of Research
Prof. Handelzalts Jonathan
School of Behavioral Sciences
  • Personality factors of resilience and vulnerability

  • Transition to parenthood underscoring bonding (fear of childbirth, delivery process, postpartum psychopathology, bonding with the infant)

  • Parenting interventions

  • Psychosomatics in obstetrics and gynecology (sexuality, quality of life)

  • Sociocultural influences over body image (religion, media etc.')


Short Bio

I’m an Associate Professor with tenure at the Academic College of Tel-Aviv Yaffo. I’m also an Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychology at the Psychiatry Department of the University of Michigan. My research program revolves around my clinical experience. I'm a licensed supervising clinical psychologist as well as a lecturer of clinical practice courses. I see my professional work as a clinical psychologist, teacher, and researcher activities as sustaining and nurturing each other.

My research interests are in the process of transition to parenthood underscoring childbirth PTSD and bonding. In the past years, I have broadened my research focus to include processes occurring pre-partum, in the delivery itself, and post-partum. I have a particular interest in studying factors affecting post-partum bonding, attachment, and sleep and I have made several contributions to the field by advancing the knowledge of the ways in which childbirth PTSD as measured and conceptualized as a specific kind of trauma is associated with bonding with the infant and parenthood. Specifically, I have shown in my studies the possibility that the specific childbirth-related PTSD symptoms may have a different effect on parenting variables than the general PTSD symptoms following childbirth. My other contribution to this field is describing the mediation processes in which underlying personality structures such as attachment styles, neuroticism, and optimism may affect bonding and other parenting variables through postpartum psychopathology.

In my studies, I try to describe longitudinal trajectories of how pre-partum period factors such as personality, psychopathology, and fear of childbirth interact with the birth process and post-partum factors. I’m interested in how subjective childbirth experience is affected by prepartum factors as well as affecting postpartum variables, such as psychopathology (mainly postpartum depression and PTSD), sleep, breastfeeding, and bonding to the infant (as well as mother-father-infant interaction variables).

Selected Publications

  1. 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.

  2. 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.  

  3. 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.‏. 

  4. 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

  5. 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.  

  6. 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)

  7. 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.