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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Psychology

Faculty & Staff Directory

Peter R. Kilmann

Department of Psychology
University of South Carolina

Office: Barnwell College, Room 241
Phone Number: (803) 777-9526
Vitae: Download PDF

Dr. Kilmann began his academic career at the University of South Carolina in 1973. He was awarded tenure and promotion to Associate Professor in 1977, and was promoted to Full Professor in 1982. He has taught undergraduate courses in Human Sexual Behavior, Psychology of Marriage, Personality Theory, and Abnormal Psychology. Dr. Kilmann has supervised doctoral students in psychological assessment; in individual, marital and family therapy; in the treatment of male and female sexual problems; and in clinical research. He has served as Director of the Psychological Services Center where he supervised the delivery of treatment services and psychotherapy outcome research. Dr. Kilmann has developed nationally-recognized treatment programs for individuals and groups that were designed to prevent destructive relationship cycles, resolve past hurts and disappointments, and teach successful habits to resolve differences between partners. Dr. Kilmann has been an expert witness in many court cases involving custody, disability, professional misconduct, and criminal issues. He has contributed to articles in popular consumer journals such as Cosmopolitan, Self, and Allure. He has presented invited talks to medical school residents and professional groups, and has made numerous appearances as a guest psychologist on radio and television talk shows. Topics addressed to professional as well as public audiences have included positive dating behaviors, marital satisfaction, relationship distress, and the effects of divorce on children. His current research interests include the identification of links between partner personality characteristics and relationship distress. Dr. Kilmann has made over 60 presentations to professional audiences, and has published over 75 articles in professional journals.

B.A. – Psychology - Lycoming College
M.A. - School Psychology - California State University, Humbolt
M.P.H. - Community Mental Health - University of California, Los Angeles
Ph.D - Clinical Psychology - Brigham Young University

Professional Licenses
Licensed Clinical Psychologist (SC, since 1973)
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (SC, since 1991)

Professional Memberships
American Psychological Association
National Register of Psychologists
American Association of Sex Educators and Therapists


Selected Publications

Kilmann, P. R., Laughlin, J. E. Carranza, L. V., Downer, J. T., Major, S., & Parnell, M. M. (1999). Effects of an Attachment-focused group preventive intervention on insecure women. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 3, 11-10.

Carranza, L. V., & Kilmann, P. R. (2000). Links between perceived parent characteristics and attachment variables for women from intact families. Adolescence, 35, 295-312.

Urbaniak, G., & Kilmann, P. R. (2003). Physical attractiveness and the “Nice Guy Paradox”: Do nice guys really finish last? Sex Roles, 49, 413-426.

Kilmann, P. R., Carranza, L. V., & Vendemia, J. M. C. (2006). Recollections of parent characteristics and attachment patterns for college women of intact vs. non-intact families. Journal of Adolescence, 29, 89-102.

Kilmann, P.R., Urbaniak, G. C., & Parnell, M. M. (2006). Effects of attachment-focused versus relationship skills-focused interventions for college students with insecure attachment patterns. Attachment and Human Development, 8, 47-62.

Urbaniak, G., & Kilmann, P.R., (2006). Niceness and dating success: A further test of the nice guy stereotype. Sex Roles, 55,209-224.

Carranza, L. V., Kilmann, P. R., and Vendemia, J.M.C. (2009). Links between parent characteristics and attachment variables for college students of parental divorce. Adolescence, 44,253-271.

Kilmann, P. R., Vendemia, J. M. C., Parnell, M., & Urbaniak, G. (2009). Parent characteristics and daughters’ attachment styles. Adolescence, 44, 557-568.

Kilmann, P. R., Finch, H., Parnell, M. M., & Downer, J. T. (2012). Partner attachment and interpersonal characteristics. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 38,1-16.

Kilmann, P. R. (2012). Personality and interpersonal characteristics within distressed marriages. The Family Journal, 20, 132-140.