You are here: Skip Navigation LinksDepartment of Paediatric Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics

Robert Müller

​​​​Research Projects

  • AMIS

Research Focus

  • Effects of abuse experiences on attachment classification and mentalization ability
  • Evaluation of two early prevention programs in day-care centers with high-risk children using attachment classification (EVA)
  • Development of the mentalization ability of educators under the influence of supervision and counselling
  • Changing parenthood


since 2022

Guest researcher at AMIS II at the Clinic and Polyclinic for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics of Children and ​Adolescents, Leipzig University Hospital

​since 2022​Training to become a psychoanalyist at the Vienna Psychoanalytic Association (Wiener Psychoanalytische Vereinigung, WPV)​
​​since 2019Management/consultant/recruiting in the administration of elementary educational institutions in Vienna
​2018 – 2020Psychotherapeutic introductory course at the Vienna Psychoanalytic Academy (Wiener Psychoanalytische Vereinigung, WPV)
​2017 – 2019​Language support in elementary educational institutions in Vienna
2016 – 2017Project employee in the prevention project "Balu und Du" at the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main
2014 – 2017Start-up aid grant in connection with the start-up aid project of the Sigmund Freud Institute in Frankfurt am Main
2012 – 2017Employee at the Sigmund Freud Institute Frankfurt am Main (EVA study / transition project kindergarten-primary school / step-by-step)
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The attachment theory is widely recognized and accepted beyond the boundaries of psychoanalysis, offering quantitatively verifiable explanations for psychodynamic processes related to relationship events and their impact on psychological development from infancy to adulthood. In connection with this theory is the theory of mentalization, which focuses more on the intra-psychic dialogue to explain mental states of the self and others. A loving and secure nurturing environment for a child promotes the development of secure attachment representations and thus healthy psychological development.

Conversely, experiences of abuse and neglect are highly likely to lead to insecure attachment classifications and lower levels of mentalization capacity. Therefore, they represent risk factors and promote psychopathological development. However, the relative influence of abuse dimensions (subtype, onset and offset, perpetrator) on attachment classification and reflective functioning has been poorly investigated so far.

Insights into the relationship between abuse dimensions and attachment classification as well as mentalization capacity are of theoretical relevance: it would be understandable when (onset and offset, chronicity, developmental phase), in what form (subtype), and severity (perpetrator, intensity) child abuse has a particularly severe impact on development. If a latent construct can be demonstrated between abuse dimensions and developmental consequences, additional developmental insights can be gained, and the delimitation of vulnerable developmental periods becomes possible. Subsequently, interventions can be formulated more specifically and in the sense of personalized medicine. Application-oriented implications, such as the timing and indication of specific psychotherapeutic and/or educational-social work measures, contribute to the reduction of risk factors and the consequences of child abuse.

In the AMIS-II study, there is now an opportunity to investigate latent constructs between abuse dimensions, attachment classification, and reflective functioning. The results of the Male-treatment Classification System (subtypes, developmental phase, chronicity, perpetrator) and the Family and Friends Interview (attachment and mentalization classification) form the basis for data analysis.

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