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The child attachment interview: A psychometric study of reliability and discriminant validity

Shmueli-Goetz, Y; Target, M; Fonagy, P; Datta, A; (2008) The child attachment interview: A psychometric study of reliability and discriminant validity. Developmental Psychology , 44 (4) 939 - 956. 10.1037/0012-1649.44.4.939. Green open access

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Abstract

While well-established attachment measures have been developed for infancy, early childhood, and adulthood, a "measurement gap" has been identified in middle childhood, where behavioral or representational measures are not yet sufficiently robust. This article documents the development of a new measure-the Child Attachment Interview (CAI)-which seeks to bridge this gap. The CAI is a semistructured interview, in which children are invited to describe their relationships with their primary caregivers. The coding system is informed by the Adult Attachment Interview and the Strange Situation Procedure, and produces 4 attachment categories along with a continuous measure of attachment security based on ratings of attachment-related dimensions. The main psychometric properties are presented, including interrater reliability, test-retest reliability, and concurrent and discriminant validities, both for normally developing children and for those referred for mental health treatment. The CAI correlates as expected with other attachment measures and predicts independently collected ratings of social functioning. The findings suggest that the CAI is a reliable, valid, and promising measure of child-parent attachment in middle childhood. Directions for improvements to the coding system are discussed.

Type: Article
Title: The child attachment interview: A psychometric study of reliability and discriminant validity
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1037/0012-1649.44.4.939
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0012-1649.44.4.939
Keywords: attachment, middle childhood, psychometric properties, infant-mother attachment, separation anxiety test, middle childhood, autobiographical memory, preschool attachment, strange situation, early adulthood, security, behavior, adolescence
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/168556
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