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Child Dev. 1988 Apr;59(2):512-22.

Empirical classification of infant-mother relationships from interactive behavior and crying during reunion.

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Laboratory of Developmental Psychology, NIMH, Bethesda, MD 20892.


Multiple discriminant function analysis (MDFA) was conducted with data from 255 Strange Situations conducted and scored by Ainsworth and her colleagues. Cross-validated discriminant functions and classification weights were obtained, allowing attachment classifications (A, B, C) to be assigned directly from scores on interactive behavior and crying during reunion episodes. In the past, classification agreement within laboratories has often been used as a training criterion. Unfortunately, this does not insure that classification criteria agreed upon within a laboratory are comparable across laboratories, nor does it insure that agreed upon criteria will yield the same classifications that would have been assigned by the researchers who developed the scoring system. The present results enable researchers who have mastered the scoring systems for reunion behavior and crying to obtain attachment classifications directly from scores on these variables. Alternatively, this procedure may be used to guide the training of, and validate classification decisions by, local judges.

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