Fundamentals of Infant Attachment Assessment: The Ainsworth Method

Recorded on: August 8 – 12, 2022
Length of Course: 30 Hours

Please Note: CE Credits are not available for this course.

Cost of course : $600.00
Purchase price includes access to live lecture recordings and materials for one year. Additional time may be purchased for a reduced price.

This on-demand course includes 30 hours of video lectures by Alan Sroufe and Robert Weigand on the most well-validated and exquisite method of appraising the organization of the infant attachment behavior.

The course involves review of selected video recordings illustrating a range and variety of attachment cases. Participants have ample opportunity to practice coding while reviewing the lectures and in homework assignments. In addition, there is lecture material on attachment concepts and on the rationale of the Ainsworth assessment approach.

Participants learn why the procedures are done the way they are and how to interpret the meaning of infant attachment behaviors within this framework.

Please note that the lecture recordings were presented to a live audience. Some of the comments made in the video lectures may not apply to you in the on-demand version of this course.

Course Topics:
1) Procedures for conducting the Ainsworth Strange Situation assessment
2) The Ainsworth approach to coding infant interactive behavior
3) The Ainsworth ABC classification system
4) Multiple examples of the various patterns of attachment
5) Actual experience in coding and classifying cases
6) An introduction to “disorganized” attachment

As a result of this training, participants will be able to:

1) Create a laboratory setup to conduct and record an Ainsworth Strange Situation Assessment
2) Use age-appropriate toys for the laboratory play area
3) Instruct parents on their role in the assessment
4) Instruct “strangers” on their role in the assessment
5) Instruct “strangers” on when and when not to engage the infant
6) Use proper camera positioning to ensure that they capture the infant behaviors essential for coding
7) Avoid the typical errors made in conducting these assessments
8) Meet APA guidelines for the protection of human subjects of research studies
9) Distinguish between the frequency and the meaning of infant behaviors
10) Apply each of Ainsworth’s four principal behavior coding scales
11) Recognize the different levels of infant exploratory behavior
12) Distinguish between avoidant infant behavior and mere shifts of attention
13) Use timing of behavior to distinguish avoidance from distance interaction

14) Distinguish between distress that is and is not a reflection of anger
15) Distinguish between efforts to maintain contact and resist contact with the parent
16) Consider context in determining how quickly an infant should be settled
17) Recognize the nature of secure attachment in its many forms
18) Use the pattern of infants’ behavior across contexts to assess security
19) Explain Ainsworth’s concept of attachment/exploration balance
20) Explain Ainsworth’s concept of behavioral organization
21) Distinguish among Ainsworth’s four sub-types of security
22) Distinguish between Ainsworth’s two sub-types of resistant attachment
23) Distinguish between Ainsworth’s two sub-types of avoidant attachment
24) Distinguish between avoidant and resistant (‘ambivalent’) attachment patterns
25) Compare norms applied to attachment behavior of 12-month-olds to those applied to 18-month-olds

Thirty Hours of Recorded Lectures

The recorded sessions run for a total of 30 hours. The fee is $600 and includes access to course instructional materials and training videos for one year. Registration fees are non-refundable.

Alan Sroufe, PhD
Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota Institute of Child Development

Alan Sroufe, Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota Institute of Child Development, has been called: “The premier developmentalist of his generation” (The Bowlby/Ainsworth award citation) and “… a founder and leading contributor to the field of developmental psychopathology” (the Distinguish Scientific Award of the Society of Research in Child Development). An internationally recognized expert on early attachment relationships, emotional development, and developmental psychopathology, he has published 150 articles and seven books on these topics, including The Development of the Person, a two-time award winner, and A Compelling Idea: How We Become the Persons We Are, published by Safer Society Press in 2020.

Robert Weigand, MS
Child Development Laboratory, University of Arizona

Robert Weigand is an Emeritus Principal Lecturer of Family and Human Development at Arizona State University. Prior to his retirement he served as Director of the Child Development Laboratory, a full day early childhood program serving 50 toddlers and preschool-age children, and supervised the Department of Psychology’s Child Study Laboratory. While at ASU, Bob taught early childhood intervention, infant mental health, and child development courses, and was co-director of the Master of Advanced Study in Infant-Family Practice degree program. He has served as Chair of the Board of Directors for the Infant Toddler Mental Health Coalition of Arizona ITMHCA and was endorsed as an Infant Mental Health Mentor by the Coalition’s Endorsement for Culturally Sensitive Relationship-Focused Practice Promoting Infant Mental Health. Before joining ASU’s faculty, Bob was a faculty member and taught toddlers and preschool-age children in the laboratory preschools at Purdue University and at the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Child Development. Recently he has been assisting Alan Sroufe teaching the coding system for the Ainsworth Strange Situation Procedure.

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