Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

Emotional availability: Concept, research, and window on developmental psychopathology

  • Zeynep Biringen (a1) and M. Ann Easterbrooks (a2)
Abstract

The construct of emotional availability (EA) refers to the capacity of a dyad to share an emotional connection and to enjoy a mutually fulfilling and healthy relationship. The EA Scales were designed to assess multiple components of a relationship from the perspective of both partners. The four caregiver components include sensitivity, structuring, nonintrusiveness, and nonhostility; two scales measure the child's responsiveness to the caregiver and involvement of the caregiver. We describe the EA construct and introduce the papers in this issue, focusing on the contributions of this Special Section to a developmental psychopathology framework.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Emotional availability: Concept, research, and window on developmental psychopathology
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Emotional availability: Concept, research, and window on developmental psychopathology
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Emotional availability: Concept, research, and window on developmental psychopathology
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Zeynep Biringen, Family and Developmental Studies Program, Colorado State University, 413 Behavioral Sciences, Fort Collins, CO 80523; E-mail: zeynep.biringen@colostate.edu.
References
Hide All
Ainsworth, M., Blehar, M., Waters, E., & Wall, S. (1978). Patterns of attachment: A psychological study of the strange situation. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Aviezer, O., Sagi, A., Joels, T., & Ziv, Y. (1999). Emotional availability and attachment representations in Kibbutz infants and their mothers. Development Psychology, 35, 811821.
Bakermans-Kranenburg, M., van IJzendoorn, M., & Juffer, F. (2003). Less is more: Meta-analyses of sensitivity and attachment interventions in early childhood. Psychological Bulletin, 129, 195215.
Barone, L., & Biringen, Z. (2007). Le scale per la valutazione della disponibilità emozionale (Emotional Availability Scales—EAS). In Barone, L. (Ed.), Emozioni e sviluppo. Percorsi tipici e atipici. Rome: Carocci.
Biringen, Z. (1987). Perceptions of and interactions with one's child. Dissertation Abstracts International, 48(12), 3701B.
Biringen, Z. (2000). Emotional availability: Conceptualization and research findings. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 70, 104114.
Biringen, Z. (2004). Raising a secure child: Creating emotional availability between you and your child. New York: Perigee/Putnam Press.
Biringen, Z. (2005). Training and reliability issues with the Emotional Availability Scales. Infant Mental Health Journal, 26, 404405.
Biringen, Z., & Allender, T. (2011, July). Using evidence-based assessments to evaluate parent–child relationship quality. Zero to Three Journal, 31, 3639.
Biringen, Z., Altenhofen, S., Aberle, J., Baker, M., Brosal, A., Bennett, B., et al. (2012). Emotional availability, attachment, and intervention in center-based child care for infants and toddlers. Development and Psychopathology, 24, 2334.
Biringen, Z., Damon, J., Grigg, W., Mone, J., Pipp-Siegel, S., Skillern, S., et al. (2005). Emotional availability: Differential predictions to infant attachment and kindergarten adjustment based on observation time and context. Infant Mental health Journal 26, 295308.
Biringen, Z., & Easterbrooks, M. A. (2008). Understanding relationships and relationship interventions. Journal of Early Childhood and Infant Psychology, 4, 13.
Biringen, Z., & Robinson, J. (1991). Emotional availability in mother–child interactions: A conceptualization for research. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 61, 258271.
Biringen, Z., Robinson, J., & Emde, R. (1998). Emotional Availability Scales (3rd ed.). Unpublished manuscript. Retrieved from http://www.emotionalavailability.com
Bowlby, J. (1980). Attachment and loss: Vol. 1. Attachment. New York: Basic Books. (Original work published 1969)
Bowlby, J. (1973). Attachment and loss: Vol. 2. Separation. New York: Basic Books.
Bretherton, I. (2000). Emotional availability: An attachment perspective. Attachment & Human Development, 2, 233241.
Bureau, J.-F., Easterbrooks, M. A, Killam, S., & Lyons-Ruth, K. (2006). Middle Childhood Disorganization and Controlling Scales. Unpublished manuscript, Harvard Medical School.
Cicchetti, D. (1993). Developmental psychopathology: Reactions, reflections, projections. Developmental Review, 13, 471502.
Cicchetti, D., & Toth, S. L. (1995). A developmental psychopathology perspective on child abuse and neglect. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 34, 541565.
Cicchetti, D., & Toth, S.L. (2009). The past achievements and future promises of developmental psychopathology: The coming of age of a discipline. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 50, 1625.
Easterbrooks, M. A., Biesecker, G., & Lyons-Ruth, K. (2000). Infancy predictors of emotional availability in middle childhood: The roles of attachment security and maternal depressive symptomatology. Attachment and Human Development, 2, 170187.
Easterbrooks, M. A., Bureau, J.-F., & Lyons-Ruth, K. (2012). Developmental correlates and predictors of emotional availability in mother-child interaction: A longitudinal study from infancy to middle childhood, Development and Psychopathology, 24, 6578.
Easterbrooks, M. A., & Biringen, Z. (2000). Mapping the terrain of emotional availability and attachment. Attachment and Human Development, 2, 129135.
Easterbrooks, M. A., & Biringen, Z. (2005). The Emotional Availability Scales: Methodological refinements of the construct and clinical implications related to gender and at-risk interactions. Infant Mental Health Journal, 26, 291294.
Easterbrooks, M. A., & Biringen, Z. (2009). Emotional availability across contexts, Parenting: Science & Practice, 9, 179182.
Emde, R. N. (1980). Emotional availability: A reciprocal reward system for infants and parents with implications for prevention of psychosocial disorders. In Taylor, P. M. (Ed.), Parent–infant relationships (pp. 87115). Orlando, FL: Grune & Stratton.
Emde, R. N. (1983). The prerepresentational self and its affective core. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 38, 165192.
Emde, R. N. (2000). Next steps in emotional availability research. Attachment and Human Development, 2, 242248.
Emde, R. N., & Easterbrooks, M. A. (1985). Assessing emotional availability in early development. In Frankenburg, W., Emde, R. N. & Sullivan, J. (Eds.), Early identification of children at risk. An international perspective (pp. 79101). New York: Plenum Press.
Garvin, M. C., Tarullo, A. R., Van Ryzin, M., & Gunnar, M. R. (2012). Post-adoption parenting and socioemotional development in postinstitutionalized children. Development and Psychopathology, 24, 3548.
Guttman, H. A. (1991). Systems theory, cybernetics, and epistemology. In Gurman, A. S. & Kniskern, D. P. (Eds.), Handbook of family therapy. New York: Brunner/Mazel.
Hamre, B. K., & Pianta, R. C. (2001). Early teacher–child relationships and the trajectory of children's school outcomes through eighth grade. Child Development, 72, 625638.
Killeen, L. A., & Teti, D. M. (2012). Mothers' frontal EEG asymmetry in response to infant emotions and mother–infant emotional availability, emotional experience, and internalizing symptoms. Development and Psychopathology, 24, 921.
Kogan, N., & Carter, A. (1996). Mother–infant reengagement following the still-face: The role of maternal emotional availability in infant affect regulation. Infant Behavior and Development, 19, 359370.
Mahler, M., Pine, F., & Bergman, A. (1975). The psychological birth of the human infant. New York: Basic.
Oyen, A., Landy, S., & Hilburn-Cobb, C. (2000). Maternal attachment and sensitivity in an at-risk sample. Attachment and Human Development, 2, 203217.
Robinson, J., Little, C. & Biringen, Z. (1993). Emotional communication in mother–toddler relationships: Evidence for early gender differentiation. Merrill–Palmer Quarterly, 39, 496517.
Salo, S., Kivistö, K., Korja, R., Biringen, Z., Tupola, S.-M., & Kivitie-Kallio, S. (2009). Emotional availability, parental self-efficacy beliefs, and child development in caregiver–child relationships with buprenorphine-exposed 3-year-olds. Parenting: Science & Practice, 9, 244259.
Sameroff, A., & Fiese, B. (2000). Models of development and developmental risk. In Zeanah, C. (Ed.), Handbook of infant mental health (2nd ed., pp. 319). New York: Guilford Press.
Sorce, J., & Emde, R. N. (1981). Mother's presence is not enough: Effect of emotional availability on infant exploration. Developmental Psychology, 17, 737745.
Stack, D. M., Serbin, L. A., Girouard, N., Enns, L. N., Bentley, V.Ledingham, M. N., et al. (2012). The quality of the mother–child relationship in high-risk dyads: Application of the Emotional Availability Scales in an intergenerational, longitudinal study. Development and Psychopathology, 24, 93105.
Swanson, K., Beckwith, L., & Howard, J. (2000). Intrusive caregiving and quality of attachment in prenatally drug-exposed toddlers and their primary caregivers. Attachment and Human Development, 2, 130148.
Timmer, S. G., Thompson, D., Culver, M. A., Urquiza, A. J., & Altenhofen, S. (2012). Mothers' physical abusiveness in a context of violence: Effects on the mother–child relationship. Development and Psychopathology, 24, 7992.
van den Dries, L., Juffer, F., van IJzendoorn, M. H., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J., & Alink, L. R. A. (2012). Infants' responsiveness, attachment, and indiscriminate friendliness after international adoption from institutions or foster care in China: Application of Emotional Availability Scales to adoptive families. Development and Psychopathology, 24, 4964.
van IJzendoorn, M. (1995). Adult attachment representations, parental responsiveness, and infant attachment: A meta-analysis on the predictive validity of the Adult Attachment Interview. Psychological Bulletin, 117, 387401.
van IJzendoorn, M. H., Rutgers, A. H., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J., Swinkels, S. H., van Daalen, E., Dietz, C., et al. (2007). Parental sensitivity and attachment in children with autism spectrum disorder: Comparison with children with mental retardation, with language delays, and with typical development. Child Development, 2, 597608.
Waters, E., & Deane, K. (1985). Defining and assessing individual differences in attachment relationships: Q-methodology and the organization of behavior in infancy and early childhood. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 50, 4165.
Zimmerman, L., & McDonald, L. (1995). Emotional availability in infants' relationships with multiple caregivers. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 65, 147152.
Ziv, Y., Aviezer, O., Gini, M., Sagi, A., & Koren-Karie, N. (2000). Emotional availability in the mother–infant dyad as related to the quality of infant–mother attachment relationship. Attachment and Human Development, 2, 149169.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Development and Psychopathology
  • ISSN: 0954-5794
  • EISSN: 1469-2198
  • URL: /core/journals/development-and-psychopathology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed