Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 5
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Kluczniok, Dorothea Boedeker, Katja Fuchs, Anna Hindi Attar, Catherine Fydrich, Thomas Fuehrer, Daniel Dittrich, Katja Reck, Corinna Winter, Sibylle Heinz, Andreas Herpertz, Sabine C. Brunner, Romuald and Bermpohl, Felix 2016. EMOTIONAL AVAILABILITY IN MOTHER-CHILD INTERACTION: THE EFFECTS OF MATERNAL DEPRESSION IN REMISSION AND ADDITIONAL HISTORY OF CHILDHOOD ABUSE. Depression and Anxiety, Vol. 33, Issue. 7, p. 648.

    Biringen, Zeynep Derscheid, Della Vliegen, Nicole Closson, Lia and Easterbrooks, M. Ann 2014. Emotional availability (EA): Theoretical background, empirical research using the EA Scales, and clinical applications. Developmental Review, Vol. 34, Issue. 2, p. 114.

    Milan, Stephanie Zona, Kate and Snow, Stephanie 2013. Pathways to Adolescent Internalizing: Early Attachment Insecurity as a Lasting Source of Vulnerability. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, Vol. 42, Issue. 3, p. 371.

    Biringen, Zeynep and Easterbrooks, M. Ann 2012. The integration of emotional availability into a developmental psychopathology framework: Reflections on the Special Section and future directions. Development and Psychopathology, Vol. 24, Issue. 01, p. 137.

    Kelsay, Kim 2012. A Study of Emotional Expression and Language: Implications for Studying and Understanding Development of Emotions. Infant Mental Health Journal, Vol. 33, Issue. 6, p. 590.


Emotional availability: Critical questions and research horizons

  • Robert N. Emde (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 31 January 2012

Based on attachment theory, the construct of emotional availability and its assessment goes beyond attachment in important ways. Its origins in clinical experience and emotions research are discussed as well as the prospects for continuing advances in knowledge stimulated by the contributions in the Special Section. This is especially so in terms of developmental variations and the biological underpinnings of emotional availability. A major need and opportunity also exists concerning research related to psychopathology, clinical interventions, and training.

Corresponding author
Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Robert N. Emde, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Colorado School of Public Health, Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health, Mail Stop F800, 13055 East 17th Avenue, Aurora, CO 80045; E-mail:
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

J. Barrett , & A. S. Fleming (2011). All mothers are not created equal: Neural and psychobiological perspectives on mothering and the importance of individual differences [Annual research review]. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 52, 368397.

A. Caspi , J. McClay , T. E. Moffitt , J. Mill , J. Martin , I. Craig , (2002). Evidence that the cycle of violence in maltreated children depends on genotype. Science, 297, 851854.

A. Caspi , M. B. Sugden , T. E. Moffitt , A. Taylor , I. W. Craig , H. Harrington , (2003). Influence of life stress on depression: Moderation by a polymorphism in the 5-HTT gene. Science, 301, 386389.

C. Darwin (1872). The expression of emotions in man and animals. London: John Murray.

R. N. Emde (1992). Social referencing research: Uncertainty, self, and the search for meaning. In S. Feinman (Ed.), Social referencing and the social construction of reality in infancy (pp. 7994). New York: Plenum Press.

R. N. Emde (1994). Individuality, context, and the search for meaning. Child Development, 65, 719737.

R. N. Emde , & M. A. Easterbrooks (1985). Assessing emotional availability in early development. In W. K. Frankenburg , R. N. Emde , & J. W. Sullivan (Eds.), Early identification of children at risk: An international perspective (pp. 79101). New York: Plenum Press.

R. N. Emde , T. J. Gaensbauer , & R. J. Harmon (1981). Using our emotions: Some principles for appraising emotional development and intervention. In M. Lewis , & L. Taft (Eds.), Developmental disabilities in preschool children (pp. 409424). New York: S. P. Medical & Scientific Books.

R. Feldman , A. Weller , O. Zagoory-Sharon , & A. Levine (2007). Evidence for a neuroendocrinological foundation of human affiliation: Plasma oxytocin levels across pregnancy and the postpartum period predict mother-infant bonding. Psychological Science, 18, 965970.

M. Galbally , A.J. Lewis , M. van IJzendoorn , & M. Permezel (2011). The role of oxytocin in mother-infant relations: A systematic review of human studies. Harvard Review of Psychiatry, 19, 114.

J. G. Gunderson , R. L Stout , T. H. McGlashan , M. T Shea , L. C. Morey , C. M. Grilo , (2011). Ten year course of borderline personality disorder: Psychopathology and function from the collaborative longitudinal personality disorders study. Archives of General Psychiatry, 68, 827837.

Y. Irizarry , & S. J. Galbraith (2004). Complex disorders reloaded: Causality, action reaction, cause and effect. Molecular Psychiatry, 9, 431432.

R. F. Krueger , & K. E. Markon (2011). A dimensional-spectrum model of psychopathology: Progress and opportunities [Editorial]. Archives of General Psychiatry, 68, 1011.

J. A. Larrieu , & A. B. Dickson (2009). Reflective practice in infant mental health training and consultation. Infant Mental Health Journal, 30, 579590.

R. A. Emde (1990). Mobilizing fundamental modes of development—An essay on empathic availability and therapeutic action. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 38, 881913.

M. F. Lenzenweger (2010). Current status of the scientific study of the personality disorders: An overview of epidemiological, longitudinal, experimental psychopathology and neurobehavioral perspectives. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 58, 741778.

M. J. Meaney (2010). Epigenetics and the biological definition of Gene x Environment interactions. Child Development, 81, 4179.

T. G. O'Connor , J. Heron , J. Golding , V. Glover , & The ALSPAC Study Team. (2003). Maternal antenatal anxiety and behavioural/emotional problems in children: A test of a programming hypothesis. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 44, 10251036.

J. P. Shonkoff , W. T. Boyce , & B. S. McEwen (2009). Neuroscience, molecular biology and the childhood roots of health disparities: Building a new framework. Journal of the American Medical Association, 301, 22522259.

J. F. Sorce , & R. N. Emde (1981). Mother's presence is not enough: The effect of emotional availability on infant exploration. Developmental Psychology, 17, 737745.

J. F. Sorce , & R. N. Emde (1982). The meaning of infant emotional expressions: Regularities in caregiving responses in normal and Down's syndrome infants. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 23, 145158.

L. Strathearn , P. Fonagy , J. Amico , & P. R. Montague (2009). Adult attachment predicts maternal brain and oxytocin reponse to infant cues. Neuropsychopharmacology, 34, 26552666.

J. E. Swain , J. P. Lorberbaum , S. Kose , & L. Strathearn (2007). Brain basis of early parent–infant interactions: Psychology, physiology, and in vivo functional neuroimaging studies. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 48, 262287.

S. E. Taylor , Saphire-Bernstein, & T. E. Seeman (2010). Are plasma oxytocin in women and plasma vasopressin in men biomarkers of distressed pair-bond relationships? Psychological Science, 21, 37.

Y. Yang , A. Raine , F. L. Narr , P. Colletti , & A. W. Toga (2009). Localization of deformations within the amygdala in individuals with psychopathy. Archives of General Psychiatry, 66, 986994.

R. K. Lenroot , & J. N. Giedd (2011). Annual research review: Developmental considerations of gene by environment interactions. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 52, 429441.

C. Zahn-Waxler , J. Robinson , & R. N. Emde (1992). The development of empathy in twins. Developmental Psychology, 28, 10381047.

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? *