David Oppenheim

David Oppenheim
University of Haifa | haifa · Department of Psychology

PhD

About

96
Publications
80,933
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
4,031
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 1997 - December 2012
University of Haifa

Publications

Publications (96)
Article
Parents' sensitivity during interactions with their children has been associated with children's emotion narratives elicited using story completion tasks, but almost all of this research focused on mothers and was based on a dyadic, parent‐child focus. The goal of the present study was to expand this research by studying triadic, mother‐father‐chil...
Article
Historical and cross-cultural records show that childrearing is generally situated within a community of significant others, particularly kin. These others not only shape children’s behavior, but also shape that of mothers. The purpose of this paper is to explore this phenomenon from the point of view of Palestinian mothers in Israel. This is an in...
Article
This study examined the associations between nursing aides’ mentalization, expressed emotion, and observed sensitivity towards their residents with dementia. The study also explored whether nursing aides’ mentalization and expressed emotion are relational constructs that vary with residents’ characteristics and behavior. To assess mentalization and...
Article
We examined whether the Strange Situation Procedure (SSP) is applicable not only for assessing children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their mothers but also with their fathers. Forty preschoolers with ASD were observed in the SSP with their mothers and 39 with their fathers. Unexpectedly, the SSP was found to be not applicable (NA) to 25%...
Article
Objectives This study examined the emotional availability of nursing aide-resident with dementia dyads in a long-term care-facility. Emotional availability refers to the nursing aide’s sensitivity toward the resident, structuring their interactions in a non-intrusive and non-hostile manner and the resident’s responsiveness to and involvement of the...
Chapter
This article provides an overview of attachment theory, which focuses on the emotional bond tying a child to his or her caregivers. Attachment theory's origins and main hypotheses are discussed. The significance of early relationships for later developmental outcomes is emphasized. Other topics reviewed include the intergenerational transmission of...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined whether maternal disrupted communication, which is associated with disorganized infant attachment, also characterizes mothers of ambivalent infants. The study, conducted in Israel, included a Jewish sample (N = 163; 68 Girls) from diverse socioeconomic status, collected between 1991 and 1993 in an earlier study. The sample over‐...
Article
SYNOPSIS Objective. Mothers with psychiatric diagnoses have been found to be generally less responsive and sensitive when interacting with their children, but studies of the quality of their dialogues with their children have not been conducted. Such dialogues are associated with children's coherent representations of their experiences, which promo...
Article
Full-text available
We examined whether disrupted maternal communication, which is associated with disorganized attachment in typically developing children, is also associated with disorganized attachment in children with ASD. The attachments of 45 boys with ASD and maternal disruption were assessed in the Strange Situation Procedure. Analyses revealed a link between...
Article
Parents’ resolution of their child’s diagnosis is associated with parental sensitivity and secure child attachment. The Reaction to Diagnosis Interview (RDI) is the accepted measure for assessing resolution, but its administration and coding are time and labor intensive. This study examined the psychometric properties of the Reaction to Diagnosis Q...
Article
Background This study examined mothers' representation of their children's inner world – maternal insightfulness – and its link to sensitive maternal behaviour. We aimed to understand some of the parental processes that underlie parenting children with intellectual disability (ID). Methods The sample included 38 mothers and their children with non...
Article
We provide support from attachment research to the argument that children with autism only appear to lack social motivation. This research has shown that the attachment system of children with autism is intact, and one-half form secure attachments. This is illustrated with an observation of a young child with autism during a separation and reunion...
Article
Full-text available
We examined the association between maternal Mind-Mindedness (MM) and secure attachment in an Arab sample in Israel. Seventy-six infant–mother dyads were observed during free play to assess maternal MM and in the Strange Situation Procedure to assess attachment. Mothers of secure infants were hypothesized to use more appropriate and fewer non-attun...
Article
Full-text available
The current study evaluated whether maternal insightfulness can buffer the negative influence of postpartum stressful life events on maternal parenting behaviors. Participants were 125 mother–infant dyads (55% boys) who present a subsample of a larger longitudinal study on maternal maltreatment during childhood and its impact on peripartum maternal...
Article
Full-text available
We open this introductory paper to the special issue with the theoretical and clinical roots of the insightfulness concept. Next, the Insightfulness Assessment (IA) is presented, followed by a review of key empirical findings supporting the IA. The central points in the papers in this special issue are reviewed next. These include the use of the IA...
Article
Full-text available
Two antecedents of the insightfulness of adolescents into a close friend’s experience were examined: The insightfulness of the mother and the attachment of the child, both measured when the adolescent was an infant. We hypothesized that both antecedents would be associated with adolescent insightfulness. Maternal insightfulness was assessed using t...
Article
Full-text available
This article provides an overview of attachment theory, which focuses on the emotional bond tying a child to his or her caregivers. Attachment theory’s origins and main hypotheses are discussed. The significance of early relationships for later developmental outcomes is emphasized. Other topics reviewed include the intergenerational transmission of...
Article
Full-text available
This study is the first to examine infant-mother attachment in the Arab culture. Eighty-five Arab 1-year-old infants from Israel were observed in the strange situation, and maternal sensitivity was assessed from home observations. Supporting attachment theory's normativity hypothesis, no differences were found between the Arab-Israeli attachment di...
Article
Full-text available
A growing body of research has highlighted the importance of mother–father–child interactions in families with toddlers, but little is known about the internal processes underlying parenting in such interactions. Dyadic studies of parent–child relationships have focused on parental insightfulness as promoting sensitive parent–child interactions, an...
Chapter
Full-text available
In her description of sensitive mothers, Ainsworth described not only maternal behaviors but also the internal processes underlying such behavior, including the capacity to "see things from the child's point of view". Ainsworth assessed this capacity from her extensive observations of mothers interacting with their infants, from records of mothers'...
Article
Full-text available
The contribution of change over time in parent and child characteristics to parents' resolution of child's diagnosis was examined among 78 mothers and fathers of children with autism spectrum disorder. Children's characteristics (e.g., mental age and severity of symptoms), parental characteristics (e.g., attachment-related anxiety and stress level)...
Article
Based on Self-Determination Theory, our study examined the associations of maternal perspective taking (PT), clear expectations (CE), and their interaction during mother–male adolescent conflict with sons’ externalizing and internalizing problems. Fifty-one mothers and their 16.5 year old sons were observed while conducting a revealed differences t...
Chapter
Parents who cope with the challenges of raising a child with special needs describe the experience of receiving the diagnosis as a personal and family crisis. Coming to terms with the diagnosis may involve a period of adjustment. The concept of Resolution with the diagnosis was suggested by Pianta and Marvin (The reaction to diagnosis interview. Ch...
Article
Full-text available
In her description of sensitive mothers, Ainsworth described not only maternal behaviors but also the internal processes underlying such behavior, including the capacity to "see things from the child's point of view". Ainsworth assessed this capacity from her extensive observations of mothers interacting with their infants, from records of mothers'...
Article
Full-text available
The study examined foster caregivers' sensitive guidance of conversations about emotional themes in a sample of foster caregivers living in Family Group Homes. Thirty caregivers were observed with two out of the several children under their care: one that was nominated by the Family Group Home's social worker as the most challenging child in the Fa...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the hypothesis that maternal sensitivity mediates the association between maternal Insightfulness/Resolution and child attachment in a sample of preschool age boys with Autism Spectrum Disorders. This study used the Insightfulness Assessment to assess insightfulness and the Reaction to Diagnosis Interview to assess mothers' reso...
Article
Full-text available
We examined mothers' resolution of their children's diagnosis of Intellectual Disability (ID) and its link to maternal sensitivity, and we hypnotized that mothers' who are "resolved" will show more sensitivity during their interactions with their children than "unresolved" mothers. We assessed maternal resolution using the Reaction to Diagnosis Int...
Article
Full-text available
The commentary opens by highlighting the contribution of the Emotional Availability Scales (EAS) in providing developmental researchers with a clinically sensitive and reliable assessment of the emotional quality of caregiver-child interactions that takes into consideration their coregulated nature. The numerous studies that have used the EAS attes...
Article
Full-text available
This chapter begins with a brief review of attachment theory. It describes how attachment is assessed using the Strange Situation Procedure (SSP), and reviews the studies of attachment in children with Intellectual Disability (ID). It introduces two issues pertinent to attachment and ID: the first involves the cognitive prerequisites for the develo...
Article
The study examined how individuality and connectedness of female adolescents relate to their perceptions of maternal behavior and to adolescent-mother discrepancies in perceptions of maternal behavior. Seventy 16.5-year-old daughters and their mothers participated in the study. Individuality and connectedness of the daughters were assessed from obs...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Background: Decisions regarding the educational placement of children with ASDs are based on a number of factors, including children's' cognitive functioning, adaptive behavior, social abilities and presence of behavior problems. Children with higher levels of functioning in all domains tend to be placed in the general educational system (within "m...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Background: Receiving a diagnosis of chronic medical condition or disability of one's child challenge families in coping with this new situation. Pianta and Marvin (1992) described resolution as the coming to terms with a diagnosis of one’s child. It pertains to parents’ reaction to, and coping strategies of dealing with this new situation of hav...
Article
The study examined the associations between female adolescents' individuation during mid-adolescence and their adjustment two years later to leaving home for mandatory military service. Forty nine daughter-mother dyads participated. Individuality and connectedness during adolescent-mother interactions were observed at age 16. Two years later girls...
Article
Full-text available
Mother-child conversations about the past, including dialogues about distressing events experienced by the child, play an important role in the development of children's autobiographical memory. This chapter describes studies of such dialogues and reviews findings that point to their importance. Findings from the longitudinal studies including both...
Article
Full-text available
Resolution with the diagnosis of one's child involves coming to terms with and accepting the diagnosis and its implications. Parental resolution with the diagnosis was examined among 61 mothers and 60 fathers of 61 children with autism spectrum disorders aged 2-17 years. We investigated resolution rates and subtypes, and associations between resolu...
Article
Full-text available
Objective. The goals of the study were to provide descriptive information regarding the Emotional Availability (EA) Scales in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and to examine the contribution of child functioning and diagnosis and maternal parenting stress and psychological distress to EA Scale scores. Design. 45 preschool-age boys with an ASD and the...
Article
Full-text available
The association between attachment and symbolic play was examined in a sample of 45 preschool age boys with autism spectrum disorders. Attachment was assessed using the strange situation procedure, and the frequency, duration, diversity and complexity of child-initiated symbolic play was assessed from observations of mother-child interactions durin...
Article
In the current study we examined the links between maternal sensitivity and children's secure attachment in a sample of 45 preschool-age boys with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). We hypothesized that mothers of securely attached children would be more sensitive to their children than mothers of insecurely attached children. Children's attachment w...
Article
In the current study (a) maternal insightfulness into the experience of the child and (b) resolution with respect to the child's diagnosis and their associations with children's security of attachment were examined in a sample of 45 preschoolers (mean age = 49 months) with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). It was hypothesized that mothers who were i...
Article
Full-text available
The study examined how mothers who were sexually abused as children guide conversations about emotional events with their children. We hypothesized that compared to mothers who were less resolved regarding their traumatic past, those who were more resolved would better guide such conversations. The dialogues of 33 mothers and their children were as...
Conference Paper
Background: Receiving a diagnosis of ASD for one’s child is a painful experience for parents, one that requires that they realign their thoughts, feelings, and expectations regarding the child. Such realignment, also referred to as “resolution” of the diagnosis, is necessary in order to provide caregiving that is matched to the child’s needs and ch...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined associations between infant—mother attachment, assessed using Ainsworth's Strange Situation at 12-months, and mother—child narrative co-construction in 110 Israeli mothers and their 71/2 year-old children to examine aspects of Bowlby's (1973) notion of Goal-Corrected Partnerships. Narrative co-constructions were classified into...
Article
It was examined whether secure infant-mother attachment contributes to emotionally congruent and organized mother-child dialogues about emotions in later years. The attachment of 99 children was assessed using the Strange Situation at the age of 1 year and their emotion dialogues with their mothers were assessed at the ages of 4.5 and 7.5 years. Di...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated associations between children's representations of mothers in their play narratives and measures of children's and mother socioemotional adaptation, and explored the development of these representations between the ages of 4 and 5 years. Fifty-one children were interviewed using the MacArthur Story-Stem Battery to obtain their narra...
Article
Full-text available
Studies using narratives with children and parents offer ways to study affective meaning-making processes that are central in many theories of developmental psychopathology. This paper reviews theory regarding affective meaning making, and argues that narratives are particularly suited to examine such processes. The review of narrative studies and...
Article
Full-text available
This longitudinal study was designed to examine the links between infant-mother attachment and social information processing in middle childhood. The Strange Situation was used to assess infant-mother attachment at 12 months and a revised and adapted Hebrew version of the Social Information Processing Interview (Dodge & Price, 1994) was used to mea...
Article
The article focuses on detailed examination of the co-construction of emotion dialogues between mothers and their 6-year-old children in light of mothers' experiences of being sexually, physically, and emotionally abused during childhood. We present examples from dialogues between 3 mothers and their children about emotional events experienced by t...
Article
Mothers' insightfulness, which involves understanding the motives underlying the child's behavior in a complete, open, and accepting way, was examined both at the beginning and at the end of a therapeutic preschool program for preschoolers using the Insightfulness Assessment (Oppenheim & Koren-Karie, 2002). The goal of the study was to examine the...
Article
Full-text available
Determinations regarding removal of children from home in maltreatment situations typically take into consideration the physical safety of the child. Less recognized and often underappreciated is the severe risk endured by the child as a result of separation from the caregiver, and the long-term effects of the separation on the child. This article...
Chapter
Discussions of oral narratives often distinguish between the organization and the content of narratives--what some refer to as the "how" versus the "what" of the narrative. This distinction refers to two levels of analysis: The first looks at the coherent link between the elements of the narrative--the "how," and the second looks at the narrative t...
Data
Full-text available
The unpublished version of The MacArthur Story Stem Battery The MacArthur Story Stem Battery developed by I. Bretherton, D. Oppenheim, H. Buchsbaum, R.N. Emde, and the MarArthur Narrative Work Group has been in use since 1990. The script and instructions were published only in 2003 in the volume "Revealing the inner worlds of young children: The Ma...
Article
This article introduces a new method to assess mothers' insightfulness regarding their children's inner world. Maternal insightfulness involves the capacity to see things from the child's point of view, and is based on insight into the child's motives, a complex view of the child, and openness to new information about the child. Insightfulness is s...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the associations among mothers' insightfulness into their infants' internal experience, mothers' sensitivity to their infants' signals, and infants' security of attachment to their mothers. The insightfulness of 129 mothers of 12-month-old infants was assessed by showing mothers 3 videotaped segments of observations of their inf...
Article
Full-text available
The authors present Relationship Competence Training (RCT), which is an organized conceptual framework developed by them for assessing a family's ability to mobilize their relational support in times of distress. RTC is a process of studying family relationship patterns and how these patterns influence family health. The RTC model is described as a...
Article
Shame and guilt are as much interpersonal as intra- individual phenomena in terms of their origins and consequences, as well as in terms of their narrative flow. These self-conscious moral emotions both involve a sense of transgression, are early-appearing in development and can usefully be contrasted in the light of current developmental and clini...
Article
The associations among mothers' observed behavior toward child, children's internal representations of the mother (IRMs), and children's behavior problems were examined. Eighty-two preschool children ranging in age from 38 to 55 months (M = 49.2) from a low socioeconomic status, their mothers, and their preschool teachers participated in the study....
Article
Full-text available
The study examined the links between early infant-mother attachment assessed using Ainsworth's Strange Situation at 1 year and mother-pre-schooler communication at 4.5 years in 113 mother-child dyads. Mother-child communication was assessed during a reunion that followed a one-hour separation and was classified into one of three Open communication...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the links between mothers’ empathic understanding of their preschoolers’ internal experience and early infant-mother attachment. The empathic understanding of 118 mothers of 4.5-year-olds was assessed by showing them three videotaped segments of observations of their children and themselves and interviewing them regarding their...
Article
Associations between mother–child interaction at 12 months and children's feature knowledge of self and mother at 20 months were investigated in 81 dyads. Mother–Child interaction was assessed by scales adapted from the Parent Child Early Relational Assessment (1985). Self- and mother knowledge were assessed by Self- and Mother Feature Knowledge Sc...
Article
Associations between mother–child interaction at 12 months and children's feature knowledge of self and mother at 20 months were investigated in 81 dyads. Mother–Child interaction was assessed by scales adapted from the Parent Child Early Relational Assessment (1985). Self- and mother knowledge were assessed by Self- and Mother Feature Knowledge Sc...
Article
Full-text available
Levinas portrays a tension between two philosophical positions: the traditional Western way of knowing, with its emphasis on the general, the essential, and the objective, and the alternative, face-to-face encounter in which relatedness is primary. The first focuses on how we know the world, on the links between our internal experience and external...
Article
Collective sleeping of infants and young children on the Israeli kibbutz, which involved separations between young children and their parents at bedtime as well as unavailability of parents during the night, has been in practice for many decades until the recent past. Collective sleeping departed markedly from sleeping arrangements common in most c...
Article
Full-text available
Following on from research that indicated significant moral internalisations by age 3, using a play narrative approach in which children were asked to complete story stems describing a range of moral dilemmas, the purpose of this study was to replicate the results, extend them with longitudinal information and assess the child's developing capaciti...
Article
Full-text available
The associations were studied between early mother-child co-construction of a separation-reunion narrative and children's concurrent and later (a) emotion narratives and (b) behavior problems. Fifty-one children and their mothers were observed during a co-construction task when the children were age 4 1/2. At ages 4 1/2 and 5 1/2, children's narrat...
Article
The authors argue that our thinking about psychic reality is challenged by research observations of the child during the period of early language development. The toddler, at the beginnings of propositional speech, expresses the capacity for 'two kinds of psychic reality'. A world of imaginative pretence occurs quite early, and supplements the chil...
Article
We investigated associations between children's representations of mothers in their play narrative and measures of children's and mothers' socioemotional adaptation, and explored the development of these representations between the ages of 4 and 5 years. Fifty-one children were interviewed using the MacArthur Story-Stem Battery to obtain their narr...