Miriam Steele

Miriam Steele
The New School

About

121
Publications
235,198
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10,985
Citations
Citations since 2017
35 Research Items
3946 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230200400600
20172018201920202021202220230200400600
20172018201920202021202220230200400600

Publications

Publications (121)
Article
This exploratory paper considered children’s responses to story-stem beginnings at age 5-years and their later responses to the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) at age 16-years, where reflective functioning was reliably scored as the outcome variable of interest. Forty-five youth participated in the report who were representative, in attachment ter...
Article
In molti contesti professionali, compreso quello del Tribunale per i minorenni, si fa riferimento alla teoria dell'attaccamento e alla relativa ricerca, con fraintendimenti ampiamente diffusi che spesso si traducono in applicazioni scorrette. La finalità di questa dichiarazione di consenso è, pertanto, quella di migliorarne la comprensione, contras...
Article
Full-text available
The current study examined 20 participants from group attachment based intervention (GABI), who completed the adult attachment interviews (AAI; George, et al., 1985) as part of a RCT to test the efficacy of GABI compared with treatment as usual, in order to explore the possible benefits higher RF for treatment outcome in terms of interactive mother...
Article
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The development of fidelity and quality measures for the dissemination of evidence-based practices is an often-neglected, vital step in the implementation of psychological interventions, especially within parent-infant mental health. The current study aims to address this gap by developing a competency-based measure for clinicians delivering the Gr...
Article
This comment on the Special Issue contributions regarding the attachment network addresses the clinical implications of the findings from three perspectives: (1) the need to look beyond maternal influences on child developmental outcomes; (2) to be open to every seemingly peripheral influence on the child as this may have a central impact on the ch...
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La théorie et les recherches sur l’attachement sont utilisées dans de nombreux cadres d’application, y compris dans les tribunaux compétents en matière familiale [1], mais les incompréhensions sont fréquentes et sources d’erreurs lorsqu’il s’agit de les mettre en pratique. L’objectif de cet article de consensus est donc d’accroître la compréhension...
Article
Full-text available
In molti contesti professionali, compreso quello del Tribunale per i minorenni, si fa rife-rimento alla teoria dell'attaccamento e alla relativa ricerca, con fraintendimenti ampiamente diffusi che spesso si traducono in applicazioni scorrette. La finalità di questa dichiarazione di consenso è, pertanto, quella di migliorarne la comprensione, contra...
Article
La teoría y la investigación sobre el apego se utilizan en muchos contextos aplicados, incluidos los juzgados de familia, pero hay malentendidos muy extendidos y que a veces dan lugar a aplicaciones erróneas. El objetivo de este documento de consenso es, por lo tanto, mejorar la comprensión, contrarrestar la desinformación y dirigir el uso de la te...
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Attachment theory and research are drawn upon in many applied settings, including family courts, but misunderstandings are widespread and sometimes result in misapplications. The aim of this consensus statement is, therefore, to enhance understanding, counter misinformation, and steer family-court utilisation of attachment theory in a supportive, e...
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A growing body of literature has consistently shown how adopted children often have previous history of trauma and neglect, and in turn develop negative representations of the self and others. This study assesses the internal representations of three groups of children, as measured by the Story Stem Assessment Profile (SSAP). These were: (1) a malt...
Article
Toxic stressors (e.g., parental violence, depression, low income) place children at risk for insecure attachment. Parental reflective function-parents' capacity to understand their own and their child's mental states and thus regulate their own feelings and behavior toward their child-may buffer the negative effects of toxic stress on attachment. O...
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The potential effects of maternal trauma on mother–infant interaction remain insufficiently studied empirically. This study examined the effects of the September 11, 2001, trauma on mother–infant interaction in mothers who were pregnant and widowed on 9/11, and their infants aged 4–6 months. Split‐screen videotaped interaction was coded on a one‐se...
Article
This paper reports on a randomized control trial involving children less than 3 years old and their mothers who were regarded at risk of maltreating their children by referral agencies. Mothers’ risk status derived from a heavy trauma burden (average exposure over the first 18 years of their lives to 10 possible adverse childhood experiences [ACEs]...
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In the service of children's best interests, we argue for a sharpening of the evidentiary standards used in family court decision making, from preponderance of (occasionally substandard) evidence to "beyond a reasonable doubt." Second, we call for a move in child protection cases from static diagnoses (e.g., attachment classifications) to assessmen...
Article
In an attempt to go beyond the analysis of children's outcomes in adoption research, the central goal of this study was the analysis of parents' reflective functioning (PRF)—understood as the parents' capacity to reflect upon their own experience as parents, upon their child's experience, and upon the relationships between them— and its connection...
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We express serious doubt and cautioning regarding Spieker and Crittenden's (2010) claim that attachment measures associated with the dynamic‐maturational model of attachment and adaptation (DMM; Crittenden, 2016) can be used for court decision‐making. We demonstrate, using Crittenden's and coworkers’ (e.g., Spieker & Crittenden, 2010) own data, tha...
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Exposure to childhood adversity has been linked to accelerated telomere shortening, a marker of cellular aging and an indicator of physical health risk. In the current study, we examined whether adult attachment representation moderated the association between childhood adversity and telomere length. Participants included 78 young adults ( M age =...
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We provide a general introduction to the theoretical and empirical sources informing the development of the Infancy and Early Childhood Section (IEC) of the second edition of the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM-2). We offer a brief exploration of the evolution of developmental psychoanalysis and its applications to infant mental health, along...
Article
This paper describes the treatment of a mother and child who demonstrated disorganized attachment behaviors in their interactions with one another. The mother, who was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, felt incapable of managing her aggressive toddler and his emotional needs. The dyad was referred for therapy due to concerns about his...
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This study aimed to investigate the multidimensional nature of maternal mental state talk with respect to children’s social-behavioral functioning in a low-income urban preschool sample. Maternal speech data were collected as mothers narrated a wordless picture book depicting a diverse set of mental states to their children (n = 130, 2–4 year olds)...
Article
Attachment security moderates the link between adverse childhood experiences and cellular aging—ADDENDUM - Or Dagan, Arun Asok, Howard Steele, Miriam Steele, Kristin Bernard
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Disorganized/Disoriented (D) attachment has seen widespread interest from policy makers, practitioners, and clinicians in recent years. However, some of this interest seems to have been based on some false assumptions that (1) attachment measures can be used as definitive assessments of the individual in forensic/child protection settings and that...
Article
Full-text available
Disorganized/disoriented (D) attachment has seen widespread interest from policy-makers, practitioners and clinicians in recent years. However some of this interest seems to have been based on some false assumptions: that (1) attachment measures can be used as definitive assessments of the individual in forensic/child protection settings, and that...
Article
Fotopoulou and Tsakiris in their target paper offer a theoretical and methodological corrective in their argument for the need to reclaim the physical body of the individual for a fuller understanding of the origins and maintenance of the sense of a unified, regulated, relational self. While we share their injunctive to mindfully not throw out the...
Article
This paper reports on the longitudinal links between first-time mothers (N = 48) Adult Attachment Interviews (AAIs), provided during pregnancy, and their first-born children's AAIs, provided at age 16 years. The AAIs from the adolescents were scored for reflective functioning (RF), and this was found to be significantly...
Chapter
Full-text available
Within primary care pediatrics, there is an optimal and essential opportunity to educate parents on how the pernicious effects of toxic stress have impacted their lives and how they can prevent and/or buffer the effects of stress in their child’s life. The recommendation from the 2012 American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement is to infuse a t...
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Risk factors during preschool years, such as poverty and unattended social/emotional problems, are known to have a strong negative influence on children's later functioning. This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of an on-site integrated school-based mental health services and consultation program for preschool children and their familie...
Chapter
Full-text available
Microanalysis research on 4-month infant-mother face-to-face communication operates like a "social microscope" and identifies aspects of maternal sensitivity and the origins of attachment with a more detailed lens. We hope to enhance a dialogue between these two paradigms, microanalysis of mother-infant communication and maternal sensitivity and em...
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This study interviewed adolescents conceived using sperm donation to examine their experiences of contacting and meeting 'same-donor offspring' (i.e. donor-conceived offspring raised in different families who share the same donor), their motivations for this contact, and how they make meaning of these relationships. This in-depth qualitative study...
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Objective: To study the processes by which donor-conceived children incorporate donor conception into their subjective sense of identity. Design: ▪▪▪. Setting: Family homes. Patient(s): Nineteen donor-conceived adolescents. Intervention(s): Administration of an interview and questionnaire. Main outcome measure(s): The mother-child relati...
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Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are associated with physical and mental health problems in adulthood, as well as unresolved or discordant states of mind regarding attachments that have implications for problematic parenting. Currently, there are no studies on the association between ACEs and adults' subjective experiences of stress in the pare...
Chapter
Psychoanalysis, for better or worse, has exerted considerable influence on developmental psychopathology. This chapter provides a historical overview of the psychoanalytic approach, taking a dual developmental perspective. It outlines the emergence of analytic ideas and the changing assumptions and emphases of the key perspectives between Anna Freu...
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analyses were used to identify factors independently associated with increased impact. RESULTS: A total of 809 women met the inclusion criteria, of which 396 (49%) completed the questionnaire. Most participants (75.5%) reported having no prior children. The majority (58.8%) attributed infertility to only female factors, 30.4% to a combination of ma...
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In this article, we test the hypothesis that beliefs about the ideal mother are convergent across cultures and that these beliefs overlap considerably with attachment theory’s notion of the sensitive mother. In a sample including 26 cultural groups from 15 countries around the globe, 751 mothers sorted the Maternal Behavior Q-Set to reflect their i...
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This article aims to illustrate the central underpinning role that observation has had in the development of attachment theory and research, and in clinical work informed by attachment theory. Also, the paper aims to highlight reflective functioning in clinical practice and how it can be shown to ignite positive change processes, with illustrations...
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This article outlines the main premises of an innovative trauma-informed intervention, group attachment-based intervention, specifically developed to target vulnerable families with infants and toddlers, living in one of the poorest urban counties in the nation. It also reports on the trauma-relevant characteristics of 60 families entering a clinic...
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The first distribution of Chinese infant-mother (n = 61) attachment classifications categorised by trained and reliability-tested coders is reported with statistical comparisons to US norms and previous Chinese distributions. Three-way distribution was 15% insecure-avoidant, 62% secure, 13% insecure-resistant, and 4-way distribution was 13% insecur...
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Borderline personality disorder (BPD) has been conceptualized as a constellation of symptoms related to problems in self-functioning, emotion regulation, and interpersonal relationships. Its etiology has been connected to individuals’ early childhood environment, caregiving relationships, and traumatic life events. Recent literature has noted the p...
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Underlying persistent psychological difficulties have been found to moderate potential adverse effects of maternal postpartum depression (PPD) on parenting and infant development. The authors examined whether mothers presenting postpartum depressive symptoms showed higher levels of personality pathology and more insecure state of mind regarding att...
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The Head Start Bureau has described asthma as a “growing problem” and “top chronic disease among Head Start children” (Rehnquist, 2002). This study examined the racial/ethnic and SES-based contributors to asthma prevalence among children attending three Head Start centers in a multi-ethnic, densely populated city in the U.S. Sample consisted of 131...
Article
The Head Start Bureau has described asthma as a “growing problem” and “top chronic disease among Head Start children” (Rehnquist, 2002). This study examined the racial/ethnic and SES-based contributors to asthma occurrence among children attending three Head Start centers in a multi-ethnic, densely populated city in the U.S. Sample consisted of 131...
Article
In this Introduction to the Special Issue The Use of Video in Attachment-Based Interventions, we describe how film and video made their entry in attachment theory and research and ultimately in attachment-based interventions. The role of film in helping to understand attachment had its roots several decades ago with the Robertsons' footage as a mem...
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This paper provides an account of multiple potential benefits of using video in clinical interventions designed to promote change in parent-child attachment relationships. The power of video to provide a unique perspective on parents' ways of thinking and feeling about their own behavior and that of their child will be discussed in terms of current...
Chapter
Full-text available
Over the last decade, there have been considerable advances in the scientific understanding of the origins and developmental course of attachment disorders conceived of both in the narrow diagnostic psychiatric sense, with respect to reactive attachment disorder (DSM 1980, 1994, 1999) and in the more general sense with respect to diverse forms of a...
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Full-text available
Although Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are linked to increased health problems and risk behaviors in adulthood, there are no studies on the association between ACEs and adults' states of mind regarding their early childhood attachments, loss, and trauma experiences. To validate the ACEs questions, we analyzed the association between ACEs and...
Patent
The Coding System for Mental State Talk in Narratives (CS-MST) is a comprehensive measure of mental state language in children's and adults' narratives. CS-MST effectively measures frequency, diversity and causality of mental state language in most verbal data, such as stories, responses to projective tests and interviews. It provides a very time-e...
Chapter
Peer play psychotherapy (PPP) within preschool settings is a developmentally appropriate, ecologically valid and invaluable open door for positive change in young children of widely varied diagnoses and at-risk conditions with collateral impact on their many different types of parents (Fantuzzo et al. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 6...
Chapter
This chapter describes the Group Attachment-Based Intervention (GABI) specifically designed for clinical work with marginalized, socially isolated parents and their children, aged zero to three years. GABI aims to prevent child maltreatment by developing secure parent/child attachment relationships, promoting infant mental health, and reducing pare...
Article
Full-text available
Microanalysis research on 4-month infant-mother face-to-face communication operates like a "social microscope" and identifies aspects of maternal sensitivity and the origins of attachment with a more detailed lens. We hope to enhance a dialogue between these two paradigms, microanalysis of mother-infant communication and maternal sensitivity and em...
Article
Full-text available
The present paper looks at the potential of the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) and its underlying basis in attachment theory for use in psychotherapeutic work. We summarize the basic tenets of attachment theory, detail the content and structure of the AAI, provide instructions for conducting the AAI, and introduce the Main et al. (2002) coding sy...
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Internal working models (IWMs; Bowlby, 1969/1982) develop before language and are, initially at least, pre-symbolic, nonverbal notions. With reflective functioning (RF; Fonagy, Steele, Steele, Moran, & Higgitt, 1991) we have the possibility to refashion IWMs based on language, but linguistic skills only develop between 18-24 months, and then steadi...
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Full-text available
Internal working models (IWMs; Bowlby, 1969/1982) develop before language and are, initially at least, pre-symbolic, nonverbal notions. With reflective functioning (RF; Fonagy, Steele, Steele, Moran, &Higgitt, 1991) we have the possibility to refashion IWMs based on language, but linguistic skills only develop between 18-24 months, and then steadil...
Article
The Use of the AAI in the Study of Parent—Child Relationships The Attachment Representations and Adoption Outcome Study Results Messages for Good Practice in Adoption and Social Work from an Attachment Perspective Conclusion
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This article briefly summarizes the literature on elements of research, practice, and policy pertaining to the development and care of children raised in institutions. It covers such childrens development while they reside in institutions and after their transition to adoptive or foster families. Of special interest are attachment and indiscriminat...
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Preschool-age children who have had traumatic experiences often experience several challenges as they enter school. They are frequently preoccupied with the trauma and display both externalizing and internalizing behaviors in their classrooms, significantly impairing their abilities to learn. With few additional resources and the lack of availabili...
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Attachment has been assessed in the extreme environment of orphanages, but an important issue to be addressed in this chapter is whether in addition to standard assessment procedures, such as the Strange Situation, the lack of a specific attachment in some institutionalized children should be taken into account given the limits to the development o...
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Previous studies have implicated attachment and disturbances in romantic relationships as important indicators for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). The current research extends our current knowledge by examining the specific associations among attachment, romantic relationship dysfunction, and BPD, above and beyond the contribution of emotion...
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Associations of maternal self-report anxiety-related symptoms with mother-infant 4-month face-to-face play were investigated in 119 pairs. Attention, affect, spatial orientation, and touch were coded from split-screen videotape on a 1-s time base. Self- and interactive contingency were assessed by time-series methods. Because anxiety symptoms signa...
Article
Five-year-old children's moral development was assessed using a projective doll-play technique (the MacArthur Story Stem Battery; MSSB), an emotion-understanding task, concurrent maternal reports of behaviour problems and child performance in a cheating task. Three narrative scales were derived from the children's MSSB play themes: a non-physical p...
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This paper describes an attachment-based intervention for mothers known to Child Welfare Services where past and current trauma complicates family preservation and promotion of child well being. The first part of the paper describes the innovative Attachment-Centered Parent–Child Therapy service that has been delivered to high-risk families with ch...
Article
This article presents an attachment theory and research-based perspective on the utility of assessing qualities of mental representations as indexes of change in an adoption context. The article reviews findings from a large, longitudinal and intergenerational study of attachment relationships of previously maltreated children who were adopted in l...
Article
People with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) who hoard have been posited to have an atypical emotional attachment to the inanimate objects that they pathologically accumulate, yet this hypothesis has not been formally examined using methodology from the attachment field. To explore this hypothesis, attachment to people and to inanimate objects w...
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The Adult Attachment Interview (AAI), developed and extensively tested in the domain of developmental psychology, has relevance to psychotherapy research. The authors compare and contrast the ways that social psychologists and developmental psychologists have operationalized the concept of attachment security and discuss corresponding implications...
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This paper reports on findings from a sample of 63 children at 6 years old, and 49 children at 11 years old, all from the same cohort who had been observed with mother in the Strange Situation at 1-year-old. At 6 and 11 years, the children responded to the task of providing verbal labels for line-drawn (caricatures of) emotion faces. The faces comp...
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While strong retrospective and concurrent associations between maternal and infant patterns of attachment have been noted, this is one of the first reports of a prospective investigation of such associations. The Adult Attachment Interview was administered to 100 mothers expecting their first child, and, at 1-year follow-up, 96 of these were seen w...
Article
Associations are reported among classifications of Adult Attachment Interviews (AAIs) obtained from expectant parents and subsequent classifications of their infants in the Strange Situation Procedure (SSP). Mothers' AAIs predicted infant-mother SSPs (X2= 41.87, N= 96, df= 9, ρ≤ .0001), and fathers' AAIs predicted infant-father SSPs (X2= 18.94, N=...
Article
A prospective longitudinal study assessed the development of the mother-child relationship within the context of other important aspects of transition to parenthood. In the prenatal phase, 238 women who were 8 months pregnant with their first child completed a set of questionnaires. At 1 month post-partum, 165 of these women completed a second set...
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This article provides an illustration of how the use of the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI; George, Kaplan, & Main, 1985) can be extended beyond the research arena to its use as a clinical instrument in parent–infant psychotherapy. The article is based on the ongoing work of the Parent–Infant Project team at the Anna Freud Centre, London, where ps...
Article
The study reported here by Jeanne Kaniuk , Miriam Steele and Jill Hodges explored the development of attachments between a group of 63 children aged four to eight years at placement, all of whom had a history of separations and neglect or abuse. The 63 children and their adopters (42 families) were followed up for two years after placement. They we...
Article
This paper reports on associations observed between Adult Attachment Interviews (AAIs) obtained from adoptive mothers, and emotional themes appearing in doll play narratives obtained from their recently adopted children. The children, aged 4-8 years, carried into their adoptive placements a history of consistently serious maltreatment, including ne...
Article
Children who develop their ‘internal working models’ of attachment in situations of neglect or abuse, carry the effects of these models into new placements if they are then adopted or fostered. This article reports on the assessment of these effects using the story stem technique, which provides children with a way of displaying their expectations...
Article
This paper assumes that the capacities to (1) openly acknowledge, and (2) elaborate a resourceful plan for coping with distress in the self and others are central features of social cognition. These capacities were assessed in a sample (N = 51) of 11-year-old children whose mothers and fathers had previously provided Adult Attachment Interviews (AA...
Article
Both clinical and empirical studies suggest that insecure attachment is common in eating disordered populations. Clinical studies have addressed mother-daughter interactions, but there has been little empirical research into the mother's own attachment patterns and whether there might be intergenerational transmission of these patterns. We aimed to...