Zeynep Biringen

Zeynep Biringen
Colorado State University | CSU · Department of Human Development and Family Studies

Child clinical psychology

About

97
Publications
43,540
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4,225
Citations
Citations since 2017
18 Research Items
1641 Citations
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Introduction
I am involved with prevention projects designed to decrease stress and enhance relationship quality in parent-child and child care contexts. In terms of parent-child relationship quality, the Emotional Availability (EA) Scales have become a major focus of both research and development for me. The system currently assesses relationships from 0-14 years of age and soon will be extended into late adolescence/early adulthood, thus being a life-span tool for relationship quality.

Publications

Publications (97)
Article
Emotional Availability (EA) is the ability to share an emotional connection within a dyad. The observational EA System includes the EA Scales and the EA Zones. The EA Scales consist of four adult dimensions (sensitivity, structuring, nonintrusiveness, nonhostility) and two child dimensions (responsiveness, involvement). Based on the EA Scales, EA Z...
Article
Full-text available
Study question Does adolescent attachment to parents and peers differ between singletons and twins born with assisted reproductive treatments (ART) or natural conception (NC)? Summary answer Adolescent attachment anxiety with the father was higher among NC singletons than among ART and NC twins, whereas attachment avoidance with the father was hig...
Article
Positive parent–child relationship quality is critical for buffering children from the effects of stress on development. It is thus vital to develop interventions that target parent–child relationship quality for families experiencing stress. We examined the moderating role of parent–child relationship quality (as measured by parental emotional ava...
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Background While previous research indicates that low maternal sensitivity in mother-child interactions puts children at risk of overweight and obesity, maternal intrusiveness has rarely been investigated in association with children's weight. We investigated whether maternal sensitivity and intrusiveness in early childhood predict children's incre...
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Parental influences are important for a child's behavior, overall adjustment, as well as cognitive/language development. New research is exploring how relationships with parents can influence a child's neurobiological functioning and development. In this systematic review, our first aim is to describe how the caregiving environment influences these...
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Past research indicates females prefer the use of indirect over direct forms of aggression, whereas the opposite pattern has been found for males. We investigated a specific form of aggression: parental alienating behaviors. Parents who alienate their children from another parent utilize both direct and indirect forms of aggression. We examined whe...
Article
The goal of this study was to determine the extent to which a brief parenting intervention provided the context for helping families to support positive mother–child interactions as well as more optimal mother and child outcomes. Participants in this study were middle income mothers and their children were between 0–3 years of age (N = 25 dyads). P...
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Aim: This randomised control trial (RCT) study examined the effectiveness of a mentalisation-based perinatal group intervention, Nurture and Play (NaP), in improving mother-infant interaction quality and maternal reflective functioning and in decreasing depressive symptoms. Background: Few preventive prenatal interventions have been developed fo...
Article
The first year with a child is one of the most challenging times for mothers due to repeated awakenings typical for young infants. Research has shown that persistent fragmented sleep increases a mother’s risk for low overall well-being, which can challenge the mother-infant relationship. In an effort to improve sleep for both mother and infant, hea...
Article
Estimating the prevalence of parental alienation is challenging because not all children who are exposed to parental alienating behaviors become alienated (Harman, Bernet, & Harman, 2019). The purpose of the current study was to determine whether the proportion of adults who indicate being alienated from a child will be similar to results from a pr...
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Full-text available
Objectives This study examined the associations between emotional availability (EA) and mindful parenting (MP), as well as their independent and combined associations with indicators of adolescent well-being. EA is a well-established measure of parent-child relationship quality and conceptualized to be a life-span measure of emotional connection in...
Article
This study examined relations among parent adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), parent mental distress, child social–emotional functioning, and parent emotional availability (EA) among parents and children served by an Early Head Start program in an American Indian community. The majority of parents and children in the study were American Indian/A...
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Parental Substance Use Disorder (SUD) constitutes a high-risk condition for parent-child interactions and child development. Empirical evidence indicates high rates of psychopathology and neuropsychological impairments in individuals with SUD. Despite research indicating that parenting skills are related to psychological well-being and cognitive/ne...
Article
This study examined whether discrepancies in reported court ordered parenting time and actual parenting time among families that had dissolved (i.e., divorced) was associated with the degree to which children are reported to demonstrate negative coping behaviors. It was hypothesized that (a) parents who were targets of alienating behaviors by the o...
Chapter
Attachment theory posits that sensitive interactions between caregivers and children are the bedrock of a secure attachment (Ainsworth, Blehar, Waters, & Wall, 1978). The larger concept of “emotional availability” (Biringen, Robinson, & Emde, 1998) refers to the avenue by which secure attachments are formed, including qualities additional to parent...
Article
According to gender role theory, individuals who confirm expectations associated with their gender roles are rewarded and judged against these expectations when they deviate. Parental roles are strongly tied to gender, and there are very different expectations for behaviors of mothers and fathers. This study examined how mothers' and fathers' behav...
Article
Full-text available
Attachment theory (Bowlby, 1969) and its limitations are first described. Next, emotional availability (EA; Biringen et al., 1998; Biringen, 2008) is introduced as an expansion upon the original conceptualization of the parent–child attachment relationship. As a construct and as a measure, EA considers the dyadic and emotional qualities of adult–ch...
Article
This study evaluated the new online Emotional Attachment and Emotional Availability (EA2) Intervention for use with adoptive families in enhancing parent-child EA, parental perceptions of EA, child attachment behaviors, parent-child emotional attachment, and reducing parent-reported child behavioral problems and parenting-related stress. Participan...
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The purpose of this study was to explore mother-child relational quality in infants diagnosed with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). Thirty-eight mothers and infants had been assessed during feeding using the Emotional Availability (EA) system at 6 to 10 weeks infant age. EA scores were in a non-optimal range. While this study is exploratory,...
Chapter
Full-text available
Emotional availability instruct is presented in its contribution to parenting assessment and intervention
Article
Emotional availability (EA), as a construct, refers to the capacity of a dyad to share an emotionally healthy relationship. The Emotional Availability (EA) Scales assess this construct using a multi-dimensional framework, with scales measuring the affect and behavior of both the child and adult partner (caregiver). The four caregiver components are...
Article
This study examined the longitudinal relations of mother–child affect exchanges at 18 months with children's mastery motivation at 39 months. Observation and questionnaire data were collected from mother–child dyads when children were 18 months; 43 mothers again rated their children's mastery motivation at 39 months. Results suggested that after co...
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This study was conducted to formally evaluate the effectiveness of the Human Animal Bond in Colorado (HABIC, 2010), a well-developed animal-assisted therapy (AAT) intervention based in 23 elementary schools in the Front Range. Previous research on the benefits of human and dog relationships, otherwise called the human-animal bond, has provided supp...
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This study assessed relations among number of out-of-home placement changes, time in caregivers' care, caregiver type (i.e., foster parent, adoptive parent, kinship relation, and biological parent), child gender, and caregiver-child emotional availability (EA) as predictive of child attachment security when children were 3 years old in a sample of...
Article
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Some mothers who have recently lost a significant attachment figure may become mentally incoherent and sporadically even enter a trancelike, dissociative state. Such states of mind have been shown to predict infant attachment disorganization. Infants born close to the time of a parental loss are at a greater risk for intergenerational trauma. A bac...
Article
Using characteristics of parental alienation syndrome (PAS) and related concepts as a conceptual guide, the authors created an assessment tool to measure young adults' perceptions of experiencing parental alienation during childhood. A sample of undergraduates (N = 227) completed the newly developed Relationship Distancing Questionnaire (RDQ) as we...
Article
Both negative and idealized maternal prenatal representations may constitute a risk for mother-infant interaction. This study analyzed the role of maternal prenatal representations and pre- to postnatal representational change in predicting mother-infant emotional availability (EA) among 51 drug-abusing mothers and their infants who participated in...
Article
We appreciate both the opportunity to co-edit this Special Section of Development and Psychopathology and the thoughtful commentaries provided by Marjorie Beeghly, Marc Bornstein, Robert Emde, and David Oppenheim. Their commentaries review historical perspectives, provide new insights, and suggest future horizons for the study of emotional availabi...
Article
Full-text available
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,...
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Full-text available
According to data from the 1997 NICHD Study of Child Care, center-based child care can have deleterious effects on children's social-emotional development. We hypothesized that training child care professionals to develop positive relationships with children in their care would improve the quality of center-based child care. Thirty-three profession...
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Full-text available
Low-quality parent–child interactions have been associated with children's behavioral and emotional problems. Further, research has shown that divorce can be a stressful time for both parents and children, and might be linked with children's negative adjustment. The hypothesis of this study was that parent–child dyads will show lower quality intera...
Article
The purpose of the study was to examine cognitive development (using the Bayley MDI) and mother–child interaction (using the Emotion Availability Scales, 3rd edition) among infants of opioid‐abusing mothers. Participants were 87 dyads (15 opioid‐exposed, 15 maternal depression and 57 unexposed mother–infant dyads). The study group included 15 infan...
Article
This study examined the qualities that contribute to postdivorce child attachment in a sample of 24 divorcing mothers and their children, ages 12 to 73 months, in the context of shared parenting time arrangements. Child attachment was assessed using Waters's Attachment Q-Set (AQS). Qualities such as age at onset of overnight stays, interparental co...
Article
While most psychological research has emphasized the importance of conflictfree mother-infant interactions, a review of recent research suggests that dyssynchrony, conflict, and their successful resolution are also integral to normative mother-infant interactions and optimal infant outcomes. Theory and research incorporating these concepts are desc...
Article
Objective. This study investigates observed and self-reported emotional availability in clinically depressed and nondepressed mother–infant pairs. Design. Observations of mother–infant interaction were made during 30-min free-play interaction during the first year of life in clinically postpartum depressed (n = 49) and nondepressed mothers (n = 35)...
Article
Objective. The purpose was to compare emotional availability, maternal self-efficacy beliefs, and child developmental status in caregiver–child relationships with prenatally buprenorphine-exposed and nonexposed 3-year-old children. Design. We compared prenatally buprenorphine-exposed children living either with the biological mother (n = 7) or in f...
Article
This study concentrates on the postdivorce adjustment of parents and children in families with shared parenting time arrangements. Thirty divorcing parents with children aged 12 to 59 months old were interviewed using a semistructured telephone interview regarding their early experiences in the divorce process. Findings showed that work–family bala...
Article
The observations of psychoanalytically oriented clinicians such as Mahler, Pine, and Bergman and Greenacre were descriptive of intriguing aspects of the infant's transition to upright locomotion. Yet, research on how walking creates changes in the infant and in the family have scarcely been studied. In this naturalistic home study, 46 infants were...
Article
Maternal history of abuse has been proposed as a risk factor for child maltreatment, but the background of this "cycle of abuse" is as yet poorly understood. As a contribution toward a deeper understanding of this phenomenon, this study analyzed whether emotional availability is altered by maternal experiences of physical or sexual abuse during the...
Article
Parental alienation refers to a parent's attempts to distance a child from the child's other parent. We examined (1) the effects of “feeling alienation” upon college students' recollections of their childhood relationships, (2) the effects of “feeling alienation” on perceptions of adult parent-child relationships, and (3) the likelihood of alienati...
Article
Full-text available
In the course of daily transactions, caregivers and children construct internal working models of self and other in the attachment relationship (Bowlby, 1969). The function of such working models is to guide an individual's own behavior toward the attachment partner and to interpret and forecast the partner's behavior. So far, however, research on...
Article
In this article, we describe issues regarding emotional availability and its application to children with disabilities. We then apply this approach to the scoring of emotional availability for caregiver–child interactions of children with disabilities, with information based on children with genetic mental retardation syndromes, children with autis...
Article
Two studies are used to illustrate the importance of context and length of time in the use of the Emotional Availability Scales (EAS) to predict aspects of child development. The purpose of the first study was to examine whether prediction of attachment by the EAS is better with increasing amounts of time. We scored emotional availability (EA) ever...
Article
In a previous issue of this journal, Richard A. Warshak provided a summary of the developmental literature as it bears on overnight restrictions during custody arrangements. Here, the authors comment on points of agreement and disagreement with Warshak based on their reading of the theoretical and empirical literature on development. Particular ref...
Article
Increasing evidence indicates that children and adolescents ho are informed and educated about issues of sexuality are more likely to be sexually responsible and less likely to put themselves in sexually risky situations. Parents can play a pivotal role in imparting accurate information and values to their children in a developmentally appropriate...
Article
Kelly and Lamb (2000) recently provided a summary of the attachment literature and a set of guidelines for visitation and custody for young children in divorced and separated families. Here, Solomon and Biringen review the same literature with an eye to critically evaluating these guidelines, especially the suggestion that more, rather than fewer,...
Article
Maternal attachment representations were assessed using the George, Kaplan, and Main (1985) Adult Attachment Interview (AAI), and emotional availability during observed mother-child interactions was assessed using the third edition of the Emotional Availability (EA) Scales (Biringen, Robinson, & Emde, 1998). This edition of EA included four parenta...
Article
Full-text available
Maternal representations of the self as parent were assessed via the Parent Attachment and Peer Relationship Interviews (Bretherton, Biringen, Ridgeway, Maslin-Cole, & Sherman, 1989; Biringen & Bretherton, 1988) when children were 39 months of age. Maternal sensitivity and maternal structuring during mother-child interactions were assessed at 18, 2...
Article
The emotional availability construct (based on observations of parent-child interactions) was first reconceptualized for research in 1991 as a way to describe the quality of parent-child interactions. Since then, there has been considerable refinement of the construct. EA refers to several parental dimensions (sensitivity, structuring, non-intrusiv...
Article
Mothers and their infants were observed during naturalistic home observations when infants were on average 9 months, 12 months, and 14 months. Forty-six dyads (25 mother-daughter and 21 mother-son) were observed. The indices assessed in this study included global measures of emotional availability and discrete indices of emotion communication. Two...
Article
Families Making Sense of Death. Janice Winchester Nadeau. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 1998. 289 pp. ISBN 0-7619-0265-1. $25.95 paper. Families Making Sense of Death is a moving account of how 10 families are making meaning of the death of a loved one. In fact, the focus of the book is specifically on meaning making and how families, rather than indivi...
Article
Discusses emotional availability (EA) scales for assessing the quality of relationships between parents and children. Derived from attachment theory, EA is a construct that describes emotional openness and emotional communication between parent and child. Three major assumptions underlie the construct of EA: (1) it is a dyadic concept, that is, par...
Article
While most psychological research has emphasized the importance of conflict-free mother-infant interactions, a review of recent research suggests that dyssynchrony, conflict, and their successful resolution are also integral to normative mother-infant interactions and optimal infant outcomes. Theory and research incorporating these concepts are des...
Article
Clinical theory is replete with rich observations that the onset of walking engenders an enhancement of emotional expression in the infant. Yet, no empirical research exists on this subject. Moreover, the importance of normal timing variations in the onset of developmental transitions has not been a topic of investigation in most developmental rese...
Article
Although Bowlby's attachment theory has had a profound effect on research in developmental psychology, its application to clinical practice has barely been explored. The theory and its origins are outlined, and attachment-theory concepts that may have clinical applicability are explored, with particular attention to the construct of internal workin...
Article
Assessed (1) mean differences for 38 mother–son versus 34 mother–daughter pairs in maternal sensitivity (MST) and discrete measures for the balance of control (BOC) at 18 and 24 mo, (2) correlations between the discrete measures of the BOC and MST for mother–son and mother–daughter pairs, and (3) stability or change in MST and BOC from 18 to 24 mo....
Article
Explored patterns of emotional communication, emphasizing both mother and child roles in affect regulation. 70 mother–child dyads (38 mother–son and 32 mother–daughter) were videotaped at ages 18 and 24 mo in their homes during semistructured play. Shared and nonshared affect displays and 2 maternal dimensions were rated: sensitive/insensitive and...
Article
The early self has dual orgins in (1) a set of biologically prepared motives and (2) interactions with emotionally available caregivers. We think of self as an organizing mental process and as a regulator of experience. Most emotionally engaging experiences in infancy are stored as procedural knowledge and are made use of in ways that are not acces...
Article
Reviews the literature on emotional availability (EA) as a maternal construct and on the related concepts of psychological unavailability, depression, sensitivity, and control. A reconceptualization of EA as a relational construct, incorporating maternal sensitivity and nonintrusiveness and child responsiveness and involvement of the mother, is pre...
Article
This study assessed whether 3 forms of maternal views (recall of her own parental acceptance, the sense of self, and perceptions of the child) are related to each other and to mother–child interaction. The Mother–Father–Peer Scale was sent to mothers of infants aged 11–19 mo; 37 mothers were selected as extremes on the basis of the Acceptance subsc...
Article
Three-month-old infants were shown moving faces and still faces on videotape in a paired-comparison situation. Motion type was clearly specified, and facial expression and motion were separately varied. Infants saw a still face, internal motion on the face (i.e., motion of the internal features), and whole object (i.e., side-to-side) motion, each w...
Article
In a cross-sectional study, sex-related self-attributions of 426 women and 378 men were assessed at 8 stages in the family life cycle. It was hypothesized that sex differences are not fixed in adulthood but fluctuate according to the demand characteristics of various life situations. Factor analysis of the Bem Sex-Role Inventory yielded 9 factors,...
Article
• In a cross-sectional study, sex-related self-attributions of 426 women and 378 men were assessed at 8 stages in the family life cycle. It was hypothesized that sex differences are not fixed in adulthood but fluctuate according to the demand characteristics of various life situations. Factor analysis of the Bem Sex-Role Inventory yielded 9 factors...

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Projects (2)
Project
Validating and implementing an observational measure of the doctor-patient relationship (Interactional Competencies - Medical Doctors; IC-M) to evaluate applicants in the selection process of medical students. The measure is an adapted version of the Emotional Availability Scales (EAS; Biringen, 2008).