Expressed Emotion in Homeless Families: A Methodological Study of the Five-Minute Speech Sample

Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota, 51 East River Road, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.
Journal of Family Psychology (Impact Factor: 1.89). 06/2012; 26(4):648-53. DOI: 10.1037/a0028968
Source: PubMed


Conducted in an emergency homeless shelter, this study aimed to validate parents' expressed emotion (EE) from the Five-Minute Speech Sample (FMSS) with observed parenting practices in a very high-risk population and examine how different aspects of parents' EE, including positive emotional expressions, related to observed parenting and children's school adjustment. Using 3 different coding approaches, we assessed the reliability and validity of 4 aspects of the FMSS-critical statements, positive statements, negative affect, and warmth-in relation to negative and positive parenting behaviors and children's behavioral and relational adjustment in school. The FMSS was administered to 39 parents about their 4- to 7-year-old children. Parent-child dyads participated in a 45-min videotaped sequence of games and tasks later coded for parenting behavior. Results indicated that parents' warmth during the FMSS was related to more positive and effective observed parenting behaviors. Critical statements and negative affect during the FMSS were related to more coercive parenting behaviors. Negative affect also was related to teachers' reports of children's increased externalizing behavior, less prosocial behavior with peers, and more conflict with teachers. Criticism maintained associations with observed parenting, even for parents who provided less than 5 min of speech. This study provides preliminary but promising evidence for the validity of FMSS scores in a high-risk sample of families and, specifically, for aspects of the FMSS to be efficient correlates of parenting behavior and aspects of children's school adjustment. Challenges, limitations, and promising features of the FMSS for use with highly disadvantaged parents are discussed.

Download full-text


Available from: Angela J Narayan, Oct 14, 2014
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Using a music therapy approach to assess emotional communication and parent–child interaction is new to the field of child protection. However, musical improvisations in music therapy has long been known as an analogue to affect attunement and early non-verbal communication between parent and infant, which called for an investigation of the value of music therapy within the field of family assessment and family therapy. More specifically, we wanted to investigate and further strengthen assessment of parenting competencies (APC). We developed scores and examined the psychometric properties of the APC-R (revised version) in a quantitative study including a small, embedded qualitative component. A total of 52 dyads of children and their parents participated of whom 18 were in residential center to address emotional neglect and 33 functioned as a non-clinical comparison (children aged 5–12). All dyads underwent two video recorded music therapy assessment sessions. Video analyses focused on autonomy relationship, turns, and parental response types producing scores on Mutual Attunement, Nonverbal Communication Skills and Emotional Parental Response. Psychometric analyses of the APC-R included interrater reliability, test re-test reliability, internal consistency, and concurrent validity. We concluded that APC-R is reliable and valid and adds to the existing observational instruments of parent–child interaction.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2014 · Journal of Child and Family Studies
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study examined risk, vulnerability, and protective processes of parental expressed emotion for children's peer relationships in families living in emergency shelters with high rates of exposure to parental violence (EPV). Parental criticism and negativity were hypothesized to exacerbate the association between EPV and poorer peer relations, whereas parental warmth was expected to buffer this association. Participants included 138 homeless parents (M = 30.77 years, SD = 6.33, range = 20.51-57.32 years; 64% African American, 12% Caucasian, 24% other) and their 4-to 6-year-old children (43.5% male; M = 4.83, SD = .58, range = 4.83-6.92 years; 67% African American, 2% Caucasian, 31% other). Families were assessed during the summer at three urban shelters, with parents completing the Five-Minute Speech Sample (FMSS), later scored for criticism, negativity, and warmth, and interview items about EPV. Teachers were subsequently contacted in the fall about children's classroom behavior, and they provided ratings of peer relations. Demographic factors, parental internalizing symptoms, and observed parental harshness were examined as covariates. Regression analyses indicated an interaction of EPV and warmth, consistent with a moderating effect of expressed emotion for EPV and peer relations, although no interactions were found for criticism or negativity. Observed harshness also directly predicted worse peer relations. Parental warmth may be protective for positive peer relations among impoverished families with high levels of EPV. The FMSS is discussed as an efficient tool with potential for both basic clinical research and preventative interventions designed to target or assess change in parental expressed emotion.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The aim of this literature review was to critique the state of the research on the effects of implementing parenting programmes in shelters for homeless families. A comprehensive search of multiple databases yielded 12 studies for inclusion. The methodological sophistication of the studies varied, with most investigations based on very small samples and one-group pre-post designs. Results indicated that parents generally viewed the interventions as enjoyable and informative, and attendance was good. Incentives were often used to encourage attendance. Evidence was limited in terms of effectiveness of the interventions, but the few studies of evidence-based parenting programmes showed changes in parenting and child functioning. Suggestions are provided for future investigations in this important yet challenging field of study.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2014 · Child & Family Social Work
Show more