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Research

Cambridge Centre for Attachment are committed to an integration of research with practice, involving practice based upon ongoing research, and conducting ongoing research in a practice setting, believing that this approach is beneficial to both.

The Meaning of the Child (MotC) Research Project

Dr Grey, supported by Ms Kesteven, and other colleagues developed a procedure for classifying parenting interviews in order to understand parent-child relationships, assessing risk and resilience. The research around the MotC was supported by Roehampton University, and was validated as part of Dr Grey’s PhD research.

The MotC has been used in assessment and intervention in the family courts since 2009.  It has been presented to conferences such as the IASA conference in Cambridge 2010, and the World Association of Infant Mental Health Conference in Edinburgh 2014. It is now part of the University of Roehampton’s MSc in Attachment studies (the only postgraduate level course on the subject in the UK), and has been trained to Local Authorities, Voluntary Organisations, and CAMHS nationally.  CCA is the home of the MotC and the ongoing research around its use and effectiveness.  Dr Grey is also a PhD supervisor at Roehampton University for projects involving the MotC.

Research Partners

Cambridge Centre for Attachment are and/or have been working with the following leading academics in developing our work and supporting research in the field generally.

Dr Pat Crittenden, Family Relations Institute, Miami, former pupil of Mary Ainsworth, now herself an international authority on attachment, developer of the Dynamic Maturational Model of Attachment (DMM).  She is the author of many papers and books, including ‘Raising Parents’.  Ben Grey and Juliet Kesteven have been involved with Dr Crittenden and other allied professionals in developing an international protocol for the assessment of attachment in family court proceedings, which has been presented to conferences in the UK, USA and Italy and has been published in the Journal of Forensic Practice (with Dr Grey as a co-author).  Dr Grey is also co-author to two posters prepared with Dr Crittenden, comparing the Adult Attachment Interviews of parents in the family court system with other groups.

Dr Stephen Farnfield, Senior Lecturer in Attachment Studies, Roehampton University.  In association with Dr Farnfield, Dr Grey and Ms Kesteven are involved in the validation of a method to classify pre-school attachment story stems (Farnfield 2016).  Ben Grey is also involved in the delivery of Roehampton University’s Msc in Attachment Studies.

Dr Lane Strathearn, MBBS, FRACP. Professor of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas.  Dr Strathearn’s research into the neurobiology of mother-infant attachment and links with attachment, provided interviews and videos that formed part of the research conducted into the validity of the MotC.

Dr Hilary Kennedy, founder of The VEROC Centre, Video Enhanced Reflection on Communication, University of Dundee.  When working for Family Care, together with former colleagues, we were involved with Dr Kennedy around researching the effectiveness of VIG (Video Interaction Guidance) in a residential setting.  The work is cited in Video Interaction Guidance: A relationship-based Intervention to Promote Attunement, Empathy and Wellbeing (Kennedy, Landor and Todd 2011), the primary publication on the validity of and uses of VIG.