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The Assessment of Representational Risk (ARR)

The quality of the early attachment relationship between babies and their caregivers is a powerful predictor of a broad range of outcomes for the child. The screening and detection of disruptions in early parent-infant relationships is a priority for frontline professionals working with babies and their families. However, many assessment instruments require extensive training and labour-intensive assessment procedures. This research programme brings together current theoretical and clinical knowledge about the components of early parent-infant relationships that are most relevant to longer term psychological and social outcomes for the child. We developed a multidimensional tool that can be applied to interviews with parents about the parent-child relationship (the Assessment of Representational Risk [ARR]). This measure is currently being further validated in high-risk and normative populations.

Selected publications

Sleed, M. (2013).  

Sleed, M. & Fonagy, P. (2012). Parental Care and Attachment. In L. Mayes & M. Lewis (eds). The Cambridge Handbook of Environment in Human Development. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 

Sleed, M. & Fonagy, P. (2009). Understanding disruptions in the parent-infant relationship: Do actions speak louder than words? In T. Baradon, Relational trauma in infancy: Psychoanalytic, attachment and neuropsychological contributions to parent-infant psychotherapy. London: Routledge. 

Isosävi, S., Diab, S. Y., Qouta, S., Kangaslampi, S., Sleed, M., Kankaanpää, S., Puura, K., & Punamäki, R. L. (2020). Caregiving representations in war conditions: Associations with maternal trauma, mental health, and mother-infant interaction. Infant Mental Health Journal, 41(2), 246–263.

Chief investigator: Michelle Sleed 

Find out more about ChAPTRe

Find out more about Assessment of Representational Risk on the Parent Development Interview training