The Assessment of Representational Risk (ARR)

  • Summary

    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. A multidimensional tool that can be applied to interviews with parents about the relationship (the Assessment of Representational Risk; ARR) has been developed and is currently being further validated in high-risk and normative populations.

  • Project team

    Principal Investigators:

    Michelle Sleed


    Sanna Isosävi, University of Tampere, Finland

  • Publications

    Sleed, M. (2013). The Assessment of Risk in Early Parent-Infant Relationships. Unpublished doctoral thesis. London, UK: University College London.

    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.

  • Related training

    Assessment of Parental Representations Training

    Training in the ARR is being planned for early 2017