The Computerised Manchester Child Attachment Story Task: a novel medium for assessing attachment patterns

Minnis, H. , Read, W., Connolly, B., Burston, A., Schumm, T.-S., Putter-Lareman, S. and Green, J. (2010) The Computerised Manchester Child Attachment Story Task: a novel medium for assessing attachment patterns. International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research, 19(4), pp. 233-242. (doi:10.1002/mpr.324)

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Abstract

The Manchester Child Attachment Story Task (MCAST) is a representational technique for assessing attachment patterns of young school-age children. We have developed a computerised version (the CMCAST) in which story stems are represented on the computer by the movement of simple screen ‘dolls’. This paper reports on a preliminary validation study of the CMCAST method against the MCAST. Fifty-five children completed the MCAST and CMCAST six weeks apart in random order. It proved possible to rate the CMCAST if a simplified form of the MCAST coding system was used. Inter-rater reliability was achieved for both versions (kappa = 0.93 for MCAST and kappa = 0.91 for CMCAST). Agreement between the MCAST and CMCAST ratings of attachment security was kappa = 0.67. Costs for the MCAST and CMCAST were comparable. A school-based feasibility study of 86 children suggested that the CMCAST was acceptable and could be administered with up to five children simultaneously. This preliminary study suggests that the CMCAST can reliably reproduce a simplified form of MCAST coding. The computer format may be well adapted to some uses such as screening for large-scale epidemiological research.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Minnis, Professor Helen
Authors: Minnis, H., Read, W., Connolly, B., Burston, A., Schumm, T.-S., Putter-Lareman, S., and Green, J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing > Clinical Specialities
Journal Name:International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research
ISSN:1049-8931
ISSN (Online):1557-0657
Published Online:26 August 2010

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