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Mary Ainsworth, The Strange Situation, and Parental Responses to the AAI. Prof Howard Steele

In this lecture Prof. Howard Steele profiles the remarkable career of Mary Ainsworth. As John Bowlby's research partner of more than 35 years Mary Ainsworth co-established the foundations of attachment theory and research. Focusing on Mary Ainsworth's most fundamental contributions, the lecture opens with an overview of the Strange Situation Procedure, Ainsworth's signature achievement, which is profiled using a video example. Next, Prof. Steele explores her work on the links between responses to the Strange Situation and child temperament and culture, before moving on to focus on her findings on the long-term sequelae of infant-mother and infant-attachment. The latter is illustrated with reference to the 'London Parent-Child Project'. The project followed the development of first-born children, from their parents' prenatal responses to the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI), and then through observations and assessments at defined points in the infants' development; the infant-mother attachment at 12-months, the infant-father attachment at 18-months, and follow-up assessments at 5-years, 6-years, 11-years and 16-years. The seminar closes with a discussion on the illustrated long reach of early patterns of attachment on later personality and social-emotional functioning.


About the Speaker:


Prof. Howard Steele, PhD, is Professor and Chair of Clinical Psychology, at the New School for Social Research in New York City. At the New School. Prof. Steele co-directs (with Dr. M. Steele) the Center for Attachment Research, www.attachmentresearch.com. Howard Steele is also senior and founding editor of the international journal, Attachment and Human Development, and founding president of the Society for Emotion and Attachment Studies, www.seasintnational.org. Together with Miriam Steele, and Anne Murphy, Howard Steele helped pioneer and test the efficacy of the Group Attachment-Based Intervention (GABI), currently being delivered in all five boroughs of New York City, supported by the Administration of Children’s Services, New York City.


Howard Steele is among the 2017 Bowlby-Ainsworth Awardees so recognized by the Center for Mental Health Promotion and the New York Attachment Consortium. H. Steele is editor (with Miriam Steele) of the 2008 book, Clinical Applications of the Adult Attachment Interview, and the 2018 Handbook of Attachment-Based Interventions, both published by the Guilford Press, New York. Howard Steele is a member of the Adult Attachment Interview Trainers’ Consortium https://attachment-training.com/training/