Nonverbal and Paralinguistic Behaviours During the Adult Attachment Interview: The Construction of a Novel Coding System
Goldstein, Laura Joy Kaleena
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The current study outlines the development, construction, and reliability of a novel coding tool for the Adult Attachment Interview and was designed to address perceived deficits in both research and clinical practice. Just as nonverbal behavior finds its roots in ethology, so too does attachment theory. While the Ainsworth Strange Situation Protocol adhered to the ethological roots of attachment theory by observing nonverbal behavior, the Adult Attachment Interview is traditionally scored based on verbal content alone. At present, there does not exist a reliable taxonomy of nonverbal behaviors associated with adult attachment style. As the first stage of a larger stepwise research program, the current study describes the process of manual development by selecting relevant factors through a recursive process of literature review and direct video observation, coding process, training, and feedback, and presents preliminary reliability estimates and agreement statistics for both individual behaviors and larger aggregate behavioral categories. These preliminary results showed great promise for the newly developed coding tool, allowing the investigators to identify 1) reliable behavioral categories and individual behaviors, 2) behavioral categories and individual behaviors that demonstrated sensitivity to training and feedback, and 3) individual behaviors and categories that require further remediation and investigation in future studies.