The Atypical Maternal Behaviour Instrument for Assessment and Classification (AMBIANCE)

The AMBIANCE is an observational measure to assess the quality of parental behaviour during interactions with their infants. It focuses on anomalous parental behaviours associated with disorganized attachment in infancy.

Using pre-recorded video interactions the AMBIANCE coding entails looking for disrupted maternal behaviours on five dimensions: affective communication errors, role/boundary confusion, disorganised/ disoriented behaviours, negative/intrusive behaviour, and withdrawal. Behaviours on each of the dimensions are coded and an overall score of the level of disruption on a 7-point scale is given. A binary code of disrupted or not disrupted is also given.

Key Reference: Lyons-Ruth K., Bronfman E. & Parsons E. (1999). Maternal frightened, frightening, or atypical behaviour and disorganised infant attachment patterns. Monographs of the Society for the Research in Child Development, 64, 67-9.