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Gross, C. (2014). Couple Narratives and Adult Attachment - Using Conversation Analysis in Assessment. Brit. J. Psychother., 30(4):499-516.

(2014). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 30(4):499-516


Couple Narratives and Adult Attachment - Using Conversation Analysis in Assessment

Carola Gross

Observation of unstructured interactional dialogue in a clinical setting using the method of conversation analysis found that couples at assessment interact in ways that show close association with features determined from their adult attachment classification. Two couples were selected from a cohort of research participants seeking couple psychotherapy, both with high scores on the Conflict Tactics Scale (Straus, 1979), but with different attachment status as independently assessed in individual adult attachment interviews. Each couple was videotaped, without interviewer, in 15 minute discussions of their problems. Their conversational strategies identified using Conversation Analysis showed close agreement with those associated with each participant's adult attachment status as independently derived using the Adult Attachment Interview. This study provides a first step in building an evidence base for a joint couple attachment interview, as proposed by Fisher and Crandell (2001).

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