Information Regarding Training for AMBIANCE Coding

Three-day training sessions with follow-up reliability tapes are offered by the lab periodically to researchers interested in using the Atypical Maternal Behavior Instrument for Assessment and Classification (AMBIANCE) measure in their own work. These can be conducted either on-site or at Dr. Lyons-Ruth's lab in Cambridge, MA.

The training workshop for coding the AMBIANCE interaction measure takes three days, carefully going over a set of training tapes with Drs. Elisa Bronfman, Sheri Madigan, and Lyons-Ruth. 18 training tapes are then provided to participants to take home and code, with coded transcripts provided. When those training tapes are completed, 18 reliability tapes are provided without coded transcripts to be coded blind. Scores are sent to Dr. Lyons-Ruth for reliability computation.

A number of coders internationally have achieved reliability through this training process. It is also possible for already trained coders to code videotapes from other labs for a fee, if desired. More information regarding training and fees can be obtained from Dr. Lyons-Ruth ( or Dr. Madigan (

AMBIANCE Training Workshops

Trainers: Elisa Bronfman, Ph.D., Karlen Lyons-Ruth, Ph.D, & Sheri Madigan, Ph.D.

Please contact for further inquires

Objectives: (1) To review the development and conceptual framework of the AMBIANCE coding system; (2) To review and discuss a series of training tapes and learn the methodology for coding the varied dimensions of disrupted parent-infant communication; (3) To review the new rating scales for the subtypes of disrupted communication.

Developing A Parent-Child Observational Tool for Clinical Practice
The AMBIANCE Project is a research and community partnership aimed at validating and implementing an observational tool for use in family services settings. This collaborative and applied research project aims to bridge the knowledge-to-practice gap in child and family services. The AMBIANCE observational tool is anchored in attachment research and possesses strong psychometric properties. The benefit of observational measures is that they are strongly associated with child outcomes. The development of a practical and empirically-supported observational assessment tool that can be used by practitioners will aid family services agencies and program directors in intervention planning, staff training, and risk screening activities.

Funded by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Partnership Development Grant (SSHRC-PDG) The AMBIANCE Project, PI Sheri Madigan, Ph.D.; Co-I K. Lyons-Ruth, Ph.D.

Trainer Biographies
Dr. Karlen Lyons-Ruth is Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School and teaches in the Harvard Child Psychiatry Program. Her research has focused on the assessment of attachment relationships in high-risk environments over the infancy, childhood, and adolescent periods and has been supported by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and private foundations. She has served on the editorial boards of Child Development, Developmental Psychology, and the Infant Mental Health Journal. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and a former Fellow of the Radcliffe Institute. She has trained scholars and clinicians worldwide in the use of attachment-relevant methodologies.

Dr. Elisa Bronfman received her Ph.D. from Boston College in 1993. As part of her doctoral dissertation, she worked to develop the AMBIANCE scale, under the direction of Dr. Karlen Lyons-Ruth. Dr. Bronfman is the first author of the AMBIANCE, has co-trained many research teams internationally on the use of the AMBIANCE Scale (Bronfman, Madigan, Lyons-Ruth; 2009) and has published scholarly articles in the area of attachment. Elisa has been a staff psychologist at Children’s Hospital in Boston since 1998 and she has been affiliated with Harvard Medical School since 1991. Her clinical and research interests at Boston Children’s Hospital are in the areas of: Medical Coping, Craniofacial abnormalities, and Traumatic Injury.

Dr. Sheri Madigan is a child psychologist and Canada Research Chair in Determinants of Child Development at the University of Calgary. Using several large population studies, Dr. Madigan follows children from birth to middle childhood and examines how various layers of influence, such as individual, family, and contextual influences, are associated with children’s social, cognitive, and behavioral development. She conducts large-scale meta-analyses and individual participant data reviews to address disparities in the literature and accelerate theory and research in clinical and developmental science. Dr. Madigan’s program of research, which includes national and international collaborations, is funded by several Canadian granting agencies. She serves on the International Advisory Board for Attachment and Human Development. Together with Drs. Lyons-Ruth and Bronfman, she has conducted over ten AMBIANCE workshops since 2005.

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