Attachment in interaction: A conversation analytic study on dinner conversations with adolescents in family-style group care

Schep, E., 2020, [Groningen]: University of Groningen. 156 p.

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Attachment in interaction: a conversation analytic study on dinner conversations with adolescents in family-style group care

Out-of-home placed children or adolescents can be placed in family-style group care, a promising alternative youth care setting. It provides children and Professional Foster Parents (PFPs) with the opportunity to create a continuous relationship. This relationship, in turn, is an important factor in building and maintaining attachment. Scientific literature shows that sensitivity and responsivity are crucial interactional elements for building and maintaining an attachment relationship, but little knowledge is available on how those concepts are displayed in mundane interactions. Therefore this dissertation studies dinner conversations between experienced PFPs and adolescents in family-style group care to find out how sensitivity and responsivity unfold in these conversations. The data consist of 300 hours of video-recordings coming from six family-style group care settings. The method of Conversation Analysis was used to analyse the conversations in detail. On the basis of four studies a better understanding is gained into how the dyadic concepts sensitivity and responsivity are displayed in daily interactions between PFPs and adolescents in family-style group care. The analysis of these specific phenomena disclose the PFP-adolescent interaction from different perspectives: the verbal and non-verbal actions of both PFPs and adolescents and how PFPs and adolescents align. In short, this dissertation provides a detailed analysis of interaction and improves the understanding of the dyadic concepts sensitivity and responsivity. It reveals that adolescents are active participants in interactions and shows that PFPs are inventive in their conversations with the adolescents.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Koole, Tom, Supervisor
  • Noordegraaf, M., Co-supervisor, External person
  • Glopper, de, Cornelis, Assessment committee
  • te Molder, H.F.M., Assessment committee, External person
  • Juffer, F., Assessment committee, External person
Award date5-Nov-2020
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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