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Infant video studies

Participants: Phil Wilson, Helen Marwick, Marion Henderson, Jon Heron, Jean Golding, Christine Puckering, Alex McConnachie, Paul Johnson, Orla Doolin, David Purves & Clare Allely.

These studies comprise three discrete pieces of work based in the University of Glasgow:


Background: Analysis of video material from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC).

Method: On brief video clips, parents interacted with their children aged twelve months. The children went on to get psychiatric assessments (using the Development and Wellbeing Assessment – DAWBA) when they were aged 91 months.  60 children went on to get psychiatric diagnoses (ADHD, oppositional/conduct disorders, pervasive developmental disorder (PDD/ASD), emotional disorders) and the videos from these children were compared with 120 sex-matched controls. The raters were blind to the case/control status of the children.

Results: A number of types of observations have been found to be associated with caseness, particularly associations between parental behaviours and the disruptive behaviour disorders. The work is ongoing.


Background: The "Wee Video Study" tested the feasibility of using recordings of parent-child interaction made by parents themselves using cheap video cameras. Parents were asked to record either two three-minute clips of parent-child play, two clips of a mealtime or one clip of play and one of a mealtime. The quality of video material returned by parents was high and a wide range of social behaviours was elicited. The stability of various behaviours (e.g. gaze, vocalisation, positive and negative parenting) was assessed within clips, between clips with the same child, and across play and mealtime conditions.


Background: There are no simple tools to assess parent-infant attachment in large scale studies (Lim et al., 2010) and the context of a universal health procedure might offer an opportunity to gather relevant information. Attachment can only be assessed in situations of stress so analysis of behaviours during immunisation may offer an ideal opportunity. Here we report on a pilot study (Pritchett, Minnis, Puckering, Rajendran, & Wilson, 2012)

Method: 18 parent–child pairs were included in the study. Children aged 3-4 years were recruited through PW’s general medical practice. Infant immunisation videos were observed and coded for parenting behaviours as well as pain promoting and pain reducing strategies. Results were compared between different attachment groups, as measured with the Manchester Child Attachment Story Task.

Results: Parents of securely attached children scored higher on positive Mellow Parenting Observational System behaviours, but not at a statistically significant level. Parents of securely attached children were also significantly more likely to engage in pain reducing behaviours (p < 0.01) than parents of insecurely attached children. It was concluded that robust composite measures for attachment informative behaviours in the immunisation situation should be developed and tested in a fully powered study.


Johnson, P., Ahamat, B., McConnachie, A., Puckering, C., Marwick, H., Furnivall, D., ... Wilson, P. (2014). Motor activity at age one year does not predict ADHD at seven years. International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research, 23, 9-18.

Allely, C.S., Purves, D., McConnachie, A., Marwick, H., Johnson, P., Doolin O., … Wilson, P. (2013). Parent-infant vocalisations at 12 months predict psychopathology at 7 years. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 34, 985-993.

Marwick, H., Doolin, O., Allely, C.S., McConnachie, A., Johnson, P., Puckering, C., … Wilson, P. (2013). Predictors of diagnosis of child psychiatric disorder in adult-infant social-communicative interaction at 12 months. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 34, 562-572.

Pritchett, R., Minnis, H., Puckering, C., Rajendran, G., & Wilson, P. (2013). Can behaviour during immunisation be used to identify attachment patterns? A feasibility study. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 50, 386-391.

Allely, C.S., Doolin, O., Gillberg, C., Gillberg, I.C., Puckering, C., Smillie, M., … Wilson, P. (2012). Can psychopathology at age 7 be predicted from clinical observation at one year? Evidence from the ALSPAC cohort. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 33, 2292-2300.

Wilson, P., Puckering, C., McConnachie, A., Marwick, H., Reissland, N., & Gillberg, C. (2011). Inexpensive video cameras used by parents to record social communication in epidemiological investigations in early childhood- A feasibility study. Infant Behavior and Development, 34, 63-71.

Lim, K., Corlett, L., Thompson, L., Law, J., Wilson, P., Gillberg, C., & Minnis, H. (2010). Measuring attachment in large population studies: A systematic review. Educational and Child Psychology, 127, 22-32.








Page Manager: Anna Spyrou|Last update: 6/9/2015

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