Streamlining of the Mellow Parenting Observation System for research and non-specialist clinical use

Lucy Thompson* (Corresponding Author), Gerry King, Eleanor Taylor, Christine Puckering, Phil Wilson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Parent and infant interaction is very fast, fluid and variable. There are observation tools for practitioners and researchers, but there remains a need for a reliable and valid tool that can be used in everyday practice in the home or clinic. This paper describes the development of a streamlined version of the Mellow Parenting Observation System (MPOS): the Child and Adult Relationship Observation (CARO). MPOS has proven predictive validity, but is time consuming and demanding to learn, to achieve research reliability, and to analyse. CARO has been developed to make the best of the qualities of MPOS, but in a more streamlined and user-friendly way. We found a strong positive correlation between analyses of the same videos using MPOS and CARO. CARO shows promise as a simple observational tool for use in clinical practice. Development work is ongoing to ensure that CARO is user-friendly, while maintaining its reliability as a research measure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-47
Number of pages3
JournalCommunity Practitioner
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 4 Oct 2019

Bibliographical note

Print version is brief version. Full text only available as online resource at link provided.

Acknowledgements: Thanks to the parents who allowed their interactions with their children to be recorded and used for research purposes.

Funding: This research was partially funded by the Grant Foundation through the Development Trust of the University of Aberdeen.


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