Hierarchy of interactive functions in father-mother-baby three-way games

Authors

  • France Frascarolo,

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre d'Etude de la Famille, Département Universitaire de Psychiatrie Adulte, Hôpital de Cery, Ch-1008 Prilly Lausanne, Switzerland
    • Centre d'Etude de la Famille, Département Universitaire de Psychiatrie Adulte, Hôpital de Cery, CH-1008 Prilly Lausanne, Switzerland
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  • Nicolas Favez,

    1. University of Fribourg, Departement of Psychology, rue de Faucigny 2, CH-1701 Fribourg, Switzerland
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  • Claudio Carneiro,

    1. Centre d'Etude de la Famille, Département Universitaire de Psychiatrie Adulte, Hôpital de Cery, Ch 1008 Prilly Lausanne, Switzerland
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  • Elisabeth Fivaz-Depeursinge

    1. Centre d'Etude de la Famille, Département Universitaire de Psychiatrie Adulte, Hôpital de Cery, Ch-1008 Prilly Lausanne, Switzerland
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Abstract

In developmental research, the family has mainly been studied through dyadic interaction. Three-way interactions have received less attention, partly because of their complexity. This difficulty may be overcome by distinguishing between four hierarchically embedded functions in three-way interactions: (1) participation (inclusion of all participants), (2) organization (partners keeping to their roles), (3) focalization (sharing a common focus) and (4) affective contact (being in tune). We document this hierarchical model on a sample of 80 families observed in the Lausanne Trilogue Play situation across four different sites. Hierarchy between functions was demonstrated by means of Guttman scalability coefficient. Given the importance of the child's development in a threesome, the pertinence of this model for family assessment is discussed. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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