A Computational Narrative Analysis of Children-Parent Attachment Relationships

Authors Iraide Zipitria, Nerea Portu-Zapirain

Thumbnail PDF


  • Filesize: 7.3 MB
  • 18 pages

Document Identifiers

Author Details

Iraide Zipitria
Nerea Portu-Zapirain

Cite AsGet BibTex

Iraide Zipitria and Nerea Portu-Zapirain. A Computational Narrative Analysis of Children-Parent Attachment Relationships. In 2014 Workshop on Computational Models of Narrative. Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 41, pp. 251-268, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2014)


Children narratives implicitly represent their experiences and emotions. The relationships infants establish with their environment will shape their relationships with others and the concept of themselves. In this context, the Attachment Story Completion Task (ASCT) contains a series of unfinished stories to project the self in relation to attachment. Unfinished story procedures present a dilemma which needs to be solved and a codification of the secure, secure/insecure or insecure attachment categories. This paper analyses a story-corpus to explain 3 to 6 year old children-parent attachment relationships. It is a computational approach to exploring attachment representational models in two unfinished story-lines: "The stolen bike" and "The present". The resulting corpora contains 184 stories in one corpus and 170 stories in the other. The Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA) and Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) computational frameworks observe the emotions which children project. As a result, the computational analysis of the children mental representational model, in both corpora, have shown to be comparable to expert judgements in attachment categorization.
  • latent semantic analysis
  • LIWC
  • representational models
  • attachment relationships
  • unfinished stories


  • Access Statistics
  • Total Accesses (updated on a weekly basis)
    PDF Downloads


  1. M. D. S. Ainsworth. Some consideration regarding theory and assessment relevant to attachments beyond infancy. In M. T. Greenberg, D. Cicchetti, and E. M. Cummings, editors, Attachment in the preschool years: Theory, research and intervention, pages 463-488. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL, 1973. Google Scholar
  2. J. Bowlby. Attachment and Loss. Vol. I Attachment. Hogarth Press, London, 1969. Google Scholar
  3. I. Bretherton. In pursuit of the internal working model construct and it relevance to attachment relationship. In K.E. Grossmann and E. Waters, editors, Attachment from infancy to adulthood. The major longitudinal Studies, pages 13-47. Guilford Press, London, 2005. Google Scholar
  4. J. Cassidy. Emotion regulation: Influences on attachment relationships. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 59:228-249, 1994. Google Scholar
  5. D. Ciccheti, E. M. Cummings, M. T. Greenberg, and R. Marvin. An organizational perspective on attachment beyond infancy. In M. T. Greenberg, D. Cicchetti, and E. M. Cummings, editors, Attachment in the preschool years: Theory, research and intervention, pages 3-49. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL, 1990. Google Scholar
  6. S. Deerwester, S. T. Dumais, G. W. Furnas, T. K. Landauer, and R. Harshman. Indexing by Latent Semantic Analysis. Journal of the American Society of Information Science, pages 391-407, 1990. Google Scholar
  7. S T Dumais. Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI): TREC-3 report. In D Harman, editor, The 3rd Text Retrieval Conference (TREC-3), pages 219-230. NIST Special Publication, 1995. Google Scholar
  8. P. W. Foltz, W. Kintsch, and T. K. Landauer. The measurement of textual coherence with Latent Semantic Analysis. Discourse Processes, 25:285-307, 1998. Google Scholar
  9. Thomas L. Griffiths, Mark Steyvers, and Joshua B. Tenenbaum. Topics in semantic representation. Psychological Review, 114(2):211-244, 2007. Google Scholar
  10. Walter Kintsch. Metaphor comprehension: A computational theory. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 7(2):257-266, 2000. Google Scholar
  11. Walter Kintsch. Predication. Cognitive Science, 25:173-202, 2001. Google Scholar
  12. T K Landauer. Applications of Latent Semantic Analysis. In Proceeding of the 24th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, 2002. Google Scholar
  13. T. K. Landauer and S. T. Dumais. A solution to Plato’s problem: The Latent Semantic Analysis theory of the acquisition, induction, and representation of knowledge. Psychological Review, 104:211-240, 1997. Google Scholar
  14. T. K. Landauer, D. Laham, and P. W. Foltz. Introduction to Latent Semantic Analysis. Discourse Processes, 25:259-284, 1998. Google Scholar
  15. F. López. Amores y desamores. Procesos de vinculación y desvinculación sexuales y afectivas. Biblioteca Nueva, Madrid, 2010. Google Scholar
  16. Max Lowerse. Embodied relations are encoded in language. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 15(4):838-844, 2008. Google Scholar
  17. K. Lund and C. Burgess. Producing high-dimensional semantic spaces from lexical co-occurrence. Behavior Research Methods, 28(2):203-208, 1996. Google Scholar
  18. M.L. Newman, J.W. Pennebaker, and D.S. Berry J.M. Richards. Lying words: Predicting deception from linguistic styles. Journal of Language and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29(5):665-675, 2003. Google Scholar
  19. D. Oppenheim. The attachment doll-play interview for preschoolers. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 20:681-697, 1997. Google Scholar
  20. James W. Pennebaker, Roger J Booth, and Martha E. Francis. Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count: LIWC2007. The University of Texas and The University of Auckland, Austin, Texas (USA) and Auckland, New Zeeland, 2007. Google Scholar
  21. R. W. Picard. Affective computing: Challenges. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 59(1-2):55-64, 2003. Google Scholar
  22. Nerea Portu-Zapirain. Attachment relationships with fathers and mothers during early chilhood. Psychology, 4(3):254-260, 2013. Google Scholar
  23. Brian Riordan and Michael N. Jones. Redundancy in perceptual and linguistic experience: Comparing feature-based and distributional models of semantic representation. Topics in Cognitive Science, 3(2):303-345, 2011. Google Scholar
  24. S. R. Rochester. The significance of pauses in spontaneous speech. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 2(1):51-81, 1973. Google Scholar
  25. Maite Román. Methods of assessing attachment in infancy and childhood: From observation of behaviours to exploration of mental representations. Acción Psicológica, 8(2):27-38, 2011. Google Scholar
  26. Stephanie Rude, Eva Maria Gortner, and James Pennebaker. Language use of depressed and depression-vulnerable college students. Cognition and Emotion, 18(8):1121-1133, 2004. Google Scholar
  27. Yla R. Tausczik and James Pennebaker. The psychological meaning of words: LIWC and computerized text analysis methods. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 29(1):24–54, 2010. Google Scholar
  28. R. A. Thompson and S. Meyer. The socialization of emotion regulation in the family. In J. Gross, editor, Handbook of emotion regulation, pages 249-268. The Guilford Press, New York, 2007. Google Scholar
  29. K. Verschueren and A. Marcoen. Attachment story completion task classification system. Unpublished manual, Belgium: University of Louvain, 1994. Google Scholar
  30. K. Verschueren and A. Marcoen. Representation of self and socioemotional competence in kindergartners: Differential and combined effects of attachment to mother and to father. Child Development, 70:183-201, 1999. Google Scholar
  31. P. Wiemer-Hastings and A. Graesser. Select a kibitzer: A computer tool that gives meaningfull feedback on student composition. International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, 8(2):149-169, 2000. Google Scholar
Questions / Remarks / Feedback

Feedback for Dagstuhl Publishing

Thanks for your feedback!

Feedback submitted

Could not send message

Please try again later or send an E-mail