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Attachment Style Interview (ASI)


Designed by Professor Antonia Bifulco and her team at the Centre for Abuse and Trauma Studies at Middlesex University ASI: The Attachment Style Interview has been used extensively in research studies to examine psychosocial risks for mental health problems. Its reliability and validity is established among researchers (including several cross-cultural studies) and high levels of association are found with depression outcomes and social factors such as poor support, low self-esteem and early adverse childhood experience.


  • Assessing capacity to develop close support in parents and carers.

Used particularly in:



  • strengths, resilience and risks in individuals
  • the couple relationship
  • the support system of families of children in need or have suffered significant harm



  • Its origins in scientific research provide useful independent benchmarking when used in relation to fostering/adoption or child care
  • Contributes to determining parenting capacity and family and environmental factors when making evidence-based assessments

Fostering and adoption

  • Enables professionals to examine the impact of stressful parenting following adoption or fostering placement with a view to predicting, planning and monitoring parental support needs
  • Valuable tool for assessing prospective adoptive parents

Child care

  • Helps to determine the impact of individual and family factors on the capacity of parents to provide adequate care.

Quotations from trainees and managers

It was an excellent four-day training that will revolutionise how I undertake some aspects of my adoption Assessments, Trainee

Over the decade we’ve used it the ASI has provided a much deeper   understanding of the applicants close supportive relationships, Adoption Manager

We have found that giving the applicant feedback, based on the evidence from the ASI, facilitates post placement discussions about support, assessments are quicker, and support is more likely to be taken up by the adopter, Adoption Manager

This was the most enjoyable training I have done in a long time, with the most application uses, Trainee

For our agency doing the ASI at the beginning of the Stage 2 assessment helps to plan the remainder of the assessment, as it reduces the time spent on areas of the assessment, such as family background, current partner relationship, and support network, Adoption Manager

The knowledge gained at this course will be helpful to me in ascertaining carers’ resilience and ability to seek help. It will enable me to know what kind of support to offer... It will be beneficial when assessing foster carers as permanent foster carers. Trainee

Learn more

Learn more about training for groups of staff in the use of the Attachment Style Interview: