Assessing expressed emotion in mothers of preschool AD/HD children: psychometric properties of a modified speech sample

Br J Clin Psychol. 2003 Mar;42(Pt 1):53-67. doi: 10.1348/014466503762842011.


Objective: To examine the reliability and validity of a modified coding measure of expressed emotion (Preschool Five Minute Speech Sample [PFMSS]), suitable for parents of preschool AD/HD children.

Design: Mothers of preschool AD/HD children identified through a three-stage screening programme were compared with mothers of non-AD/HD children on the PFMSS.

Method: Mothers of 80 AD/HD and 20 non-AD/HD children participated in the PFMSS. They had 10 mins of play interaction with their child and completed the Feelings on Parenting scales from the Family Impact Questionnaire.

Results: With the exception of emotional over-involvement, the PFMSS demonstrated acceptable code-recode and inter-rater reliability, and adequate test-retest reliability. It also demonstrated acceptable validity, being associated with less affection and greater maternal direction during play interaction and discriminated between the parents of preschool AD/HD and non-AD/HD children.

Conclusion: This study shows that in a revised form, the Five Minute Speech Sample can provide a useful measure of expressed emotion during the preschool period.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / therapy*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Maternal Behavior / psychology
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Observer Variation
  • Parenting
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Speech*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*