Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2005 Sep;7(3):269-81.
doi: 10.1080/14616730500245906.

Parental Reflective Functioning: An Introduction


Parental Reflective Functioning: An Introduction

Arietta Slade. Attach Hum Dev. .


Reflective functioning refers to the essential human capacity to understand behavior in light of underlying mental states and intentions. The construct, introduced by Fonagy, Steele, Steele, Moran, and Higgitt in 1991, and elaborated by Fonagy and his colleagues over the course of the next decade, has had an enormous impact on developmental theory and clinical practice. This paper introduces the construct of parental reflective functioning, which refers to the parent's capacity to hold the child's mental states in mind, and begins with a review of Fonagy and his colleagues' essential ideas regarding the reflective function. Next, the applicability of this construct to parental representations of the child and the parent-child relationship is considered. A system for coding parental reflective functioning, which will serve as the organizing framework for this special issue, is described. Finally, the three papers that make up this special section are introduced.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 80 articles

See all "Cited by" articles

LinkOut - more resources