Observed Emotional Availability (EA) in the Early Months and Adolescence and Self-Reported EA at Any Age: A Narrative Review

Zeynep Biringen, Karen Sandoval, Marjo Flykt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review


Emotional availability (EA) is a relational construct that encompasses the ability of a dyad to share an emotionally connected, safe relationship. EA is operationalized by the multidimensional framework, which includes the observational EA Scales, the observational emotional attachment zones (EA-Z), as well as the EA Self-Report (EA-SR). The observational EA Scales measure the mutual interactive influences a child and parent may have on one another through observation of their affect and behavior and consist of 4 adult dimensions (sensitivity, structuring, nonintrusiveness, and nonhostility) and 2 child dimensions (responsiveness and involvement of the adult). The EA-Z refers to "emotional attachment styles"and is based on the summary of the observational EA Scales, assigned separately to adult and child (Emotionally Available, Complicated, Detached, Problematic/Disturbed/Traumatized or Traumatizing), with the potential that the emotional attachment perspective of the adult and child may not be the same. The EA-SR is about parental perceptions rather than observations, which should be taken into account in interpreting its findings. Collectively, these different measurements are referred to as the EA System. In this review, we focus on the EA-SR at any age, as well as EA observations, in the earliest months and adolescence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-192
Number of pages18
Issue number4
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Jun 2023
Publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal


  • Assessment
  • Emotional attachment
  • Emotional availability
  • Emotional availability Self-Report

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Observed Emotional Availability (EA) in the Early Months and Adolescence and Self-Reported EA at Any Age: A Narrative Review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this