Parent Development Interview

The Parent Development Interview
(PDI: Aber et al., 1985; PDI-R:Slade et al., 2003) is a  semi-structured clinical interview intended to examine parents’ representations of their children, themselves as parents, and their relationships with their children[1]. The PDI elicits representations of the current, ongoing, “live” parent-child relationship. The parent is asked to describe the child’s behavior, thoughts, and feelings in various situations, as well as their responses to the child in these situations. The parent is also asked to describe themselves as a parent and to discuss emotions stimulated by the experience of parenting. The interview strives in a number of ways to tap into parents’ understanding of their child’s behavior, thoughts, and feelings, and asks the parent to provide real life examples of charged interpersonal moments: “Describe a time in the last week when you and your child really clicked”, and then “a time when you and your child really didn’t click”. Such questions provide a direct means to evaluate the parent’s understanding of her/his own and her/his child’s internal experience at times of heightened affective arousal.

[1] The two versions currently in use are the Parent Development Interview – Full ,and the Parent Development Interview – Short.  The interview has been for use with specific populations (parents of adopted children, children with learning disabilities, children on the spectrum, etc.).  The interview has been translated into a number of languages.