Child/Caregiver Relationships: Assessing the interaction

Dr. Zeanah

On September 20th, the Southeastern Ohio Early Childhood Mental Health Peer Learning Group kicked off their program year by hosting a practical and informative video-conference with Dr. Charles Zeanah, the editor of the Infant Mental Health Handbook and Executive Director of Tulane University’s Institute of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health.

Dr. Zeanah opened his remarks by commenting that young children are “best understood, assessed, and treated in the context of their primary care relationships.” Focusing on assessment protocols, he used multiple video-clips to display an array of behavioral and emotional responses between young children and their caregivers. His casual demeanor and extensive knowledge made the complex issues associated with child-parent relationships readily accessible.

Dr. Zeanah’s presentation highlighted two practical assessment strategies that participants could immediately use in their work with families: the Crowell Observation Method and the Working Model of the Child Interview (WMCI).

The twenty participants responded with enthusiasm and multiple requests to have a follow-up session with Dr. Zeanah in the future.

If you were unable to participate in this videoconference, you can obtain a copy of the WMCI from Zero to Three.

The Southeastern Ohio ECMH Peer Learning Group sponsored through Tri-County Mental Health is open to anyone interested in learning more about early childhood mental health. Future meetings will occur from 8:30-10:00 on the 3rd Tuesdays in November, January, March and May. For additional questions or to become an ongoing participant of the learning group, contact Sherry Shamblin at