Expressed Emotion about children: reliability and validity of a Camberwell Family Interview for Childhood

Stephen Basil Cuthbert Scott, Caroline Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
418 Downloads (Pure)


A Camberwell Family Interview for Childhood (CFI-C) was developed by adding questions about the family impact of the child’s problems to a semi-structured interview on child psychiatric symptoms. The whole CFI-C took under an hour to administer; the questions about family impact added 15–20 minutes. The inter-rater reliability was good (kappa 0.64–1.0). Mothers of 25 boys aged four to nine years referred with disruptive behaviour, and 25 matched controls were interviewed twice in five months. Test-retest stability was fair to good (kappa 0.36–1.0). Discriminant validity between referred and control samples was strong for critical comments, positive comments and warmth, but not significant for emotional overinvolvement or hostility. The same three scales showed strong discriminant validity between child symptom domains, being strongly correlated with conduct symptoms (kappa = 0.49–0.71) but not emotional symptoms (kappa = 0.10–0.17). Sensitivity to change with treatment was shown by a reduction in the mean number of critical comments from 4.7 to 2.9, an increase in positive comments from 2.3 to 3.9, and an increased score on the warmth scale from 2.1 to 2.6. The CFI-C is a useful instrument for the study of the relationship between parenting style and child psychiatric symptoms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-10
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Expressed emotion, childhood, conduct problems, emotional problems


Dive into the research topics of 'Expressed Emotion about children: reliability and validity of a Camberwell Family Interview for Childhood'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this