Family Minds

Dr. Tina Adkins developed Family Minds, a short-term psycho-educational intervention, to help foster and adoptive parents manage parenting stress and build critical parenting skills. Learn more about Family Minds and current research updates.

Current Research

Validation Study for the RF-FMSS: Reflective Functioning Five Minute Speech Sample

The RF-FMSS assessment was developed specifically for the Family Minds intervention, a psycho-educational intervention designed to increase the mentalizing skills of foster and adoptive parents. Presently, the only well-established measures of (parental) reflective functioning, such as the Reflective Functioning scale (RF; Fonagy et al., 1998), are scored on the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI; George et al., 1985) or the Parental Development Interview (PDI; Slade et al., 2004). These measures have many advantages, such as providing clinically rich and detailed data allowing a thorough exploration of parental reflective functioning that is simply not achievable with questionnaires. Despite these benefits, their use in large-scale studies is hindered by the fact that they can be cost prohibitive and time intensive (Luyten, Fonagy, Lowyck, et al., 2012).

A new, brief assessment of parental reflective functioning was created by Dr. Adkins using an adjusted Five Minute Speech Sample protocol (FMSS; Gottschalk & Gleser, 1969), coded for RF in the style of the AAI or PDI. Dr. Adkins began RF-FMSS study in January 2020, right before the COVID shutdown. The study was designed to be conducted virtually, therefore research continued during the shutdown although the timeline was impacted. Currently, Dr. Adkins and her team continue to transcribe interviews and code study data. Be sure to sign up for the SFPA Newsletter for updates about this exciting assessment tool in the coming few months!


Awards and Recognition

  • 2022-2023 Research Scholar, APA Division of Psychoanalysis (39)
  • 2022 Research Presentation Award, APA Division of Psychoanalysis (39) Conference
  • 2021 Published book endorsement: Asen, E., & Fonagy, P. (2021). Mentalization- Based
    Treatment with Families. Guilford Publications
  • 2019 Research Fellow for the International Psychoanalytic Association

Recent Publications