The Ambiance Project

The AMBIANCE Project, funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Partnership Development Grant (SSHRC-PDG), is a research and community partnership with the goal of validating and implementing an observational tool for use in family services settings. This collaborative and applied research project aims to bridge the knowledge-to-practice gap in child and family services. The AMBIANCE observational tool is anchored in attachment research and possesses strong psychometric properties. The benefit of observational measures is that they are strongly associated with child outcomes. The development of a practical and empirically-supported observational assessment tool that can be used by practitioners will aid family services agencies and program directors in intervention planning, staff training, and risk screening activities.

AMBIANCE-Brief Training

What is the AMBIANCE-Brief?

The acronym refers to the Atypical Maternal Behaviour Instrument for Assessment and Classification, which is  an observational tool anchored in attachment research that screens for potential disrupted parenting behaviors. The AMBIANCE-brief is a condensed version of the full instrument that can be used in community settings. This tool can be used to identify the most at-risk families, and aid family services with intervention planning, staff training, and risk screening activities.

What is the training?

  • 3 Days ONLINE

  • Overview of the AMBIANCE-Brief tool and its functions

  • Review examples of specific behaviors coded in the AMBIANCE-Brief

  • Learn to rate overall disrupted caregiving behavior

  • Training lead by clinical psychologist, Dr. Sheri Madigan

For more information or to register, contact us at:

Community Partners

  • The Brenda Strafford Society for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (Calgary, Alberta)

  • Family and Children's Services of Guelph & Wellington County (Guelph, Ontario)

  • The Therapeutic Family Care Program (Durham, Highland Shores, Kawartha-Haliburton, Ontario)

  • The Children's Aid Society of Toronto Child Welfare Institute (Toronto, Ontario)

  • Centre Integré Universitaire de Santé et de Services Sociaux du Centre-Sud-de-l'Île de Montréal (Montreal, Quebec)

  • Centre Integré Universitaire de Santé et de Services Sociaux de la Capitale Nationale (Quebec City, Quebec)

Research Collaborators

Project Director: Dr. Sheri Madigan (University of Calgary)



  • Dr. Heidi Bailey (University of Guelph)

  • Catherine Borland-Kerr (Family & Children's Services of Guelph & Wellington County)

  • Dr. Chantal Cyr (Université du Québec à Montréal)

  • Dr. John Haltigan (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Hospital for Sick Children)

  • Dr. Karlen Lyons-Ruth (Harvard Medical School)

  • Dr. André Plamondon (Université Laval)

  • Dr. Nicole Racine (University of Calgary)

  • Dr. George Tarabulsy (Université Laval)