Five Minute Speech Sample in developmental research: A review

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The Five Minute Speech Sample (FMSS) originated in the adult psychiatry literature, and is mostly used for assessing caregivers' expressed emotion (EE) regarding a relative with mental illness. In recent years the FMSS has been increasingly employed in research with parents and young children. This review focuses on the FMSS procedure from a developmental perspective. We open with a historical overview of the origins of the FMSS and the EE coding system, followed by a summary of FMSS-EE developmental research. Next, adaptations of the FMSS-EE rating schemes and new FMSS coding systems that tap other aspects of the quality of parents' speech samples are outlined. Recent promising adaptations of the FMSS procedure that involve a series of follow-up questions or go beyond asking parents to speak about their child are also presented. In closing, conceptual and methodological considerations that are important for future advances in FMSS developmental research are identified, and specific recommendations to address these considerations are proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-155
Number of pages29
JournalDevelopmental Review
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Inc.


  • Expressed emotion
  • FMSS
  • Parent-child

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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