Brake squeal phenomenon often involves modal coupling between various component modes. In order to reduce or eliminate squeal, it is very important to understand the coupling mechanism so that the key component(s) can be modified accordingly. This paper demonstrates a quantitative method to define system mode shapes using the concept of modal participation factors. This method is implemented on a front disc brake system to identify the modal coupling mechanism associated with its high frequency squeal. Complex eigenvalue analysis is carried out and the squeal frequency is correlated. System mode shapes are then processed with an in-house program to calculate modal participation factors based on a complex MAC (Modal Assurance Criteria) algorithm. The coupling mechanism is identified and possible countermeasures are discussed.