Attachment-based interventions for families with young children

J Clin Psychol. 2018 Aug;74(8):1296-1299. doi: 10.1002/jclp.22640. Epub 2018 May 21.


Given a large body of research indicating links between child attachment and later mental health outcomes, interventions that promote children's secure attachment to their caregivers have the potential to contribute to prevention of psychopathology and promotion of well-being. A number of attachment-based interventions have been developed to support parents, enhance caregiving quality, and promote children's attachment security with the aim of improving children's mental health. There is now a growing evidence base to support the efficacy of a number of these interventions. The present literature review and introduction to the special issue on attachment-based interventions for families with young children describes key aspects of attachment theory and research that form the theoretical and empirical background for attachment-based interventions, and introduces seven case studies illustrating five different attachment-based interventions. The case studies represent a variety of attachment-based models, including both group and individual treatments, and show applications across a range of caregiver contexts.

Keywords: attachment; attachment-based intervention; case study; early childhood mental health; infant mental health; parent-child relationship; parenting; sensitivity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Caregivers / psychology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Mental Health
  • Object Attachment*
  • Parenting / psychology*
  • Parents / psychology*