This study evaluated whether Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up (ABC), a parenting intervention, altered the attachment representations of parents (average age of 34.2 years) who had been referred to Child Protective Services (CPS) due to risk for child maltreatment when their children were infants. Approximately 7 years after completing the intervention, parents who had been randomized to receive ABC (n = 43) exhibited greater secure base script knowledge than parents who had been randomized to receive a control intervention (n = 51). Low-risk parents (n = 79) exhibited greater secure base script knowledge than CPS-referred parents who had received a control intervention. However, levels of secure base script knowledge did not differ between low-risk parents and CPS-referred parents who had received the ABC intervention. In addition, secure base script knowledge was positively associated with parental sensitivity during interactions with their 8-year-old children among low-risk and CPS-referred parents. Mediational analyses supported the idea that the ABC intervention enhanced parents' sensitivity 7 years later indirectly via increases in parents' secure base script knowledge.
Keywords: attachment representations; early intervention; parental sensitivity.