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Enhancing parental reflective functioning through early dyadic interventions: A systematic review and meta‐analysis

Barlow, J; Sleed, M; Midgley, N; (2020) Enhancing parental reflective functioning through early dyadic interventions: A systematic review and meta‐analysis. Infant Mental Health Journal 10.1002/imhj.21896. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Parental reflective functioning (PRF) is an important predictor of infant attachment, and interventions that target parent–infant/toddler dyads who are experiencing significant problems have the potential to improve PRF. A range of dyadic interventions have been developed over the past two decades, some of which explicitly target PRF as part of their theory of change, and some that do not explicitly target PRF, but that have measured it as an outcome. However, no meta‐analytic review of the impact of these interventions has been carried out to date. The aim of this review was to evaluate the effectiveness of dyadic interventions targeting parents of infant and toddlers, in improving PRF and a number of secondary outcomes. A systematic review and meta‐analysis was conducted in which key electronic databases were searched up to October 2018. Eligible studies were identified and data extracted. Data were synthesised using meta‐analysis and expressed as both effect sizes and risk ratios. Six studies were identified providing a total of 521 participants. The results of six meta‐analyses showed a nonsignificant moderate improvement in PRF in the intervention group (standardised mean difference [SMD]: –0.46; 95% confidence interval [CI] [–0.97, 0.04]) and a significant reduction in disorganised attachment (risk ratio: 0.50; 95% CI [0.27, 0.90]). There was no evidence for intervention effects on attachment security (odds ratio: 0.71; 95% CI [0.19, 2.64]), parent–infant interaction (SMD: –0.10; 95% CI [–0.46, 0.26]), parental depression (SMD: –1.55; 95% CI [–3.74, 0.64]) or parental global distress (SMD: –0.19, 95% CI [–3.04, 22.65]). There were insufficient data to conduct subgroup analysis (i.e. to compare the effectiveness of mentalisation‐based treatment with non‐mentalization‐based treatment interventions). Relational early interventions may have important benefits in improving PRF and reducing the prevalence of attachment disorganisation. The implications for future research are discussed.

Type: Article
Title: Enhancing parental reflective functioning through early dyadic interventions: A systematic review and meta‐analysis
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/imhj.21896
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1002/imhj.21896
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Infant Mental Health Journal published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: dyadic interventions, meta-analysis, parental reflective functioning, systematic review
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10116340
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