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ATTACHMENT-BASED INTERVENTION FOR SUBSTANCE-USING MOTHERS: A PRELIMINARY TEST OF THE PROPOSED MECHANISMS OF CHANGE.

Suchman NE, et al. Infant Ment Health J. 2012.

Abstract

Although randomized controlled trials examining the efficacy of attachment-based interventions have been increasing in recent years, adequate measurement of treatment integrity, integrity-outcome associations, and mechanisms of change has been rare. The aim of this investigation was to conduct a rigorous test of proposed mechanisms of change in the Mothers and Toddlers Program (MTP) treatment model, a 12-session, attachment-based individual therapy for substance-using mothers of children birth to 3 years of age. The MTP aims to improve maternal reflective functioning (RF) and representation quality (RQ) to bring about second-order change in maternal caregiving behavior. Following guidelines from M.K. Nock (2007), it was hypothesized that (a) therapist adherence to unique MTP treatment components would uniquely predict improvement in RF and RQ and that (b) improvement in RF and RQ would function as unique mechanisms of change (when compared with other potential mechanisms-reduction in depression and increase in abstinence from drug use) in the improvement of caregiving behavior. Findings supported each hypothesis, confirming the proposed mechanisms of the treatment model. However, improvement in maternal depression also uniquely predicted improvement in caregiving behavior. Results underscore the potential value of attachment-based parenting interventions for improving mother-child relations and the importance of providing these interventions in clinic settings where mothers have access to comprehensive care (e.g., psychiatric services).

PMID

23024442 [PubMed]

PMCID

PMC3459336

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