This study examined changes in parental reflective functioning (PRF) among mothers enrolled in Infant Mental Health-Home Visiting (IMH-HV) and explored whether parental risk, treatment dosage or therapist experience predicted change in PRF. Participants included 75 mothers and their children who were enrolled in IMH-HV delivered by Community Mental Health therapists. Results indicated significant improvements in PRF from baseline to 12-months. Maternal demographic and psychosocial risk, therapist experience and treatment dosage were not directly associated with changes in PRF. However, Mothers who received more treatment sessions from therapists with six or more years of experience demonstrated the greatest improvements in PRF, while mothers who received more treatment sessions from therapists who had been practicing IMH for less than 15 months showed a decline in PRF. Therapists working with very high-risk families may need specific training and ongoing reflective supervision over a period of years to promote improvement in PRF.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We gratefully acknowledge that this research was made possible through the financial support provided by the Medicaid Administrative funds, the Ethel and James Flinn Foundation, the Gerstacker Foundation, the University of Michigan’s Women and Infants Mental Health Program, and supported by funds from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (K. Rosenblum and M. Muzik, PIs). We are also thankful for the clinicians and families who participated in this study and to the two anonymous reviewers whose careful reviews and suggestions resulted in a much improved paper.
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- Parental reflective functioning
- home visiting
- infant mental health
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article