Testing the efficacy of Circle of Security–Parenting programme with Danish at risk career mothers: a pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

Karin Haugaard, Kristine Jensen De Lopez

Research output: Contribution to conference without a publisher/journalAbstractCommunication


Studies show that stress among social-economic advantaged mothers is an increasing problem with mothers reporting symptoms of depression and dissatisfaction with being a parent (Kotila, Schoppe-Sullivan & Kamp Dush 2013). Maternal stress, defined as the adverse psychological reaction to the demand of being a mother affects the quality of mother child interaction and her ability to mentalise her child’s needs (Gunnarsdottir, Petzold & Povlsen 2014). Circle of Security -Parenting (COS-P) is a psycho-educative 8-session group program with the aim of improving attachment and enhancing mother’s sensitivity and mentalisation. Previous studies of COS have shown promising results, but none have investigated the effect of COS-P or the effect of COS with social-economic academic mothers. The aim of the study is to investigate whether attending COS-P promotes decreased stress, feeling more confident as a mother, enhancing maternal sensitivity and mentalising among mothers who rapport challenges with their motherhood in a low – risk sample. The project uses mixed-method including a randomized controlled trail design as well as qualitative interviews. Participants were randomly assigned to either COS-P (n = 8) or a waitlist control group (n = 6. Inclusion criteria were minimum 11 years of education, having job, and expressions about difficulties in their role as a mother. The first author carried the intervention together with two trained health care nurses. Outcomes were assessed at pre-and post intervention by questionnaires and qualitative interviews. Preliminary results from three parent questionnaires are reported here and show no effect of COS-P on the Parent Confidence Scale, which might be due to ceiling effects. However, the mothers that scored lowest showed largest improvements. Responses on the Parental Stress Scale and the Self Compassion Scale did not show effects of the COS-P. Effects sizes were also small. We await a larger sample size in order to verify these preliminary results.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventInternational Attachment Conference - New York, United States
Duration: 6 Aug 20158 Aug 2015


ConferenceInternational Attachment Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew York

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