Location of Repository

How do health visitors identify, manage and refer infant mental health problems?

By Lucy Carmel Murray


A range of electronic databases and two journals were subjected to a\ud detailed literature search, focusing on studies evaluating psychological interventions\ud with children aged 0-5 years of age. Outcome studies, utilising experimental design,\ud were included for critical review. The search strategy revealed predominantly\ud attachment-informed intervention studies, prompting a review of this aspect of the\ud literature. A total of twelve studies were identified for closer scrutiny: five with a\ud preventative focus; four describing interventions with clinical populations and three\ud detailing large-scale intervention programmes. This review found evidence that early\ud interventions are effective in altering maternal sensitivity and insecure patterns of\ud attachment. Moreover, interventions were effective in reducing the effects of postnatal depression on attachment security, reducing the incidence of placement\ud breakdown in fostered and adopted children and preventing behaviour difficulties in\ud school-age children. These findings indicate a burgeoning evidence base for\ud attachment-based intervention models for the prevention or treatment of infant or\ud child psychopathology

Topics: infant, preschool, under-five, psychological, attachment, intervention, treatment
Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:lra.le.ac.uk:2381/7848

Suggested articles



  1. (1999). An exploration of quality in qualitative research. In doi
  2. (1969). Attachment and loss, doi
  3. (1999). Attachment resilience and prevention. doi
  4. (1988). Categories of response to reunion with the parent at age 6: Predictable from infant attachment classifications and stale over a 1-month period. doi
  5. (1980). Clinical studies in infant mental health: The first year of life.
  6. (2006). Constructing Grounded Theory: A Practical Guide Through Qualitative Analysis. doi
  7. (1985). Cross-cultural strategies of attachment and attachment organization: Recent Studies , changing methodologies, and the concept of conditional strategies. doi
  8. (1967). Discovery of Grounded Theory. doi
  9. (1999). Evolving guidelines for publication of qualitative research studies in psychology and related fields. doi
  10. (2004). GP views of their management and referral of psychological problems: A qualitative study. doi
  11. (2003). Infant mental health: Making a Difference. doi
  12. (1998). Prevention, the appropriate target for infant psychotherapy. Infant mental health journal, doi
  13. (2006). Research and practice 34 doi
  14. (1993). Rural-urban child psychopathology in a North-eastern US State: doi
  15. (2002). The circle of Security project : Attachment –based intervention with caregiver-pre-school child dyads. doi
  16. (1992). The impact of postnatal depression of infant development. doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.