Connect: An Attachment-Based Program for Parents and Caregivers

The information in this program outline is provided by the program representative and edited by the CEBC staff. This program has been rated by the CEBC in the following Topic Areas:

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About This Program

Target Population: Caregivers (biological parents, foster parents, kinship caregivers, etc.) of preadolescents (ages 8-12) and adolescents ages (13-19)

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 8 – 19

Brief Description

Connect is a 10-week manualized program delivered in a group format to parents and caregivers of preteens and teens with serious behavioural and internalizing problems. Treatment goals include reductions in child externalizing and internalizing problems and caregiver strain and depressed mood; and increases in parenting/family satisfaction and parent-child attachment security. This is designed to be accomplished by promoting parenting sensitivity, reflective function, dyadic affect regulation and mutuality. Sessions introduce attachment principles that specifically focus on adolescence and parenting, and include role-plays and reflection activities that promote parental self-reflection, learning, and parenting skill development. The program integrates trauma-informed practice and adopts a strengths-based and collaborative approach. Connect can be delivered by a range of health and education professionals in hospitals, mental health centers, community agencies, and schools. There is a specialized adaptation for foster parents called Connect for Foster Parents that focuses intensively on trauma, attachment, and caregiving; this adaptation has not been reviewed or rated by the CEBC.

Program Goals:

The goals of Connect: An Attachment-Based Program for Parents and Caregivers are:

  • Increase parental sensitivity – the capacity of parents to be aware of and responsive to the feelings, thoughts, and internal experiences of their child
  • Increase parental reflective function – the capacity of parents to be aware of their own feelings, thoughts, and internal experiences that drive their reactions to their child
  • Increase the capacity of parents to regulate their own and their child’s emotional distress especially as it relates to the parent-child relationship
  • Increase capacity of parents to promote mutuality and partnership within the parent-child relationship especially as it relates to problem solving
  • Decrease externalizing problems including symptoms of conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); and parent-child conflict
  • Decrease internalizing problems including anxiety and depression
  • Increase in parenting sense of satisfaction and efficacy; and in family satisfaction
  • Decrease caregiver stress and depressed mood
  • Increase parent-child attachment security

Contact Information

Dr. Marlene Moretti, PhD
Agency/Affiliation: Simon Fraser University
Phone: (778) 782-4956

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: March 2018

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: April 2018

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: April 2018