Enhancing maternal sensitivity and emotional wellbeing through a preventative parent-child relationship intervention in a community setting

Document Type

Journal Article


Springer Verlag


Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science


School of Psychology and Social Science




This article was originally published as: King K.L., Priddis L.E., Kane R.T. (2015). Enhancing Maternal Sensitivity and Emotional Wellbeing Through a Preventative Parent-Child Relationship Intervention in a Community Setting. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 24(6), 1582-1592. Original article available here


The aim of this applied study was to explore the outcomes of a parent-child relationship intervention for enhancing maternal sensitivity to the infant's needs and increasing maternal emotional wellbeing in the parenting situation. Whilst there is extensive support established for interventions with high-risk and at-risk populations, there is limited evidence from programs that target low risk parents who on presentation are often identified to have symptoms of depression, anxiety, or stress. A mixed methods research design was utilised to present quantitative and qualitative outcomes at pre- and post-intervention from 14 participants in the Tuned In Parenting program at a community health organisation. Self-report measures were summarised to provide a descriptive profile of participants. Recorded mother-child semi-structured play interactions were analysed using a behaviour rating scale. Transcripts of audio recordings from semi-structured interviews were analysed using a thematic and content approach. Participants demonstrated enhanced maternal sensitive responsiveness and a reduction in symptoms of maternal depression following program completion. The preventative relationship based intervention holds considerable promise in improving maternal wellbeing and transforming relationships between mothers and their children.



Access Rights

Not open access