The Small Circles program was developed as a prevention and intervention demonstration project. It was designed as a new approach to meeting the needs of a vulnerable population with barriers to necessary services, teen mothers and their infants. The goals of the program are the reduction of child abuse and/or neglect and fostering typical development in the infants. Teen parents face gaps in and barriers to services including lack of time as well as paucities of available mental health care, parent child development groups, and dependable transportation. Small Circles is designed to fill those gaps and overcome those barriers by placing the program within shelters for teen parents and their children in Massachusetts. The program has two interacting modalities: dyadic therapy with the teen and her infant and a parent child development group. Each component takes place once a week for four weeks. The program goals would be met through a focus on the development of a positive and flexible attachment relationship through a parallel process with the therapist and teen and the teen and her infant. The demonstration project was developed through an extensive review of the literature and a survey of currently available programs that serve this population. It was evaluated by four expert reviewers, each with a particular area of expertise. The reviewers’ feedback was overall favorable with relevant suggestions for revision. Feedback was provided that the program would be improved by an emphasis on developing the precursors to attachment that are measurable, a focus on intervention alone rather than a combination with prevention, and by highlighting interventions that are evidence based. These suggestions for revision will move the initial effort to a measurable, flexible program that works to meet the criteria for its targets and goals, and ultimately provides the best services and outcomes for the teen families.
|Advisor:||Ecker, Bruce M.|
|Commitee:||Bronfman, Elisa T., Deutsch, Robin M.|
|School:||William James College|
|School Location:||United States -- Massachusetts|
|Source:||DAI-B 80/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Therapy, Clinical psychology, Individual & family studies|
|Keywords:||Attachment, Dyadic therapy, Mentalization, Parent-child development group, Teen parents|
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