Mentalization-based Families First Group Intervention for First-Time Parents: Parents’ Perspective

Johanna Sourander, Marja-Leena Laakso, Mirjam Kalland

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The study investigated, first, the benefits reported by first-time parents after attending a Families First mentalization-based group intervention and, second, looked for indicators of mentalization. A total of 367 mothers and 183 fathers completed a web-based questionnaire. Data analysis concentrated on parents’ responses to seven open questions that were subsequently processed by qualitative thematic analysis. Also a chi-square test was performed to study the differences between mothers and fathers on the benefits reported. Four main benefits were reported by the parents: peer support, understanding of the baby, insights into oneself as parent and parent-child interaction, and family involvement. Indicators of mentalization and differences between mothers and fathers in the number of experienced benefits within the four main categories of benefits were found. The results indicate that the Families First intervention succeeded in benefiting first-time mothers and fathers in various ways. Also, the findings suggest that a mentalization-based group intervention supports parents during a significant transition phase in their lives. The findings highlight the value of preventive support for first-time parents and the application of a mentalization-based approach in parenting programs.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of infant, child, and adolescent psychotherapy
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)77-90
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 516 Educational sciences
  • 515 Psychology

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