Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

MSW/MA Social Work and Child Development

First Advisor

Barbara Schecter


The study of infant mental health has developed significantly over the last three decades. Now there is greater knowledge that the early years of life are vital for social and emotional development across the lifespan (Brazelton, 1990; Zeanah et al, 2000). It has become widely accepted that the parent child bond is now understood to be highly predictive for healthy childhood development. So, as a result, it is critical to understand the development of Attachment Theory, and the ways in which it has guided our foundational knowledge of the importance of the early years, and the interactions between caregivers and infants. For some parents, forming a secure attachment with their infant proves difficult. Early intervention programs in both group and individual dyadic settings can help to promote healthy attachment between caregiver and infant. My social work internship placement provided me with an opportunity to explore attachment work in the context of group work as well as infant-dyadic coaching. I also had the opportunity to design and carry out some coaching with individual mother and baby pairs. This thesis will address forms of promoting healthy attachment between caregiver and infant in both group and individual dyadic settings. A prenatal and parent and baby group will be discussed to highlight group work interventions. Three case studies from my internship at Henry Street Settlement Parent Center will be used to illustrate a dyadic intervention model.

Included in

Social Work Commons