Evaluation of a Home-based Clinical Intervention for Women With Postpartum Mood Disorders and Their Infants

SSW Investigator(s):

Ruth Paris

Major Outside Collaborators:

Senior Consultants:

M. Katherine Weinberg; Arietta Slade (City University of New York)

Funding Source:

Boston University Provost (SPRInG Grant), New York Community Trust (Silberman Faculty Grant Program), Wellesley College (Stone Primary Prevention Grant Initiative)

Project Description:

This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of an innovative in-home therapeutic intervention for mothers with postpartum mood disorders and their infants. The program, called Early Connections, developed by a community social service agency (Greater Boston Jewish Family and Children’s Service), focuses on strengthening maternal competence and the parent-child relationship. To evaluate the effectiveness of the program, a multi-method assessment of the mother’s mood and functioning, infant behavior, and mother-infant interactions before and after the therapeutic intervention is being used. Further, using in-depth interviews, the study is also examining the processes of the intervention from the perspectives of the participants and the clinicians. Given the plethora of home-based interventions for families that have emerged in social work agencies, findings from this study will be important as a basis of curricula for all students and social work practitioners interested in working with this population.