Child Psychiatry & Human Development

, Volume 49, Issue 3, pp 372–384 | Cite as

Improving Maternal Representations in High-Risk Mothers: A Randomized, Controlled Trial of the Mom Power Parenting Intervention

  • Katherine Rosenblum
  • Jamie Lawler
  • Emily Alfafara
  • Nicole Miller
  • Melisa Schuster
  • Maria Muzik
Original Article


A key mechanism of risk transmission between maternal risk and child outcomes are the mother’s representations. The current study examined the effects of an attachment-based, trauma-informed parenting intervention, the Mom Power (MP) program, in optimizing maternal representations of high-risk mothers utilizing a randomized, controlled trial design (NCT01554215). High-risk mothers were recruited from low-income community locations and randomized to either the MP Intervention (n = 42) or a control condition (n = 33) in a parallel design. Maternal representations were assessed before and after the intervention using the Working Model of the Child Interview. The proportion of women with balanced (secure) representations increased in the MP group but not in the control group. Parenting Reflectivity for mothers in the treatment group significantly increased, with no change in the control condition. Participation in the MP program was associated with improvements in a key indicator of the security of the parent–child relationship: mothers’ representations of their children.


Attachment Maternal representations Parenting Intervention research Randomized Controlled trial 



The research presented was supported through funds from the State of Michigan, Department of Community Health, (PI: Muzik, F023865-2009 and F029321-2010); Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR) (PI: Rosenblum, UL1RR024986-2010), and the Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholars Program (PI: Muzik; N012918-2010). We thank the community agencies (i.e., Starfish Family Services, Inkster, Michigan; The Guidance Center, Southgate, Michigan) and their clinicians serving the families for participating in this trial. We thank the families who participated in this project. We acknowledge the valuable efforts of the Mom Power project staff in program development, implementation and data collection.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The author(s) declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katherine Rosenblum
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jamie Lawler
    • 1
  • Emily Alfafara
    • 1
  • Nicole Miller
    • 1
  • Melisa Schuster
    • 3
  • Maria Muzik
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Center for Human Growth and DevelopmentUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  3. 3.Department of Social WorkUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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