Parents' perspectives of a universal early attachment programme in Scotland



Stone K & Burgess C (2017) Parents' perspectives of a universal early attachment programme in Scotland. Health Promotion International, 32 (6), pp. 1015-1024.

The ‘A Good Start’ programme is a universal early attachment programme for parents and babies aged 8 weeks and over, run by a charitable organization in one Scottish local authority. The programme offers non-stigmatizing support and parents are encouraged to access other community resources on completing it. At a family level, the programme aims are that parents (i) have an increased feeling of well-being; (ii) are more attuned to their babies and (iii) are more aware of services and confident in becoming involved with them. The collaborative research study was undertaken by a small research team between March 2014 and January 2015. It had two strands—a collaborative element which involved developing and supporting the use of the outcomes frameworks together with project staff and direct evaluation work, namely collation of the ‘A Good Start Web’ outcome measurement tool results and conducting interviews and focus groups with parents, staff and volunteer instructors who delivered the programme. The objectives of the evaluation were to evaluate the extent to which the programme were met, using the ‘A Good Start Web’ outcome measurement tool, augmented by qualitative data. It was clear from the qualitative evaluation data that most parents who participated in the programme felt that they benefited from it in many ways. Parents valued the opportunity to meet with other parents for peer support, to undertake a practical activity to enhance the bond with their baby which relaxed them both and to reduce their anxiety about caring for an infant.

community-based intervention; community-based prevention; community capacity building; health promotion programmes; maternal health

Health Promotion International: Volume 32, Issue 6

FundersMidlothian Sure Start
Publication date01/12/2017
Publication date online12/04/2016
PublisherOxford University Press