COS-P for Parents of Children Referred to Child Psychiatric Services

  • End date
    Dec 30, 2023
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Region Syddanmark
Updated on 25 January 2021


Background:The quality of attachment is greatly influenced by parental sensitivity. Attachment based interventions are designed to promote parental sensitivity, to change parental mental representations and to improve understanding of the developmental needs of the child. Very few studies have investigated the effect of attachment-based interventions on psychiatric symptoms in children. Targeting parental sensitivity and the parent-child interaction might have an important impact on psychiatric symptoms in a clinical sample of children referred to child psychiatric services.

Objectives: The primary objective is to investigate whether Circle of Security-Parenting (COS-P) has an effect on parental sensitivity in parents of children referred to child psychiatric services. The secondary objectives are to investigate the effect on children's behavioral and emotional symptoms and the parental stress and reflective functioning after 10 weeks of intervention and at the 24 week follow-up. The study is also exploring the effect of parental attachment style, parental stress and parental psychopathology on the effect of the intervention.

Methods: The trial will include 128 families of children (age 3-8 years) who are referred to child psychiatric services in a randomized and controlled design. Included families will be randomized to COS-P+ Treatment as Usual (TAU) or TAU only.

Perspectives: Considering the important impact of the quality of the parent-child relationship on the child's well-being, it is essential to target it in interventions and to investigate the relation with psychiatric symptoms. Generally there is a lack of interventions targeting parental sensitivity in psychiatric child populations. Working with the parents on the child-parent relation, might have an important impact on their children's current psychiatric symptoms and could additionally prevent future psychopathology.

Condition Child Behavior Problem
Treatment Treatment As Usual, Circle of Security-Parenting
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03578016
SponsorRegion Syddanmark
Last Modified on25 January 2021


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Is your age between 3 yrs and 8 yrs?
Gender: Male or Female
Do you have Child Behavior Problem?
Do you have any of these conditions: Do you have Child Behavior Problem??
Children who score equal or above the 93d percentile on CBCL-total score
Score above 93d percentile on the CBCL- ODD or aggression scale
Informed consent from both custody

Exclusion Criteria

For children
autism spectrum disorders
serious psychopathology requiring immediate clinical attention
head injury or verified neurological disease
intelligence quotient (IQ) <80
medical condition, requiring treatment
no informed consent from custody
For parents
a diagnosis of schizophrenia
bipolar disorder
known substance abuse
severe intellectual impairment
suicide attempt in the past
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