The treatment of mother-child relationship: A monitoring study

S. Maestro, A. Cesari, B. Parrini, F. Muratori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. The aim of this study is to verify which aspects of the relationship between mother and child affected by developmental disorders can be more easily changed with a specific kind of therapy. Methods. Experimental design: the type of investigation is a routine monitoring study. The authors elaborated a methodology aimed at analyzing the results of the treatment of MSDD affected children (diagnosed by DC: 0-3). Setting: all the subjects of the two groups were selected among the patients referred for a first evaluation to the Infants and Toddlers Department of the Division for Child and Adolescent Neuropsy-chiatry. The "1-year" treatment of the mother-infant dyad of the sperimental group took place at the ambulatory service of the same Department. Patients or participants: an esperimental group (S.G.) consisted of couples of mother-infant/young child, selected on the bases of the dyads that followed our treatment, and matched with a control group (C.G.), according to sex and age during the 1st and 2nd observation (T1 and T2). Each couple of mother-infant/young child has been evaluated at T1 and at T2 through the application of a grid, the MIIG (Mother-Infant Interaction Grid). Interventions: the motherchild relationship psychotherapy was based on a specific model of mother-infant psychotherapy adapted from the School of Geneva model. Measures: to compare the changes in the interaction process occurring during the treatment of children with a pathology and to evaluate how the "time factor", particularly important in childhood, influences and changes interaction. Results. The initial program of joint mother-infant therapy reduces the intensity of the disorder related to relationships which tend to normalise. Conclusion. Some interactive behaviours do not change and seem less influenced by the treatment. On the other hand items concerning verbal communication change in a significant way with a subsequent improvement of communication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-27
Number of pages9
JournalMinerva Psichiatrica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2003


  • Child behaviour
  • Child behaviour disorders
  • Mother-child relations
  • Psychotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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