The Circle of Security Parenting programme is a manualised parenting intervention that aims to enhance secure attachment and improve relationships between children and their caregivers. It is gaining global popularity and acquiring emerging support. Researchers are increasingly interested in its effectiveness in enhancing parent–child attachment, improving parent psychological flexibility and reducing parental stress. However, research to date has predominantly focused on parents of typically developing children, despite the Circle of Security Parenting intervention being used as a parenting programme in specialist services for children with learning disabilities. There is, however, no clear evidence that this programme meets the diverse needs of parents who encounter additional challenges that may impact on the development of secure parent–child attachment relationships. This case study aims to pilot a seven-session Circle of Security Parenting programme for parents of children with learning disabilities.
Four participants completed pre- and post-intervention outcome measures specified by Circle of Security Parenting, including: the Parental Stress Scale, Parental Acceptance Questionnaire, Acceptance and Action Questionnaire II and the Caregiver Helplessness Questionnaire.
Quantitative results are mixed, and did not demonstrate the improvements in parental stress or psychological flexibility that might be expected. Qualitative accounts of participants’ experiences offer potential explanations for the findings that may be unique to parents of children with learning disabilities.
This paper recognises that further research is needed to identify evidence-based programmes that meet the needs of this population.