Cookies

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

School of Applied Social Sciences

SASS Staff

Publication details for Professor of Child Abuse and Neglect Simon Hackett

Fishburn, S., Meins, E., Greenhow, S., Jones, C., Hackett, S., Biehal, N., Baldwin, H., Cusworth, L. & Wade, J. (2017). Mind-Mindedness in Parents of Looked After Children. Developmental Psychology 53(10): 1954-1965.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

The studies reported here aimed to test the proposal that mind-mindedness is a quality of personal relationships by assessing mind-mindedness in caregiver–child dyads in which the relationship has not spanned the child’s life or in which the relationship has been judged dysfunctional. Studies 1 and 2 investigated differences in mind-mindedness between adoptive parents (ns = 89, 36) and biological parents from the general population (ns = 54, 114). Both studies found lower mind-mindedness in adoptive compared with biological parents. The results of Study 2 showed that this group difference was independent of parental mental health and could not fully be explained in terms of children’s behavioral difficulties. Study 3 investigated differences in mind-mindedness in foster carers (n = 122), parents whose children had been the subject of a child protection plan (n = 172), and a community sample of biological parents (n = 128). The level of mind-mindedness in foster carers and parents who were involved with child protection services was identical and lower than that in the community sample; children’s behavioral difficulties could not account for the difference between the 2 groups of biological parents. In all 3 studies, nonbiological carers’ tendency to describe their children with reference to preadoption or placement experiences was negatively related to mind-mindedness. These findings are in line with mind-mindedness being a relational construct.