Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up

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Program/Intervention Name

Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up


Attachment Interventions, Child Mental Health - externalizing, Family Functioning, Family Support and Placement Stabilization Programs, Parenting Skills - Training and Enhancement, Social/emotional functioning, Trauma Treatment, Child Mental Health - internalizing

Program/Intervention Description

What: The Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up (ABC) intervention was developed to help caregivers provide nurturing care and engage in synchronous interactions with their infants. Young children who have experienced early maltreatment and/or disruptions in care can often behave in ways that push caregivers away. ABC helps caregivers re-interpret children's behavioral signals so that they provide nurturance even when it is not elicited. Nurturance does not come naturally to many caregivers, but children who have experienced early adversity especially need nurturing care. Additionally, many children who have experienced early adversity are dysregulated behaviorally and biologically. ABC helps caregivers provide a responsive, predictable environment that enhances young children's behavioral and regulatory capabilities. Parent coaches encourage caregivers to follow their children’s lead with delight. How: Sessions are conducted in the birth home, adoptive home, or foster/kinship home. The recommended duration is one hour per week for 10 weeks in addition to weekly homework tasks given to the family.

Intervention Target Population Identified (Age Group)

0-5, Parent/Adult

Program Goals/Outcomes

Increase caregiver nurturance, sensitivity, and delight, Decrease caregiver frightening behaviors, Increase child attachment security and decrease disorganized attachment, Increase child behavioral and biological regulation

QIC Target Group

Both Target 1 and Target 2

QIC Adoption/Guardianship Relevance Levels

LEVEL 4: Foster Care

QIC level of Evidence

LEVEL 1: Effective and proven by Research

Intervention Web Site/URL

Contact Person/Purveyor

Mary Dozier


University of Delaware

Contact Email

Contact Phone


External Links (Registry/Other Catalog)