Circle of Security – Parenting™

In-home Parent Skill-Based Does Not Currently Meet Criteria

Circle of Security – Parenting (COSP™) is a caregiver training and psychoeducation intervention that aims to improve caregiver-child relationships and enhance secure attachment. Modified from Circle of Security – Intensive™ (COS-Intensive™), COSP reduces the time and resources needed to implement the program. It uses stock footage to demonstrate content and does not require facilitators to be licensed therapists. COSP uses a visual map of attachment referred to as the “circle of security.” This map emphasizes the caregiver's role in providing a secure base from which their child can explore the world and a safe haven where their child can return for comfort.

 

COSP facilitators teach caregivers about the attachment system using an eight-chapter video-based series that covers topics such as the dyadic connection, the benefits of secure relating, children’s needs signaling, emotional availability, and shark music (i.e., experiences that can trigger a heightened sense of alertness in caregivers and may lead to avoidance behaviors or psychological discomfort). Stock video clips provide psychoeducational material, while facilitators pause at designated moments to add information, ask reflective or discussion questions, and engage participants in exercises.


COSP does not currently meet criteria to receive a rating because no studies of the program that achieved a rating of moderate or high on design and execution demonstrated a favorable effect on a target outcome.


Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed: Oct 2021


Sources

The program or service description, target population, and program or service delivery and implementation information was informed by the following sources: the program or service manual, the program or service developer’s website, and the California Evidence Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare.


This information does not necessarily represent the views of the program or service developers. For more information on how this program or service was reviewed, visit the Review Process page or download the Handbook.

Target Population

COSP is intended for caregivers seeking to improve the attachment relationship with their child. COSP is recommended for caregivers of children 4 months through 6 years old.

Dosage

COSP is delivered in at least 8 weekly sessions. Each session should be at least 90 minutes for a total program length of at least 12 hours. COSP is typically delivered in a group format with up to 12 caregivers but can also be delivered to caregivers individually.

Location/Delivery Setting
Recommended Locations/Delivery Settings

COSP is primarily delivered in clinical settings or community-based agencies/centers. It can also be delivered in participants’ homes.

Education, Certifications and Training

COSP Facilitators must have experience providing parent education. Facilitators must complete the 24-hour training (in-person or as a blended online training). The training teaches facilitators how to use the video-based manualized program, as well as how to identify secure and problematic caregiver-child interactions. Graduates of the COSP training become Registered Circle of Security Facilitators®.

Registered Circle of Security Facilitators have the option to receive Fidelity Coaching, a form of reflective supervision, by a Certified Fidelity Coach. Licensed psychotherapists have the option of becoming a Certified Fidelity Coach.

Program or Service Documentation
Book/Manual/Available documentation used for review

Circle of Security International. (2018). COSP™ facilitator manual.

Available languages

The COSP manual is available in English, Danish, French, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Norwegian, Romanian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish. Other materials are available in English, Arabic, Cantonese, Danish, Estonian, French, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish.

Other supporting materials

COSP Origins

Training Overview

Comparing COSP and COS-Intensive

Caregiver Resources

Contact Information for Developers

Website: https://www.circleofsecurityinternational.com/

Phone: (509) 462-2024

Email: info@circleofsecurityinternational.com     

Results of Search and Review Number of Studies Identified and Reviewed for Circle of Security – Parenting™
Identified in Search 13
Eligible for Review 3
Rated High 0
Rated Moderate 1
Rated Low 2
Reviewed Only for Risk of Harm 0
Outcome Effect Size Effect Size more info
and Implied Percentile Effect Implied Percentile Effect more info
N of Studies (Findings) N of Participants Summary of Findings
Child well-being: Behavioral and emotional functioning -0.01
0
1 (2) 141 Favorable: 0
No Effect: 2
Unfavorable: 0
Adult well-being: Positive parenting practices 0.14
5
1 (2) 141 Favorable: 0
No Effect: 2
Unfavorable: 0

Note: For the effect sizes and implied percentile effects reported in the table, a positive number favors the intervention group and a negative number favors the comparison group.

Outcome Effect Size Effect Size more info
and Implied Percentile Effect Implied Percentile Effect more info
N of Studies (Findings) N of Participants Summary of Findings Months after treatment
when outcome measured
Months after treatment when outcome measured more info
Child well-being: Behavioral and emotional functioning -0.01
0
1 (2) 141 Favorable: 0
No Effect: 2
Unfavorable: 0
-
Cassidy, 2017
Child Behavior Checklist: Externalizing Behavior -0.18
-7
- 141 - 0
Child Behavior Checklist: Internalizing Behavior 0.15
5
- 141 - 0
Adult well-being: Positive parenting practices 0.14
5
1 (2) 141 Favorable: 0
No Effect: 2
Unfavorable: 0
-
Cassidy, 2017
Coping with Toddlers' Negative Emotions Scale: Supportive Responses -0.03
-1
- 141 - 0
Coping with Toddlers' Negative Emotions Scale: Unsupportive Responses 0.30
11
- 141 - 0

*p <.05

Note: For the effect sizes and implied percentile effects reported in the table, a positive number favors the intervention group and a negative number favors the comparison group. Effect sizes and implied percentile effects were calculated by the Prevention Services Clearinghouse as described in the Handbook of Standards and Procedures, Section 5.10.4 and may not align with effect sizes reported in individual publications.

Only publications with eligible contrasts that met design and execution standards are included in the individual study findings table.

Full citations for the studies shown in the table are available in the "Studies Reviewed" section.

Sometimes study results are reported in more than one document, or a single document reports results from multiple studies. Studies are identified below by their Prevention Services Clearinghouse study identification numbers.

Studies Rated Moderate

Study 11676

Cassidy, J., Brett, B. E., Gross, J. T., Stern, J. A., Martin, D. R., Mohr, J. J., & Woodhouse, S. S. (2017). Circle of Security-Parenting: A randomized controlled trial in Head Start. Development and Psychopathology, 29(2), 651-673. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0954579417000244


Studies Rated Low

Study 11685

Risholm Mothander, P., Furmark, C., & Neander, K. (2018). Adding 'Circle of Security-Parenting' to treatment as usual in three Swedish infant mental health clinics: Effects on parents internal representations and quality of parent-infant interaction. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 59(3), 262-272. https://doi.org/10.1111/sjop.12419

This study received a low rating because baseline equivalence of the intervention and comparison groups was necessary and not demonstrated.
Study 11678

Gray, S. A. O. (2015). Widening the Circle of Security: A quasi-experimental evaluation of attachment-based professional development for family child care providers. Infant Mental Health Journal, 36(3), 308-319. https://doi.org/10.1002/imhj.21513

This study received a low rating because it did not meet design confound standards.


Studies Not Eligible for Review

Study 11673

Aarestrup, A. K., Skovgaard Væver, M., Petersen, J., Røhder, K., & Schiøtz, M. (2020). An early intervention to promote maternal sensitivity in the perinatal period for women with psychosocial vulnerabilities: Study protocol of a randomized controlled trial. BMC Psychology, 8(1), 41. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40359-020-00407-3

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).

Study 11674

Brennan, J. (2017). The Circle of Security intervention: Enhancing attachment in early parent-child relationships. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 35(2), 207-208. https://doi.org/10.1080/02646838.2016.1277193

This study is ineligible for review because it does not use an eligible study design (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.4).

Study 11675

Cassidy, J., Woodhouse, S. S., Sherman, L. J., Stupica, B., & Lejuez, C. W. (2011). Enhancing infant attachment security: An examination of treatment efficacy and differential susceptibility. Journal of Development and Psychopathology, 23, 131-148. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0954579410000696

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).

Study 11680

Kohlhoff, J., Stein, M., Ha, M., & Mejaha, K. (2016). The Circle of Security Parenting (COS-P) intervention: Pilot evaluation. Australian Journal of Child & Family Health Nursing, 13(1), 3-7. http://ezproxy.lib.utexas.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=rzh&AN=116677922&site=ehost-live

This study is ineligible for review because it does not use an eligible study design (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.4).

Study 11681

Kohlhoff, J., Cibralic, S., Wallace, N., Morgan, S., McMahon, C., Hawkins, E., Eapen, V., Briggs, N., Huber, A., & McNeil, C. (2020). A randomized controlled trial comparing Parent Child Interaction Therapy - Toddler, Circle of Security- Parenting™ and waitlist controls in the treatment of disruptive behaviors for children aged 14-24 months: Study protocol. BMC Psychology, 8(1), 93. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40359-020-00457-7

This study is ineligible for review because it does not use an eligible study design (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.4).

Study 11682

Maupin, A. N., Samuel, E. E., Nappi, S. M., Heath, J. M., & Smith, M. V. (2017). Disseminating a parenting intervention in the community: Experiences from a multi-site evaluation. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 26(11), 3079-3092. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-017-0804-7

This study is ineligible for review because it does not use an eligible study design (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.4).

Study 11686

Rostad, W. L. (2014). Examining the effectiveness of the Circle of Security Parenting DVD Program. ERIC. https://scholarworks.umt.edu/etd/10783

This study is ineligible for review because it does not use an eligible publication source (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.2).

Study 11687

Væver, M. S., Smith-Nielsen, J., & Lange, T. (2016). Copenhagen infant mental health project: Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial comparing Circle of Security -Parenting and care as usual as interventions targeting infant mental health risks. BMC Psychology, 4(1), 57. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40359-016-0166-8

This study is ineligible for review because it does not use an eligible study design (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.4).

Study 12726

Cassidy, J., Ziv, Y., Stupica, B., Sherman, L. J., Butler, H., Karfgin, A., ... & Powell, B. (2010). Enhancing attachment security in the infants of women in a jail-diversion program. Attachment & Human Development, 12(4), 333-353.

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).

Study 12728

Horton, E., & Murray, C. (2015). A quantitative exploratory evaluation of the Circle of Security‐Parenting program with mothers in residential substance‐abuse treatment. Infant Mental Health Journal, 36(3), 320-336.

This study is ineligible for review because it does not use an eligible study design (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.4).