ABC for Parents, All Children in Focus


Delivery of the intervention: Group-based

Aim of the intervention: ABC for parents aims to strengthen the attachment relationship between the child and the parents, thereby promoting child’s health and psychosocial development. The intervention improves parenting skills.

Description of the intervention: The intervention is delivered in peer groups, is based on research evidence and targeted at parents of 3–12 years old children. ABC for parents -intervention lies on the theory of social learning and on research-based knowledge of child’s psychosocial development. The ABC for parents –groups gather four times every two weeks and once more after 2–3 months after the intervention. The groups are instructed by a professional who has received a specific training for the intervention. A guidebook designed for the intervention guides the meetings and provides a structure for them. The purpose of the group meetings is to practice new parenting skills, coherent parenting and to increase understanding of the importance of the attachment relationship. Each meeting focuses on a pre-determined parenting topic.

Availability of the intervention in Finland: Method training for ABC for parents is organized for the professionals working with child families. In Sweden, Karolinska Institutet and the city of Stockholm co-organize the trainings. The training is available only in Swedish. The intervention was initially developed in co-operation of the psychologists of the Karolinska Institutet and the city of Stockholm. In Finland, The Mannerheim League for Child Welfare has organized method trainings in the capital region.

Research- and evidence-based efficacy of the intervention:  The effectiveness of ABC for parents has been tested in a pilot study (Enebrink et al. 2014) and in an RCT-study in Sweden (Ulfsdotter et al. 2014). Despite the methodological challenges the studies have shown positive changes in parents’ perceived self-efficacy in the study group as compared to the control group. Also, the parents in the intervention group (n = 317) observed their children’s health more than the parents in the control group (n = 297) in the 6-month follow up (Ulfsdotter et al. 2014). There is a moderate research-based evidence of effectiveness for the intervention but no peer reviewed research on the intervention in Finland.


  • Enebrink, P., Danneman, M., Mattsson, V. B., Ulfsdotter, M., Jalliong, C. & Lindberg, L. (2014). ABC for parents: Pilot study of a universal 4-session program shows increased parenting skills, self-efficacy and child well-being. Journal of Child and Family Studies 24(7), 1917–1931.
  • Ulfsdotter, M., Enebrink, P. & Lindberg, L. (2014). Effectiveness of a universal health-promoting parenting program: a randomized waitlist-controlled trial of All Children in Focus. BMC Public Health 14, 1083.