Infant mental health: evidence review

This report covers the key findings of a rapid literature review of UK research on infant mental health, in addition to interviews with members of infant mental health clinical teams in NHS Fife and NHS Lanarkshire.


Achenbach, T.M., & Rescorla, L.A. (2001). Manual for the ASEBA school-age forms & profiles: An integrated system of multi-informant assessment. Burlington; University of Vermont, Research Center for Children, Youth & Families

Ainsworth, M.D., Blehar, M.C., Waters, E., & Wall, S.N. (1978). Patterns of Attachment: A Psychological Study of the Strange Situation. New York and London; Routledge

Association of Infant Mental Health (n.d.) What do we mean by infant mental health? Available from Why is our Mental Health during Infancy important for our whole lives? - AiMH UK

Baginsky, M., Moriarty, J., & Manthorpe, J. (2017). The New Orleans Intervention model: Early implementation in a London Borough. Available from New Orleans intervention model: early implementation - GOV.UK (

Brann, P., Culjak, G., Kowalenko, N., Dickson, R., Coombs, T., Burgess, P., Sved Williams, A., Hoehn, E., & Hoyland, M. (2021). Health og the Nation Outcome Scales for Infants field trial: Concurrent validity. BJPsych Open. 7(4), e129.

Cicchetti, D., & Rogosh, F.A. (1996). Equifinality and multifinality in developmental psychopathology. Development and Psychopathology. 8(4), 597-600.

Clinton, J., Feller, A.F., & Williams, R.C. (2016). The importance of mental health. Paediatrics and Child Health. 21(5), 239-241.

Crittenden, P. (1981). CARE-Index: Coding Manual. Unpublished manuscript. Miami; Florida

Doyle, C., & Cicchetti, D. (2017). From the cradle to the grave: The effect of adverse caregiving environments on attachment and relationships throughout the lifespan. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice. 24(2), 203-217.

Eneberi, A. (2017). The Evaluation of Two Measures of Behavioural and Emotional Difficulties for Infants and Toddlers. Doctoral dissertation, Royal Holloway; University of London. Available from AE THESIS MASTER DOC 27.5.17 (

Foreman, D. (2015). The psychiatry of children aged 0-4: Advances in assessment, diagnosis and treatment. BJPsych Advances. 21(6), 377-386.

Goodman, R. (1997). The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire: A Research Note. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry. 38(5), 581-586. (2021). No one wants to see my baby. Available from Download.ashx (

Housman, D.K. (2017). The importance of emotional competence and self-regulation from birth: A case for the evidence-based emotional cognitive social early learning approach. International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy. 11, 13.

Hvelplund, C., Hansen, B.M., Koch, S.V., Andersson, M., & Skovgaard, A.M. (2016). Perinatal risk factors for feeding and eating disorders in children aged 0 to 3 years. Pediatrics. 137(2), e20152575.

Klawetter, S., & Frankel, K. (2018). Infant mental health: A lens for maternal and child mental health disparities. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment. 28(5), 557-569.

Love, R., & McFadyen, A. (2021). Wellbeing for Wee Ones: Mapping of parent-infant intervention and support services in Scotland (Key theme summary report). Available from Final-Wellbeing-for-Wee-Ones-Summary-report.pdf (

Lyons-Ruth, K., Manly, J.T., Von Klitzing, K., Tamminen, T., Emde, R., Fitzgerald, H., Paul, C., Keren, M., Berg, A., Foley, M., & Watanabe. H. (2017). The worldwide burden of infant mental and emotional disorder: Report of the task force of the World Association for Infant Mental Health. Infant Mental Health Journal. 38(6), 695-705.

Minnis, H., Bryce, G., Phin, L., &Wilson, P. (2010). The 'Spirit of New Orleans': Translating a model of intervention with maltreated children and their families for the Glasgow context. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry. 15, 497-509.

McDonald, S.W., Madigan, S., Racine, N., Benzies, K., Tomfohr, L., & Tough, S. (2019). Maternal adverse childhood experiences, mental health, and child behaviour at age 3: The 'All our Families' community cohort study. Preventive Medicine. 118, 286-294.

Naughton, A., Perkins, L., Mcminn, B., & Kemp, A. (2018). Using an observational tool (Parent-Infant Interaction Observation Scale) to assess parent-infant interaction in the first 2 weeks of life; A feasibility study. Child Care Health Dev. 45, 271-285.

NHS (2018). Mental Health of Children and Young People in England, 2017 [PAS] - NHS Digital

NHS (2021). Lanarkshire Infant Mental Health Observational Indicator Set. Available from Observational Indicator Set – Interactive | NHS Lanarkshire (

Olsen, A.L., Ammitzböll, J., Olsen, E.M., & Skovgaard, A.M. (2019). Problems of feeding, sleeping and excessive crying in infancy: A general population study. Arch Dis Child. 104, 1034-1041.

Parent-Infant Foundation. (2021). Where are the infants in children and young people's mental health? Findings from a survey of mental health professionals. Available from PIF-Where-are-the-Infants-in-CYP-MH-26-May.pdf (

Patel, J., Smith, R., O'Farrelly, C., Iles, J., Rosan, C., Ryan, R., & Ramchandani, P. (2021). Assessing behaviour in children aged 12-24 months using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Infancy. 26(5), 724-734.

Public Health Scotland. (2021). Evaluability Assessment of the Scottish Government's Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Programme. Available from Perinatal and infant mental health programme: evaluability assessment - (

Sameroff, A.J., & Seifer, R. (1995). Accumulation of environmental risk and child mental health. In H.E. Fitzgerald, B.M Lester, & B. Zuckerman (Eds.) Children of Poverty. New York; Routledge

Scottish Government (n.d.). Getting it right for every child. Available from Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) - (

Scottish Government. (2019). Delivering Effective Services: Needs assessment and service recommendations for specialist and universal perinatal mental health services. Available from Delivering Effective Services Report – Perinatal Mental Health Network Scotland

Scottish Government. (2020). Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Programme Board 2020-2021: delivery plan - (

Skovgaard, A.M. (2010). Mental health problems and psychopathology in infant and early childhood; An epidemiological study. Danish Medical Bulletin. 57(10), B4193. PMID: 21040689.

Sleed, M., Isosävi, S., & Fonagy, P. (2021). The assessment of representational risk (ARR): Development and psychometric properties of a new coding system for assessing risk in the parent-infant relationship. Infant Mental Health. 42, 529-545.

Squires, J., Bricker, D., & Twombly, E. (2015). Ages & Stages Questionnaire: Social-Emotional Second Edition (ASQ:SE-2). Paul H. Brooks Publishing Co., Inc

Szaniecki & Barnes (2016). Measurement issues: Measures of infant mental health. Child and Adolescent Mental Health. 21(1), 64-74.

von Klitzing, K., Döhnert, M., Kroll, M., & Grube, M. (2015). Mental disorders in early childhood. Deutsches Arzteblatt International. 112(21-22), 375-386.

What Works Scotland (2018). Policy briefing – Evaluability Assessment: A collaborative approach to planning evaluations | What Works Scotland

World Association of Infant Mental Health (WAIMH) (2016). PositionPaperRightsInfants_-May_13_2016_1-2_Perspectives_IMH_corr.pdf (

Zeanah P, Stafford B, Nagle G, Rice T. Addressing social-emotional development and infant mental health in early childhood systems (Building State Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems Series No. 12) National Center for Infant and Early Childhood Health Policy; Los Angeles, CA: 2005.

ZERO TO THREE (n.d.). Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health ZERO TO THREE

ZERO TO THREE (2016). DC:0-5 Diagnostic Classification of Mental Health and Development Disorders of Infancy and Early Childhood. Washington, DC; Author

ZERO TO THREE (2016). Infant-Early Childhood Mental Health ZERO TO THREE



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