Carlo Schuengel

Carlo Schuengel
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam | VU · Section of Clinical Child and Family Studies

PhD

About

290
Publications
82,017
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Introduction
The focus of my research group is on the contribution of family relationships to the development of mental health and resilience, and on the interventions that can support at risk parents and other caregivers in fostering high quality relationships with children. This goal is pursued by a combination of our Generations² longitudinal pregnancy cohort study, synthesis of practice based and research based evidence, and intervention studies in partnership with practice.
Additional affiliations
December 1999 - February 2016
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Position
  • Professor (Full)
December 1997 - November 1999
Leiden University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)

Publications

Publications (290)
Conference Paper
Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up (ABC) is a potentially useful intervention for addressing the psychosocial needs of children with intellectual disabilities/developmental delays (ID/DD). Given that ABC was not originally developed for this cohort, this study aimed, firstly, to explore the effects of ABC in families with a young child with ID/D...
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Background: The fulfilment of basic psychological needs (BPNs) is seen as an integral part of human self-determination, subjective wellbeing, and overall quality of life. However, the meaning of these psychological constructs for individuals with the most extensive support needs remains elusive. Methods: Primary relatives of nine people diagnosed w...
Preprint
Objective: The concept of parental burnout has been proposed to be helpful for describing and understanding the impact of parenting children with complex care needs (CCN). The objective of this scoping review was to describe the aims, methods, and results of research on burnout among parents of children with CCN, along with a stakeholder consultati...
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Children exposed to traumatic events are at increased risk for developing symptoms of a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Children often discuss emotional, and therefore also traumatic, events in their lives with their parents, and the quality of these discussions can facilitate coping and further development. The study aim was 1) to explore whether...
Article
The Attachment and Biobehavioral Catchup intervention potentially offsets psychosocial risks facing dyads in which children have intellectual disability or developmental delays. In this single-case multiple-baseline study the efficacy of this intervention was tested across three such South African families. Maternal sensitivity, attachment security...
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Visiting a natural environment such as a garden or park helps people to recover from stressful circumstances. Women’s shelters and homeless shelters have started to integrate nature in their work, especially for families who seek temporary refuge, with the aim to support parents’ functioning and resilience. For professionals who want to facilitate...
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Children with chronic illness (CI) are at risk for internalizing problems, which reduce their quality of life, hamper treatment, and increase family stress. Accordingly, behavioral interventions are provided at the family level. However, the effects of parental involvement on child outcomes are not consistently beneficial. Therefore, it is relevant...
Article
Background A digital micro-intervention offering attachment psychoeducational videos was explored regarding its feasibility in parents of children with severe disabilities. Method: A mixed-methods study (including daily diaries and one-time questionnaires) with 16 parents (75.0% female) of children with severe disabilities (up to 10 years of age) w...
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BACKGROUND The multi-disciplinarity of long-term care for people with intellectual disabilities makes organisations seek stability and predictability, complicating implementing innovations. Interventions to implement a method for reducing restrictive measures were analysed through the lens of Normalisation Process Theory to understand the social me...
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Unresolved states of mind regarding experiences of loss/abuse (U/d) are identified through lapses in the monitoring of reasoning, discourse, and behavior surrounding loss/abuse in response to the Adult Attachment Interview. Although the coding system for U/d has been widely used for decades, the individual indicators of unresolved loss/abuse have n...
Article
Children’s behaviour and mental health has the power to surprise us, readers and authors of the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and laymen alike, if not for the endless variation among people, then for the ever‐changing context in which they develop. The hypothetico‐deductive method in combination with null‐hypothesis significance testin...
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La théorie et les recherches sur l’attachement sont utilisées dans de nombreux cadres d’application, y compris dans les tribunaux compétents en matière familiale [1], mais les incompréhensions sont fréquentes et sources d’erreurs lorsqu’il s’agit de les mettre en pratique. L’objectif de cet article de consensus est donc d’accroître la compréhension...
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Improving parenting, child attachment, and externalizing behaviors: Meta-analysis of the first 25 randomized controlled trials on the effects of Video-feedback Intervention to promote Positive Parenting and Sensitive Discipline (VIPP-SD). VIPP-SD combines support of parental sensitive responsiveness with coaching parents in sensitive limit setting....
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Background Family violence is a common problem with direct adverse effects on children as well as indirect effects through disruption of parenting and parent-child relationships. The complex interrelationships between family violence, parenting, and relationships make recovery from psychological responses difficult. In more than half of the familie...
Article
An unsettled question in attachment theory and research is the extent to which children's attachment patterns with mothers and fathers jointly predict developmental outcomes. In this study, we used individual participant data (IPD) meta-analysis to assess whether early attachment networks with mothers and fathers are associated with children's inte...
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Displaying selective attachment behaviours is an important developmental milestone for children with severe or profound intellectual disabilities (SPID). In the current study, between-child differences in their selective emotional responses to comfort provided by parents versus strangers were observed. We explored links between these differences an...
Article
La teoría y la investigación sobre el apego se utilizan en muchos contextos aplicados, incluidos los juzgados de familia, pero hay malentendidos muy extendidos y que a veces dan lugar a aplicaciones erróneas. El objetivo de este documento de consenso es, por lo tanto, mejorar la comprensión, contrarrestar la desinformación y dirigir el uso de la te...
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The physical environment of a shelter for homeless families may be a stressful place for parents. Exposure to natural environments might help to improve parental wellbeing. This study tested the impact of personalized exposure to a natural environment on wellbeing of parents residing in shelters. Single-case experiments with three families involved...
Preprint
Background: The concept of parental burnout has been proposed to be helpful for describing and understanding the impact of parenting children with complex care needs (CCN). The objective of this scoping review was to investigate the aims, methods, and results of research on burnout among parents of children with CCN, and to inform the interpretatio...
Preprint
While research generally demonstrates the efficacy of attachment-based interventions for supporting families and children, less is known about the constituent elements of these interventions and their effects. Existing tools for extracting information about these elements from psychosocial intervention studies do not differentiate between technique...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Family violence is a common problem with direct adverse effects on children as well as indirect effects through disruption of parenting and parent-child relationships. The complex interrelationships between family violence, parenting, and relationships make recovery from psychological responses difficult. In more than half of the famili...
Article
Full-text available
Background During the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people with disabilities living in home care facilities could not receive visitors. The use of virtual social contact has been recommended by health authorities. This systematic review examined the scientific evidence of the use and feasibility of information and communication techn...
Article
Background The feasibility and acceptability was explored of the newly-constructed Attachment Strengths and Needs Interview for parents of children with severe or profound intellectual disabilities. Method A partially mixed methods approach (with focus on the quantitative data) was used to clarify parents’ and professionals’ viewpoints regarding t...
Preprint
An unsettled question in attachment theory and research is the extent to which children’s attachment patterns with mothers and fathers jointly predict developmental outcomes. In this study, we used individual participant data meta-analysis to assess whether early attachment networks with mothers and fathers are associated with children’s internaliz...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Professionals in child healthcare increasingly endorse the support of self-management in paediatric rehabilitation services for children with physical disability. Less understood though are their views regarding the role of the children's parents, as well as their own role in supporting parents. This study aimed to investigate the moti...
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This paper prospected the evidence synthesized in meta-analyses on child-parent attachment to discuss its implications for the future of attachment research. Based on the 75 identified meta-analyses, effect size benchmarks may need to be adjusted to small (r = .10), medium (r = .20), and large (r = .30). Topics of attachment meta-analyses predomina...
Preprint
Manuscript: Work in Progress. Background and Aim: Executive functions (EFs) in children and adolescents with mild intellectual disability (MID) or borderline intellectual functioning (BIF) are frequently perceived as ‘deficient’ compared to typically developing peers. This cross-sectional study diverges from pointing out EF-deficits, but investiga...
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Home-based parental involvement in early education is linked to beneficial outcomes in children’s development and may redress unequal educational outcomes associated with family background. The type of educational activities at home and the way parents provide their support may differ across parents with and without a migration background. It is un...
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The parents, teachers, and professional caregivers of individuals with disabilities may benefit from interventions to enhance their educational skills. In previous studies, positive effects were observed of a video-feedback intervention for caregivers (i.e. parents, teachers, and professional caregivers) on their communication with an individual wi...
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Background Providing professional support for people with mild to borderline intellectual disabilities (IDs) is supposed to support their autonomous participation in society and, in turn, enhance their well‐being and quality of life. However, the motivation for seeking support may differ for people with mild to borderline IDs, varying in the extent...
Preprint
Full-text available
During the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people with disabilities living in care facilities could not receive visitors. The use of virtual social contact has been recommended by health authorities such as the World Health Organization. This systematic review examined the scientific evidence of the use and feasibility of information a...
Article
Full-text available
Attachment theory and research are drawn upon in many applied settings, including family courts, but misunderstandings are widespread and sometimes result in misapplications. The aim of this consensus statement is, therefore, to enhance understanding, counter misinformation, and steer family-court utilisation of attachment theory in a supportive, e...
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Finding fulfillment of basic psychological needs may be difficult for parents living in shelters after becoming homeless or after escaping violence. This study tested if experiencing nature was associated with the basic psychological needs of parents in shelters. Need satisfaction and need frustration were measured among parents in shelters (N = 16...
Article
Full-text available
Unresolved loss/trauma in the context of the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) has been theorised to result from dissociative processing of fear-related memories and ideas. To examine the plausibility of this model, this study tested hypothesised associations between unresolved loss/trauma and indicators of autonomic nervous system (ANS) reactivity....
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The ability to provide appropriate responses to infant distress is vital to paternal care, but may be affected by fathers’ experiences of childhood maltreatment. Detrimental effects of childhood maltreatment have been found in the adult brain's white matter fibers, accompanied with impaired emotional and cognitive functioning. In the current study...
Article
The Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) is a widely used measure in developmental science that assesses adults’ current states of mind regarding early attachment-related experiences with their primary caregivers. The standard system for coding the AAI recommends classifying individuals categorically as having an autonomous, dismissing, preoccupied, or...
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For families who live in women’s shelters, provision of salubrious activities supports their recovery and resilience. In many fields, natural environments are known to provide such benefits. Using an action research design, this study explored professionals’ perspective on the benefits of nature for family life in women’s shelters. Four researchers...
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Background: The lockdown-measures in response to COVID-19 taken by long-term care organisations might have impacted problem behaviour and behavioural functioning of people with intellectual disability. This study tested changes in reported incidents, in particular regarding aggression, unexplained absence and, for contrast, medication errors. Met...
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Addressing aggression in youth requires understanding of the range of social problem situations that may lead to biased social information processing (SIP). The present study investigated situation-specificity of SIP and analyzed whether SIP deficits and biases are found in ambiguous as well as clearly accidental situations in adolescents with clin...
Article
Background After a traumatic childbirth experience, women are often afraid of future pregnancies, and may be at risk for also experiencing their subsequent childbirth as traumatic. Aims Two questions were investigated regarding women's experience of their subsequent childbirth after a previous traumatic birth: (1) which factors in the previous tra...
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This study evaluated the efficacy of a mentoring program on improving psychosocial functioning of young people with a visual impairment (VI). Furthermore, the impact of experimentally matching mentees to mentors with or without VI on youth outcomes was examined. A total of 76 adolescents with VI (15–22 year; 46% boys) were randomized into a yearlon...
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Even though Parenting Capacity Assessments (PCAs) are essential for child protection services to support placement decisions for maltreating families, presently no evidence‐based PCA protocols are available. In this randomized controlled trial, we tested the quality of an attachment‐based PCA protocol based on Video‐feedback Intervention to promote...
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Background Young people with disabilities are more at risk of experiencing loneliness in later life than their typically developing peers. Aim To identify those who become lonely in later life, trajectories of perceived parent and peer support from adolescence to adulthood of young people with a visual impairment were studied. Methods A total of...
Preprint
Full-text available
Since the seminal 1992 paper by van IJzendoorn, Sagi, and Lambermon, putting forward the “The multiple caretaker paradox”, relatively little attention has been given to the potential joint effects of the role early attachment network to mother and father play in development. Recently, Dagan and Sagi-Schwartz (2018) have published a paper that attem...
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Generations of researchers have tested and used attachment theory to understand children’s development. To bring coherence to the expansive set of findings from small-sample studies, the field early on adopted meta-analysis. Nevertheless, gaps in understanding intergenerational transmission of individual differences in attachment continue to exist....
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It is well-known that people with an intellectual disability often face a host of health inequalities and co-morbidities. These include childhood obesity, mental health problems, and challenging behaviour. People with an intellectual disability also have reduced life expectancy. GPs are uniquely placed to advocate for and signpost these patients, e...
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Background: While considered a rare diagnosis, reactive attachment disorder (RAD) is simultaneously the subject of considerable debate. A recent report suggested that RAD is overdiagnosed in community settings and that conduct problems may be used to make a diagnosis of RAD (Woolgar & Baldock, Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 20, 2015, 34-40)....
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Decisions regarding out-of-home placement of children are complicated and of high impact for children and parents. Previous studies show low agreement between professionals on these decisions, and research regarding the influence of characteristics of decision-makers on the content of the decisions taken remains inconclusive. This study explored th...
Article
The relationships between children with severe or profound intellectual disabilities (ID) and their parents may fulfil attachment functions, such as regulating emotional responses to stress. This study examined the extent to which children with severe or profound ID differentiate between their parents and a stranger as a resource for stress-regulat...
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Full-text available
Background: Persons with mild to borderline intellectual disabilities generally show dysfunctions in mentalization and stress regulation, resulting in problematic social relationships and personal distress. Intervention programs may improve mentalizing abilities. The aim of this study is to examine the effectiveness of the serious game 'You & I' i...
Article
Introduction: Negative social schemas (SS) about the world and the self are found to link with social information processing (SIP) of new situations. If and how SS and SIP associate for youth with mild intellectual disability (MID: IQ50–70), borderline intelligence (BIQ:71–84), and average intelligence (AIQ≥85) is however unclear. Similarities and...
Preprint
Generations of researchers have tested and used attachment theory to understand children’s development. To bring coherence in the expansive set of findings, the field early on adopted meta-analysis, with 75 published since 1987. These meta-analyses are increasingly applied in research on disorder and intervention, and in self-report research on att...
Preprint
Background: Persons with mild to borderline intellectual disabilities generally show dysfunctions in mentalization and stress regulation, resulting in problematic social relationships and personal distress. Intervention programs may improve mentalizing abilities. The aim of this study is to examine the effectiveness of the serious game ‘You & I’ in...
Article
Full-text available
The “Warnock Report” (Department for Education and Science, 1978) underlined the importance of early intervention for children with a range of special educational needs and the importance of partnership with families. This paper focuses on young children with intellectual disability to describe the longitudinal research on early development that ha...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: The efficacy of a community-based mentoring program for adolescents with a visual impairment vs. care-as-usual was tested on social participation including satisfaction with social support. Materials and methods: Adolescents (15–22 years; 46% boys) were randomized to an intervention group with mentors with visual impairment (N = 25), an in...