About Our Research

Main findings from studies investigating the effectiveness of Duet Reflective Caregiving Groups

Parental Behavior:

  • An increase in parental sense of efficacy
  • A decrease in parental stress 
  • Increase in the parental reflective capacities, as measured using both interview (reflective functioning on the Parent Development Interview) and observation of parent-child play (mind-mindedness) measures

Children's Behavior:

  • Decrease in behavioral problems
  • Decrease in aggression
  • Decrease in attention problems

Parent-Child relationships

  • Improved parental sensitivity and responsiveness to children’s needs
  • Decrease in parental hostility toward the child during parent-child interactions
  • Higher responsiveness of children to parents: Children show greater pleasure  and willingness to cooperate in interactions with their parent

The Child Development and Family Relationships Laboratory is a research group at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, directed by Naama Atzaba-Poria, PhD. Our research focuses on understanding parent-child relationships and child development in families experiencing stressful life conditions (e.g., immigration, raising children with developmental or chronic health problems).

Our Lab

Our research is guided by ecological and transactional models of child development of family relationships; we believe that children can affect the environment in which they develop, and study children and their families while taking into account the multiple layers of environmental experience. Furthermore, we are especially interested in the process whereby children and parents develop and thrive, or alternatively, put them at-risk for maladjustment and developmental difficulties. We are particularly interested in the role of the father in facilitating healthy child outcomes, which has been understudies. We believe that fathers are not replicas of mothers and merit more investigation. Finally, through working with both normative and clinical populations, our research provides theoretical, basic scientific insights, as well as practical, clinically-relevant contributions