The Art at the Start project aims to publish high quality research as the project progresses and we will flag it up here as we go along.

  • Evaluating Create Together

The outcomes from a successful pilot of the Create Together art therapy groups were published in the Infant Mental Health Journal in 2015.

Armstrong and Howatson (2015) Parent-infant Art Psychotherapy: A Creative Dyadic Approach to Early Intervention. Infant Mental Health Journal. 36:2

  • BPS vacation scholarship 

A BPS scholarship in 2016 allowed us to work with a student, Egle Dalinkeviciute, to test whether it was possible to apply a qualitative coding system to video tapes rfom art therapy groups, to measure behavioural changes associated with secure attachment. You can see Egle’s poster presentation here.

  •  Outcomes from Create Together parent-infant art therapy

We published the next stage of our research in the International Journal of Art Therapy, using qualitative and quantitative measures to evaluate the outcomes for parents and their infants from attending art psychotherapy groups .

V. G. Armstrong, E. Dalinkeviciute & J.Ross (2019) A dyadic art psychotherapy group for parents and infants – piloting quantitative methodologies for evaluation, International Journal of Art Therapy, DOI: 10.1080/17454832.2019.1590432

  • Talking About Art

Our PhD student, Holly Rumble, explored the impact of Dundee Contemporary Art’s Create Space on family learning. Her 2019 MSc dissertation, Talking About Art, is available as a PDF Talking About Art Full Report

  • Integrative Literature Review

We have published an integrative literature review, looking at the evidence base for an art therapy approach with parents and infants together.

V. G. Armstrong & J. Ross (2020) The evidence base for art therapy with parent and infant dyads: an integrative literature review, International Journal of Art Therapy, DOI: 10.1080/17454832.2020.1724165

  • Book Chapter – Mechanisms of change in parent-infant art therapy

Our chapter on the mechanisms of change in art therapy with parents and infants, including lots of examples from case material, has been published in Hogan, S (2020), Therapeutic Arts in Pregnancy, Birth and New Parenthood, Routledge , London.

  • Our report – Art boxes supporting parents and infants to share creative interactions at home: an art-based response to improve well-being during COVID-19 restrictions – is published open-access in Public Health

Free to read here:

This report looks at our preliminary findings from interviews with parents who received a Home Art Box over the period of Covid-19 restrictions. We saw several benefits including increased parental confidence to make art together and increasing connections between parent and child. 

  • Case study in art therapy on the Royal Society for Public Health’s AHP hub

A case study on the work of Art at the Start within the DCA including art therapy sessions, public sessions and Home Art Boxes in an example of best practice in art therapy on the Allied Health Professionals Hub

  • Engage Journal special edition on Class and Inequality

Vicky and Sarah write about how their activity to deliver art materials to vulnerable families over the pandemic was able to address inequalities in health and arts access