The Art at the Start project aims to publish high quality research as the project progresses and we will flag up publications 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.
Outcomes from Create Together parent-infant art therapy
We published the next stage of our research in the International Journal of Art Therapy, piloting the use of qualitative and quantitative measures to evaluate the outcomes for parents and their infants from attending the art psychotherapy groups
Talking About Art
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.
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
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 on the Royal Society for Public Health’s AHP hub
Our 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 wrote about how their activity to deliver art materials to vulnerable families over the pandemic was able to address inequalities in health and arts access in the Engage journal for visual arts and gallery education
Vicky presented on our project at a Royal Society of Edinburgh event focused on infant wellbeing after winning the RSE Innovators Award for Public Engagement.
Full results from the Home Art Boxes
Our full results of our interviews with parents on how they experienced the home art boxes are published open access in Frontiers, showing the potential of art making to support wellbeing and attachment relationships
Armstrong VG and Ross J (2022) The Experiences of Parents and Infants Using a Home-Based Art Intervention Aimed at Improving Wellbeing and Connectedness in Their Relationship. Front. Psychol. 13:732562
Vicky worked with the Scottish Government Programme Board for Infant Mental Health subgroup looking at The Voice of the Infant.
This involved gathering evidence on infant participation and developing guidance for best practice in how all adults who come into contact with babies can tune in to their communications and act upon them. This development is captured in this paper for the Journal of Infant Observation.
The Best Practice Guidance and Infant Pledge were published by the Scottish Government in 2023. Art at the Start is a case study example of good practice.
Control Trial results of Parent Infant Art Therapy
The full results of our control trial comparing parent-infant art therapy with treatment as usual have been published in the Infant Mental Health Journal. We used standardised measures and showed a significant improvement in parental wellbeing and their perception of the relationship. A second study used an observation measure and found positive changes for the infants in the kinds of relationship they were experiencing.
The perspectives of parents and caregivers accessing the parent-infant art therapy service were captured in this paper in Arts in Psychotherapy, available open access here
Armstrong, V., & Ross, J. (2023). Actually, today was a good day, so today we’re doing all right: Parental perspectives on a dyadic group art therapy intervention for parent and infant wellbeing and attachments. Arts in Psychotherapy, 85