Research on Connect

Adolescence is a remarkable developmental period in which children are transformed neurobiologically, cognitively and interpersonally as they prepare for adult roles and relationships. The confluence of these diverse changes makes adolescence a ‘’sensitive” developmental period, where vulnerability increases but opportunities for growth are also heightened.

In our lab we are interested in factors that increase risk and provide protection during pre-adolescence and adolescent development. Our work integrates research on both normative and atypical developmental trajectories with the goal of understanding how we can support healthy development and intervene during critical transitions to reduce risk.

Over the past decade we have focused on understanding risk and protective factors among adolescent girls and boys at high risk for violence and victimization. Our eight-year longitudinal study with these teens has produced important findings on the complexity of their mental health needs, the social contexts that place them at risk and the personal and relational factors that buffer them from adversity.

We are strongly committed to knowledge translation, and the development of evidence based interventions to prevent and reduce risk. Together with community partners in mental health and education, we have developed, delivered and evaluated programs, such as Connect, that provide important benefits to youth and their families and cost saving measures to society. 

Research and program evaluation are integral parts of the Connect Parent Program. Ongoing program evaluation procedures are crucial to maintaining program integrity and ensuring continued assessment of program effectiveness. Program evaluation must be completed for every Connect group.

Connect was rated by the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse (CEBC) and given a Scientific Rating of 3 (Promising Research Evidence) and a Child Welfare System Relevance Level of Medium. For more information, click here.


Connect Parent Group Model & Evidence


Click below to download published papers.

*For requests to receive copies of any papers not found on this site, please email



Moretti, M. M., O’Donnell, K.A., & Kelly, V. (in press). Connect: An Attachment Based and Trauma Informed Program for Foster Parents of Teens. Child Welfare, Special Issue: Twenty Years after the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 (“Chafee”): What We Know Now About Meeting the Needs of Teens and Young Adults.


Ozturk, Y., Moretti, M., & Barone, L. (2019). Addressing parental stress and adolescents’ behavioral problems through an attachment-based program: An intervention study. International Journal of Psychology & Psychological Therapy19(1). 


Ozturk, Y., Cirioni, E., Milone, A., Polidori, L., Ruglioni, L., Moretti, M., & Barone, L. (September 2018) Uno studio RCT di implementazione di un intervento per genitori di adolescenti: Connect Parent Group. Presentation delivered at the AIP National Congress, section of Psychology of Development and Education, Turin, Italy. Click here

Alfredsson, E. K., Thorvaldsson, V., Axberg, U., Broberg, A., G. (2018). Parenting programs during adolescence: Outcomes from universal and targeted interventions offered in real-world settings. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology. doi: 10.1111/sjop.12446. Click here

Moretti, M. M., Pasalich, D. S., & O’Donnell, K. A. (2018). Connect: An attachment based program for parents and teens. In H. Steele & M. Steele. (Eds), Handbook of Attachment-Based Interventions (First Ed.). New York, NY, USA: Guilford Publications.


Osman, F., Salari, R., Klingberg-Allvin, M., Schon, U., K., Flacking, R. (2017). Effects of a culturally tailored parenting support programme in Somali-born parents’ mental health and sense of competence in parenting: a randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open, 7. doi:10.1136. Click here

Rooth, H., Forinder, U., Piuva, K. and Söderbäck, M. (2017). An assessment of two parenting training manuals used in Swedish parenting interventions. Children & Society. doi:10.1111/chso.12220. Click here

Osman F.Flacking R., Schön U.Klingberg-Allvin M. (2017). A support program for Somali-born parents on children’s behavioral problems. 


Högström, J., Olofsson, V., Özdemir, M. et al. (2016). Two-year findings from a national effectiveness trial: Effectiveness of behavioral and non-behavioral parenting programs. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. doi:10.1007/s10802-016-01780. Click here


Moretti, M.M., Obsuth, I., Craig, S.G., & Bartolo, T. (2015). An attachment-based intervention for parents of adolescents at risk: Mechanisms of change. Attachment and Human Development, 18, 1-17. doi10.1080/14616734.2015.1006383. Click here

Stattin, H., Enebrink, P., Özdemir, M., & Giannotta, F. (2015). A national evaluation of parenting programs in Sweden: The short-term effects using an RCT effectiveness design. Journal Of Consulting And Clinical Psychology, 83(6), 1069-1084. doi:10.1037/a0039328


Giannotta, F. f., Ortega, E., & Stattin, H. (2013). An attachment parenting intervention to prevent adolescents’ problem behaviors: A pilot study in Italy. Child & Youth Care Forum42(1), 71-85. doi:10.1007/s10566-012-9189-3. Click here 


Moretti, M. M., Obsuth, I., Mayseless, O., & Scharf, M. (2012). Shifting internal parent-child representations among caregivers of teens with serious behaviour problems: An attachment-based approach. Journal of Child and Adolescent Trauma, 5, 191-204. Click here


Moretti, M., & Obsuth, I. (2009). Effectiveness of an attachment-focused manualized intervention for parents of teens at risk for aggressive behaviour: The Connect Program. Journal of Adolescence, 32(6), 1347-1357. Click here


Moretti, M. M., Holland, R., Moore, K., & McKay, S. (2004). An attachment based parenting program for caregivers of severely conduct disordered adolescents: Preliminary findings. Journal of Child and Youth Care Work. Click here

Moretti, M. M., & Peled, M. (2004). Adolescent-parent attachment: Bonds that support healthy development. Pediatrics & Child Health, 9(8), 551-555. Click here


Current Research Projects

Provincial Evaluation

Every time a Connect Parent Group runs in B.C. participants are asked to take part in our evaluation research. By filling out questionnaires before, during, and after Connect we get a better picture of how the program is working for Families.

Adapting Connect for Foster Parents

A new version of the Connect program is available for those parents providing care for foster children. This program is trauma-informed and focuses on the challenges that Foster Parent may face as they welcome a new child into their home.

Cross-Cultural Adaptations

We have recently begun to explore the cultural appropriateness of Connect for Indigenous communities and peoples living in British Columbia. We are also working on a translation of the manual into French for Francophone Canadians.

Connect in Elementary Schools

Transitioning to high school is challenging for many students. We are currently working with elementary schools to learn whether Connect can offer parents of Grade 7 students the tools they need to support their child during this transition.