In this section, you can read more about my professional experience working in projects with parents and their infants, children, and young people in adoptive and biological parenthood.
Butterfly Baby Clinic (https://www.butterflybabyclinic.com)
In the spring of 2021, I joined the Butterfly Baby Clinic, a University clinic that offers support to new parents, creating with them and collecting resources to promote and support infant’s mental health.
One of the projects of the Butterfly Baby Clinic (https://www.butterflybabyclinic.com/butterfly-baby-club/), which will start in the coming months, involves the creation of the Butterfly Choir, a choir of new parents who, together with their children (0-24 months), will participate in online rehearsals, where they will learn traditional songs and lullabies under the direction of a professional choir master. The goal of the Butterfly Choir is to promote well-being in the parent-child relationship but also to facilitate the creation of a connection among new parents, so that they can support each other and have fun with their children and connect through music.
The project aims to collect recordings of lullabies that parents around the world sing to their children to create a digital archive of resources to share with families and child mental health professionals. The choir also intends to extend the invitation to participate to deaf children and their parents by providing sign language support.
Perinatal maternal and paternal depression as risk factors on the development of infants’ iaffective regulation: evaluation of effects and early interventions (Project PRIN, MIUR - Scientific Research Programs of Relevant National Interest) P.I. Prof. L. Lucarelli, 2014-2016
With this project, aimed at the prevention of postpartum depression and the support of parents expecting their first child, I conducted intake interviews with mothers and fathers during pregnancy, to explore their expectations and fantasies about the unborn baby and explore their representations of attachment experiences with their parents and the possible impact these may have on parenting the child at birth.
Throughout the pregnancy and post-partum, I monitored the psychological well-being of the parents by administering questionnaires. I also played the role of Home Visitor by making weekly visits to two mother-child dyads to support and promote the attachment bond and monitor the child's socio-emotional development, sleep, and feeding in the first year of life.
I dealt with the assessment of the cognitive and emotional development of newborns, communicative and social development, as well as the child-parent attachment relationship through structured observation, standardized assessment, and interviews.
Understanding emotions in school aged children: the contribution of the attachment relationship with parents - 2010-2013
In this project, which constituted an important part of my PhD, I assessed the emotions understanding and the attachment relationship of children (6 and 7 years old) in school context. I used a tool to assess children’s emotion understanding in the protagonists of a set of stories told through vignettes. I also conducted an evaluation of the children's representation of the relationship with their parents using a dolls house. With the use of a dollhouse and dolls, the child completed a set of stories based on attachment themes. This method allows the exploration of the child's representation of the relationships with his caregivers, shedding a light on the internal world.
My research was focused on the child-parent attachment relationship, not only with respect to the maternal figure but also to the paternal one, often neglected by research on attachment in school-aged children.
To find out more about father-child attachment, you can read this article I wrote (link to article)
Adoption - 2010-2013
Over the years, I have been involved in a project on the assessment of adoptive parenting. The interviews held with the parents of the belatedly adopted children had the task of exploring their childhood and rearing experiences with their parents and the impact that these may have had on the development of their person and their being parents.
I also conducted interviews with adolescents to investigate their attachment experiences with adoptive parents and friends. I also dealt with the evaluation of their cognitive development and the administration of tools such as the Family Drawing.
Epilepsy and parental reaction to diagnosis - 2010-2013
To evaluate the reaction to the diagnosis in the parents of children with idiopathic epilepsy, I conducted interviews with the parents exploring their reaction to the diagnosis of the disease in the child and the child-parent attachment with the completion of stories with the doll's house. I also dealt with the assessment of family functioning, cognitive development, and children’s emotions understanding.
The Coffy Test (http://coffytest.net )
I collaborated in the publication of the Coffy Test, a psychopathological risk assessment measure for school-age children. The test features a small dog with whom the child identifies to complete stories that reflect his internal world, the way he perceives relationships with parents and peers.