Solihull Approach | Parenting

Our impact and

Evidence Base

Recognised training with a strong evidence base

The Solihull Approach has a significant evidence base, both quantitative and qualitative, showing the improvements in the parent-child relationship, child prosocial behaviour, behaviour difficulties, parental anxiety and stress, and practitioner satisfaction.

The Solihull Approach is backed by research evidence in early brain development and the significance of early relationships and experience. The emphasis on close, connected, attuned relationships underpin all our training and resources.

Research over the past 25 years evidences the impact of a range of Solihull Approach informed interventions. In 2019, a randomised control trial (RCT) on the Understanding your child programme confirmed significant benefits to both children and parents and led to the inclusion in rated programmes by the Early Intervention Foundation. In 2023, research published by the Community Practitioner confirmed the significance of the online course, Understanding your baby, in improving parents’ self-beliefs across various aspects of parenting.

Solihull Approach research

Published research on the impact of Solihull Approach training and interventions.

Published in the Community Practitioner, the report, Understanding your baby: Evaluating a web-based postnatal parenting programme, demonstrates the online course leads to significant improvements in parents’ self-belief across various aspects of parenting, such as feeding, soothing, establishing routines, and understanding their baby's needs.

This article describes a pilot project in which the two-day Solihull Approach foundation course was adapted for practitioners who care for adults with learning disabilities and/or autism. The aim was to enhance their understanding of behaviour that challenges in this population. 

Findings showed a statistically significant increase in warmth, a reduction in parental depression, anxiety and stress, and progress towards parenting goals. Data suggests the Solihull Approach can be adapted to meet the cultural and religious needs of the OJ community.

An RCT on the course for parents ‘Understanding your child’s behaviour’. Three self-report measures were used at two time-points – pre- and post-intervention – measuring child behaviour, parental emotional health and child-parent relationship.

Participants’ responses in the intervention group were compared with waiting-list controls, after controlling for pre-test scores, by analysis of covariance, as per protocol. The results show that, compared with not attending, attendance at the Solihull Approach group resulted in improvements in: child prosocial behaviour and conduct problems; parental anxiety and stress, and the parent-child relationship (increase in closeness, decrease in conflict), in a cohort that can be considered characteristic of the UK population in terms of ethnicity and those typically attending such groups (majority female). Furthermore, the impact on closeness in the parent-child relationship and parental stress showed highly statistically significant results, with a 99.995% probability that these could not have occurred by chance.

The findings of a study exploring the use of the Solihull Approach in breastfeeding support groups from the perspective of breastfeeding mothers. The Solihull Approach helps to create safe spaces and helped ensure tailored informational and emotional support which sustained the mothers attendance to the group.

Quantitative statistical analysis found that six months after the Solihull Approach Whole School training, teachers in School A showed a statistically significant increase in satisfaction with their helping role, self-esteem, and teacher efficacy scores as well as a decrease in feeling burnt out/stressed. The teachers at School B who did not receive the training only showed an improvement in teacher efficacy over the period

An evaluation of the experience of 105 parents who completed the ‘Understanding Your Child’s Behaviour’ course showed that over 90% of parents found the group helped them understand their child and identify changes. Recurring themes were that they had a better relationship with their child after taking part and they felt more confident.

An evaluation of the views of over 200 parents who have taken part in the ‘Understanding your child’s behaviour’ course showed that 95% of parents found the course highly satisfactory. Parents increased their knowledge of strategies and solutions for responding to children’s behaviour, they improved their interactions with their children and were better able to recognise and respond to their own and their children’s feelings.

Research into the effectiveness of the Solihull Approach ‘Understanding your child’s behaviour’ course showed improvement in child behaviour and a reduction in parental stress.

Using a control group, results showed a statistically significant decrease in distress and in parental perception of child difficulty in favour of the experimental group.

Survey of Solihull Health Visitors after they received Solihull Approach training showed that it impacted on practice, improved consistency of approach, increased job satisfaction and confidence in own skills with no increase in overall time for assessment and intervention.

There are many more research studies on the Research References list and Download Summaries list, with more research in the pipeline.

Useful Downloads

Research references

Download a list of the research references on the Solihull Approach.

Download summaries

Download a summary of each research paper.

Government strategy documents

Download a list of Government strategy documents citing the Solihull Approach and access some full documents.

Government strategy documents

Download a list of government agencies that have commissioned Us

Read a mother's experience

Read a mother’s account of her experience of the Solihull Approach parenting group ‘Understanding your child’s behaviour’.

Read a Health Visitor's experience

Read a health visitor’s account of how she uses the Solihull Approach in her work and in caring for her daughter who is on the autistic spectrum.