It really works! And an RCT is in review for publication.

The effectiveness and impact of the Solihull Approach has been the subject of research since 2001 when the first evaluation was carried out. Many evaluations have been carried out since, both quantitative and qualitative, creating a rich picture of why it works as well as showing that it does work. When the random controlled trial (RCT) is complete it will add to the picture. We are interested in encouraging areas around the UK to carry out their own research, as some do already. It is hard work on top of the day job, but worth it for your own management reports and adds to the evidence base. Contact us if you’d like to be put in touch with someone researching on your topic. They may be able to advise on measures and also on free measures as you will be on a tight budget.

The first research showed that parents’ anxiety about their children decreased significantly and the severity of problems also decreased.

(Douglas, H., Brennan, A. 2004 Containment, Reciprocity and behaviour management: preliminary evaluation of a brief early intervention (the Solihull Approach) for families with infants and young children. International Journal of Infant Observation, 7: 1, 89-107) 


This finding was replicated in 2006. A quantitative study of the effectiveness of the Solihull Approach in 2006 showed a significant decrease in distress, and parental perception of child difficulty and a reduction on overall stresses levels.

(Milford, R., Kleve, L., Lea, J., Greenwood, R. 2006 A pilot evaluation study of the Solihull Approach. Community Practitioner, 79: 11, 358-362)


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.

(Bateson, K., Delaney, J., Pybus, R. 2008 Meeting expectations: the pilot evaluation of the Solihull Approach parenting group. Community Practitioner, 81: 5, 28-31)


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.

(Johnson, R., Wilson, H. 2012 Parents’ evaluation of understanding your child’s behaviour, a parenting group based on the Solihull Approach. Community Practitioner, 85: 5, 29-33.)


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.

(Appleton, R., Douglas, H., Rheeston, M. 2016 Taking part in ‘Understanding Your Child’s Behaviour’ and positive changes for parents, Community Practitioner, 89: 2, 42-48.)


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

Hassett, A. and Appleton, R. (2016) Understanding your pupil’s behaviour: a pilot study from two primary schools in Kent. Research Report.

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.

Monique, Tan., Rheeston, M and Douglas, H. (2017) Using the Solihull Approach in breastfeeding support groups: Maternal perceptions. British Journal of Midwifery 25(12), pp 765-773.


There have been more research articles published Download Here whilst many more are in the prepublication phase, including the random controlled trial (RCT) of the parenting group.


Useful Downloads

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


  • Download a summary of each research paper.


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


  • View posters created by different areas in the UK and internationally on how they have used the Solihull Approach.
View Posters Here


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


  • 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.


Additional references:

Jane Barlow and P.O. Svanberg (Eds) Keeping the Baby in Mind: Infant Mental Health in Practice includes a chapter called 'The Solihull Approach: An integrative model across agencies.' by Hazel Douglas and Mary Rheeston.

Hazel Douglas - Containment and Reciprocity: integrating psychoanalytic theory and child development research for work with children