Parental mentalization goes to school: a brief online mentalization-based intervention to improve parental academic support

Naama Gershy*, Racheli Cohen, Naama Atzaba Poria

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Parental support of children’s learning contributes to children’s motivation, efficacy, and academic success. Nonetheless, in the context of homework, many parents struggle to offer adequate academic support and intervene in a manner that can curtail children’s academic progress. A mentalization-based online intervention was proposed for improving parental homework support. The intervention involves teaching parents to dedicate the first 5 minutes of homework preparation to observation of the child’s and the parent’s mental states. Thirty-seven Israeli parents of elementary school children randomly assigned to intervention or waitlist conditions participated in a pilot study assessing the feasibility and initial efficacy of the intervention. Participants completed self-report measures before and after the intervention or a 2-week waiting period and provided feedback on the intervention. Pilot findings suggest that this low-intensity online intervention can be effective in improving parenting practices in the homework supervision context. A randomized controlled trial is required to further establish the intervention’s efficacy.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)254-271
Number of pages18
JournalAttachment and Human Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The study was supported by a from the Kaplan Familyto NG and NAP (Grant # 3175006141). We would like to thank the participating parents for their willingness to engage with the intervention and share their experiences. We thank Yuval Zonnberg, Yaraa Daeem, Nada Yassin, Daniel Biton, and Natalie Brunstein for their dedicated work with the study families. We would like to thank Professor Nilli Mor, Ph.D. for her thoughtful and professional advise on the study design and observation technique. Thanks to Leon Kaplan for his belief in the project and help to bring it to life.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Mentalization
  • academic support
  • homework
  • observation
  • online interventions
  • parenting


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