The Anna Freud Centre’s online research library contains a collection of evidence-based material on children and young people’s mental health, written and co-written by our team. The research explores factors relating to: 

anxiety | behavioural difficulties | depression | digital mental health | empowering young people and families | early years | evaluation | fostering and adoption | intervention | maltreatment and abuse | measures | mentalization | methodology | neurodiversity | parents and carers| prevalence and trends | prevention | psychological therapies | resources | risk and resilience | social care | trauma | wellbeing

The library is managed by our team of evidence experts. It is updated on a regular basis and currently consists of research published between 2018 and 2023. 

Please be aware that links to our open-access papers lead to external sites and that the management, data handling and administration of these external sites is not the Anna Freud Centre’s responsibility. 


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  • HeadStart evidence briefing 14: Youth participation: models used to understand young people’s participation in school and community programmes

    This briefing will direct attention to different models of participation that currently exist within various systems of care and support. It is important to note that while many more participation models exist, the focus of this briefing is on those that make a clear distinction between categories of involvement and differentiate between the roles of providers and service users within their models.

    Authors: Dolaty, S., Tait, N., Brunskill, H. (2022).

    Download this HeadStart briefing

  • Staff perspectives on HeadStart delivery

    This briefing summarises learning from the first year of the HeadStart programme, drawing on research interviews conducted with staff members at each partnership as part of the qualitative evaluation of HeadStart led by the Learning Team in the EBPU.

    Author: Stapley, E. (2017).

    Download this HeadStart briefing

  • Conducting economic evaluations of mental health and wellbeing early intervention and prevention programmes: Learning and insights from a real-world implementation context

    This study aims to explore the process of collecting and using cost data from programme implementers’ perspectives, in the context of delivering a prevention and early intervention programme in a real-world setting.

    Authors: Stapley, E., Herbert, K., Cattan, S., Deighton, J. (2022).

    Download this HeadStart briefing

  • At a glance: impact of HeadStart on secondary pupil absence, exclusion and attainment

    We aimed to investigate if HeadStart was effective in ameliorating school outcomes such as absence, exclusion and attainment. We also aimed to explore if synthetic control method was an appropriate methodology to investigate the effectiveness of area level interventions.

    Download this HeadStart briefing

  • The therapeutic relationship as a change mechanism in child psychotherapy: a qualitative study of children, parents’, and therapists’ views in different moments of the process

    The therapeutic relationship is organized triadically between children, therapists and parents, yet little research focuses on its evolution as a change mechanism integrating these perspectives. Develop a comprehensive model of the therapeutic relationship as a change mechanism in different phases of psychotherapy, from the perspective of children, parents and therapists.

    Authors: Nuñez, L., Capella, C., Midgley, N., Krause, M. (2022).

    Read the abstract

  • “I didn’t have to look her in the eyes”—participants’ experiences of the therapeutic relationship in internet-based psychodynamic therapy for adolescent depression

    To explore young people’s perceptions of the relationship with the therapist in internet-based psychodynamic treatment for adolescent depression.

    Authors: Lindqvist, K., Mechler, J., Midgley, N., Carlbring, P., Carstorp, K., Neikter, H. K., Strid, F., Below, C.V. & Philips, B. (2022).

    Download the open access paper

  • Understanding treatment non-responders: a qualitative study of depressed adolescents' experiences of ‘unsuccessful’ psychotherapy

    This paper aimed to explore the experiences of depressed adolescents who completed but did not ‘respond’ to standard psychotherapy, based on a lack of improvement in pre-post symptoms scores.

    Authors: Mehta, A., Dykiert, D. & Midgley, N. (2023).

    Download the open access paper

  • Personality disorders as a possible moderator of the effects of relational interventions in short-term psychoanalytic psychotherapy with depressed adolescents

    A significant proportion of adolescents suffering from major depressive disorder (MDD) are likely to have a co-morbid personality disorder (PD). Short-term psychoanalytic psychotherapy (STPP) was found to be one treatment of choice for adolescents suffering from MDD.

    Authors: Korsgaard, H.O., Ulberg, R., Hummelen, B., Midgley, N., Thorén, A., Dahl, H.J. (2022).

    Download the open access paper

  • Developing typologies in qualitative research: the use of ideal-type analysis

    This article is a summary of our approach to conducting ideal-type analysis. We hope that this article will help researchers to consider whether using ideal-type analysis may be a suitable approach for their own studies.

    Authors: Stapley, E., O’Keeffe, S., & Midgley, N. (2022).

    Download the open access paper

  • The Reflective Fostering Programme fidelity rating scale: development and inter-rater reliability

    The purpose of this study is to describe the development of the 14-item reflective fostering fidelity rating (RFFR), an observational rating system to evaluate model fidelity of group facilitators in the Reflective Fostering Programme (RFP), a mentalisation-based psychoeducation programme to support foster carers. 

    Authors: Midgley, N., Cirasola, A., Sprecher, E.A., Redfern, S., Wright, H., Rider, B. & Martin, P. (2023). 

    Read the abstract

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