1st Edition

Growing Up Resilient The Mediational Intervention for Sensitizing Caregivers (MISC)

Edited By Carla Sharp, Lochner Marais Copyright 2022
    248 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    248 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    It is universally accepted that sensitive and responsive caregiving leads to positive cognitive and socio-emotional outcomes for children. While several intervention approaches exist, this text brings together the rationale and current evidence base for one such approach—the Mediational Intervention for Sensitizing Caregivers (MISC).

    MISC integrates aspects of socio-emotional health and cognitive development as well as being less culturally intrusive than existing approaches. It is a strengths-based program complementing existing practices and cultures. Editors bring together in one volume the theory and research from the last decade supporting the MISC approach. Chapters focus on a range of topics, such as training the trainer, maternal depression and MISC, applying MISC to families reunited after migration-related separation and more. The book also focuses on several country-specific cases, such as applying MISC to HIV/AIDS-affected children in South Africa or in early childhood care settings in Israel.

    This book is essential reading for those working in early educational or clinical settings tasked with developing policy to ensure optimal child developmental outcomes. The book is applicable to professionals from a wide variety of disciplines including clinical, counselling, educational, psychology, psychiatry, paediatrics, nursing, social work and public health.

    1. The Mediational Intervention for Sensitizing Caregivers: A pathway to resilience 2. An introduction to the MISC interventional model 3. MISC training program (MISC-TP) 4. Considerations for implementing MISC in Early Childhood Education Care settings 5. Mothers’ mediation in book reading activities through the lens of the MISC model: Relation to SES and children’s early literacy 6. Using early caregiver training to enhance the neurodevelopment of very young, vulnerable African children exposed to or living with HIV 7. The Mediational Intervention for Sensitizing Caregivers to enhance the neurodevelopment of children to prevent Konzo disease 8. The Mediational Intervention for Sensitizing Caregivers for community-based organizations to address the needs of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in South Africa 9. Mediational intervention for sensitizing caregivers of toddlers with sensory processing and self-regulation disorders 10. Caregivers with Borderline Personality Disorder: The promise of MISC 11. Maternal depression and MISC in low- and middle-income countries 12. MISC applied to families reunited after migration-related separation 13. The Mediational Intervention for Sensitizing Caregivers for mothers and children exposed to Intimate Partner Violence 14. Considerations for implementing MISC as part of asset-based community development 15. Negotiating with and situating MISC within context-specific nuances for sustainable use


    Carla Sharp, PhD, is Professor in the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program at the University of Houston (UH), and Interim Associate Dean for Faculty and Research. She is also Director of Adolescent Diagnosis Assessment Prevention and Treatment (ADAPT) Center at UH and directs the Developmental Psychopathology Lab at UH. As a developmental psychopathologist, she makes use of multiple methods across different levels of analyses to understand, detect, and treat emotional and behaviour problems in children and adolescents with a specific focus on attachment, social-cognitive and socio-emotional development. As a South African citizen and a child clinical psychologist, she has a longstanding interest in addressing these issues in children in resource-limited settings where children are at high risk for developing mental health problems as a result of attachment disruption and trauma. The HIV/AIDS epidemic created a tragic natural experiment that sheds light on socio-emotional and socio-cognitive development in the context of losing a primary caregiver. Since 2008, Dr Sharp’s research has been continuously funded in South Africa to study the effects of losing a parent due to HIV/AIDS. It is in this context that Dr Sharp became acquainted with the Mediational Intervention for Sensitizing Caregivers (MISC), which was evaluated in a recent trial in South Africa funded by the NICHD. She has published over 270 peer-reviewed publications (H-index 61), numerous chapters and books.

    Lochner Marais, PhD, is Professor of Development Studies and Acting Director of the Centre for Development Support (University of the Free State, South Africa). Marais’s research interests cover three different, though related, themes: housing policy, small urban areas and public health (including his work on OVC). He has authored, co-authored and compiled more than 250 research reports, including more than 180 refereed articles in peer-reviewed journals or books (H-index 26). He has also co-edited eight books (two previous ones with Routledge). His work on OVC includes collaborative projects with Professor Sharp funded by the NICHD and projects funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates and Huffman Foundations.

    "We have all looked for a unifying framework that integrates interventions with vulnerable children regardless of setting or discipline. MISC is the most powerful pan-theoretical framework currently available as invaluable and effective guide to support mental health interventions in social care, education or community settings. It is breathtakingly simple in implementation yet breath-taking in its scope. An inspiring contribution for all those working with vulnerable youth."

    Peter Fonagy, OBE, FMedSci, FBA, FAcSS, Chief Executive, Anna Freud Centre and Professor of Developmental Science, University College London

    "Like the MISC itself, this book is filled with care and concern about all children, especially vulnerable children. Although we, as a civilization, claim to strive for every child to reach their potential, reality, reflected in the UN’s reported figure of 200,000,000 children failing to thrive, demands much more systematic effort. The MISC, and those who preach and practice it, are at the forefront of society’s efforts to support every child. As long as there are children who need support, the MISC and its practitioners, including the contributors to this volume, are in high demand and deserve the highest respect."

    Elena Grigorenko, Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor of Psychology, University of Houston