Johanne Smith-Nielsen

Johanne Smith-Nielsen

Associate Professor

Current research

PI on the SECURE project: Promoting sensitivity in center-based childcare of 0-2-year-old children, a collaboration between the Høje Taastrup municipality, The Danish Evaluation Institute, dr. Katrien Helmerhorst, and Center for Early Intervention and Family studies. Data collection starts in 2021.

  • In a randomized controlled trial, this project evaluates 1)whether an attachment-based intervention (the Circle of Security Classroom) can improve the quality of care in a Danish childcare setting; 2) feasibility and acceptability of implementing an attachment-based approach in the daily pedagogical practice; and 3) how structural factors (e.g. group size, child-adult ration, child age, and level of education) impact on the quality of care.

Project manager and co-PI on the Copenhagen Infant Mental Health Project which is a collaboration between the Center for Early Intervention and Family studies and the health nurses in the City of Copenhagen.

The aims of the project are

  • to implement and evaluate screening instruments for early detection of at-risk families as part of the universal health nurse home visiting program which is offered to all new Danish families. Specifically, the Alarm Distress Baby Scale (ADBB) and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) are evaluated.
  • to investigate the effect of an early indicated preventive intervention (the attachment-based program Circle of Security-Parenting)by comparing it with care as usual in the City of Copenhagen in a randomized controlled trial.

Data collection for the ADBB and EPDS studies ended in June 2020

Data collection for the RCT ends in Spring 2020.

Primary fields of research

Postpartum Depression, Developmental psychopathology, Infant Mental Health, Mother-Infant interaction, Attachment, Clinical psychology


Clinical psychology

Infant and toddler mental health

Perinatal mental health

Master's thesis supervision: Clinical Psychology



ID: 6468941