Reactive Attachment Disorder and Severe Attachment Disturbances
Child and Adolescent Disorders
II. Specific Disorders
Published Online: 25 JUN 2012
Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Handbook of Evidence-Based Practice in Clinical Psychology
How to Cite
O'Connor, T. G., Spagnola, M. and Byrne, J. G. 2012. Reactive Attachment Disorder and Severe Attachment Disturbances. Handbook of Evidence-Based Practice in Clinical Psychology. 1:II:18.
- Published Online: 25 JUN 2012
The reactive attachment disorder diagnosis has been a part of psychiatric nomenclature for decades, but there is still considerable controversy on basic clinical questions of assessment and treatment. This chapter addresses some of the historical bases of the concept of attachment disorder and more recent findings from observational studies in order to inform best practice of assessment and treatment planning. A particular focus is placed on developing observational and interview methods for clinical purposes. We also review the limited data on treatment for attachment disorder-related behaviors. We conclude that there is as yet no clear evidence-based model for reactive attachment disorder and that available data do not yet make certain which conceptual approaches to treatment may yield the most benefit to children and their families; specifically, behaviorally-based approaches may be as clinically valuable as conventional attachment research-based approaches formed from the work on attachment theory. Finally, we note that this is an area in which there has been a great deal of misinformation and poor practice, and that progress in this area will require careful clinical research as well as rejection of models and methods that are without a clinical scientific foundation.
- reactive attachment disorder;