A Spontaneous Emergence of Attachment Behavior in At-Risk Children and a Correlation With Sensory Deficits


  • Funding provided by: North Texas Behavior Coalition $10,000 grant.

Author contact:

e.becker@tcu.edu, with a copy to the Editor: kathleen_r_delaney@rush.edu



Complex developmental trauma affects large numbers of children who have suffered from abuse, neglect, and/or deprivation. The effects often manifest in problems of attachment.


Researchers conducted therapeutic day camps for at-risk children to determine whether multimodal therapies could ameliorate the effects of complex developmental trauma. Two groups of adopted children (ages 3–9 and 10–14 years) with histories of trauma attended separate 3-week camps.


Data analysis indicated a positive correlation between negative attachment behaviors and deficits in sensory processing. Increased pro-attachment behaviors were found to have a significant relationship with pre-camp deficits in sensory processing.


These results are discussed in the context of systems theory.