Understanding Attachment and Attachment Disorders


This book offers a thorough examination and discussion of the evidence on attachment, its influence on development, and attachment disorders.

In Part One, the authors outline attachment theory, the influence of sensitive and insensitive caregiving and the applicability of attachment theory across cultures. Part Two presents the various instruments used to assess attachment and caregiving. Part Three outlines the influence of attachment security on the child's functioning. Part ...

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Understanding Attachment and Attachment Disorders: Theory, Evidence and Practice

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This book offers a thorough examination and discussion of the evidence on attachment, its influence on development, and attachment disorders.

In Part One, the authors outline attachment theory, the influence of sensitive and insensitive caregiving and the applicability of attachment theory across cultures. Part Two presents the various instruments used to assess attachment and caregiving. Part Three outlines the influence of attachment security on the child's functioning. Part Four examines the poorly understood phenomenon of attachment disorder. Presenting the evidence of scientific research, the authors reveal how attachment disorders may be properly conceptualised. Referring to some of the wilder claims made about attachment disorder, they argue for a disciplined, scientific approach that is grounded in both attachment theory and the evidence base. The final part is an overview of evidence-based interventions designed to help individuals form secure attachments.

Summarizing the existing knowledge base in accessible language, this is a comprehensive reference book for professionals including social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, teachers, lawyers and researchers. Foster and adoptive parents, indeed all parents, and students will also find it of interest.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781843102458
  • Publisher: Kingsley, Jessica Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/15/2006
  • Series: Child and Adolescent Mental Health Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 290
  • Sales rank: 1,276,035
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author

Vivien Prior is senior research fellow at the Behavioural and Brain Sciences Unit at the Institute of Child Health, London. Danya Glaser is consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist at the Department of Psychological Medicine, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London.
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Table of Contents

Introduction     9
Attachment and Caregiving
What is Attachment?     15
An evolutionary perspective     16
The attachment behavioural system     17
Activation and termination of attachment behaviour     17
The development of attachment     18
Internal working models of attachment representations     21
Interplay between attachment and other behavioural systems     21
The exploratory behavioural system and the secure base     22
A safe or secure have     22
Summary     23
The Classifications of Attachment     24
Organised attachments     25
Disorganised attachment     27
From disorganised to controlling attachment behaviour     29
An alternative classification     30
The distribution of attachment patterns     30
Stability or predictability of attachment patterns     32
Summary     36
What are the Factors Influencing Attachment Organisation (and Disorganisation)?     38
The contribution of caregiving to attachment organisation     38
What is caregiving?     38
Empirical evidence for the role of the caregiver in determining organisation (or disorganisation) of attachmentsecurity     41
The role of the child's temperament and genetic factors in influencing attachment organisation     46
Temperament factors     46
Attachment and autism     47
Specific genes     48
The intergenerational transmission of attachment     49
The link between parental state of mind with respect to attachment and infant security     50
The link between parental state of mind with respect to attachment and parental sensitive responsiveness (B)     51
The link between parental sensitive responsiveness and infant attachment security (C)     52
The transmission gap     52
Bridging the transmission gap     53
Summary     55
Affectional Bonds and Attachment Figures     56
What are affectional bonds?     56
How is an attachment figure defined?     59
Are professional child-carers attachment figures?     60
How are the representations of multiple attachment figures structured?     63
Summary     69
Is Attachment Theory Valid across Cultures?     71
Ainsworth's Uganda study     71
The Gusii of Kenya     72
The Dogon of Mali     72
The Israeli Kibbutzim     73
The Hausa of Nigeria     74
The !Kung San of Botswana     75
The Efe or Pygmies of Zambia     75
The academic debate     75
Comments     77
Summary     81
Assessments of Attachment and Caregiving
Introduction     85
Attachment     85
Caregiving     86
Structure for presentation of assessments     87
Glossary of research and statistical terms     89
Assessments of Attachment     96
Assessments of attachment based on observation of the child's behaviour     96
Separation-reunion procedure     96
Q-sort methodology     105
Assessments of attachment based on the child's internal working model/representation     109
Picture response tasks     109
Narrative Story Stem techniques (NSSTs)     113
Interview techniques     124
Assessments of Caregiving     139
Assessments based on observations of caregiving     139
Maternal Sensitivity Scales     139
The CARE-Index     143
Atypical Maternal Behavior Instrument for Assessment and Classification (AMBIANCE)     145
Caregiver Behavior Classification System     147
Assessments/ measures of caregiving based on the caregiver's internal working model/ representation of caregiving or relationship with the child     150
Parent Development Interview (PDI)     150
Experiences of Caregiving Interview     152
Correlates of Attachment Organisation with Functioning
Which Domains of Functioning are Hypothesised to be Correlated with Attachment and What are the Possible Pathways of its Influence?     159
Which domains of functioning are hypothesised to be correlated with attachment?     160
What are the possible pathways of the influence of attachment?     161
Summary     165
Evidence for Correlations between Attachment Security/Insecurity and the Child's Functioning     166
Research issues     166
The evidence     168
Summary     179
What is Attachment Disorder?
Two Versions of Attachment Disorder     183
International classifications     183
Another version     184
Summary     187
Research on Attachment Disorder     188
Issues regarding research methods     188
The evidence     189
Young children in residential nurseries in the UK and their later development     190
Children from Romanian orphanages adopted in Canada      195
Deprived children from Romania adopted in the UK     200
Children living in residential nurseries in Bucharest     206
US children in high-risk populations and maltreated children     212
Summary     216
The Nature of Attachment Disorder     218
No discriminated attachment figure     218
The nature of the difference between inhibited and disinhibited RAD     220
Alternative criteria for disorders of attachment     223
Disorganised and inhibited RAD     225
Reactive attachment disorder in children over the age of 5?     225
Summary     227
Attachment Theory-based Interventions (and Some that are Not)
Introduction     231
Evidence-based Interventions: Enhancing Caregiver Sensitivity     233
Bakermans-Kranenburg, van IJzendoorn and Juffer (2003) 'Less is more: meta-analyses of sensitivity and attachment interventions in early childhood'     234
Cohen et al. (1999) 'Watch, wait and wonder: testing the effectiveness of a new approach to mother-infant psychotherapy'     239
van den Boom (1994) 'The influence of temperament and mothering on attachment and exploration: an experimental manipulation of sensitive responsiveness among lower-class mothers with irritable infants'     241
van den Boom (1995) 'Do first-year intervention effects endure? Follow-up during toddlerhood of a sample of Dutch irritable infants'     242
Benoit et al. (2001) 'Atypical maternal behavior toward feeding-disordered infants before and after intervention'     243
Toth et al. (2002) 'The relative efficacy of two interventions in altering maltreated preschool children's representational models: implications for attachment theory'     245
Marvin et al. (2002) 'The Circle of Security project: attachment-based intervention with caregiver-preschool dyads'     248
Summary     250
Evidence-based Interventions: Change of Caregiver     252
Rushton and Mayes (1997) 'Forming fresh attachments in childhood: a research update'     252
Dozier et al. (2001) 'Attachment for infants in foster care: the role of caregiver state of mind'     254
Steele et al. (2003a) 'Attachment representations and adoption: associations between maternal states of mind and emotion narratives in previously maltreated children'     256
Hodges et al. Changes in attachment representations over the first year (Hodges et al. 2003b) and second year (Hodges et al. 2005) of adoptive placement: narratives of maltreated children     258
Summary     260
Interventions with No Evidence Base     261
Direct intervention with the child     261
'Attachment therapy'     262
Conclusions Regarding Interventions      267
References     269
Subject Index     281
Author Index     286
About FOCUS     288
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