Disorganized attachment in infancy: a review of the phenomenon and its implications for clinicians and policy-makers

Granqvist, Pehr, Sroufe, L. Alan, Dozier, Mary, Hesse, Erik, Steele, Miriam, van Ijzendoorn, Marinus, Solomon, Judith, Schuengel, Carlo, Fearon, Pasco, Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marian, Steele, Howard, Cassidy, Jude, Carlson, Elizabeth, Madigan, Sheri, Jacobvitz, Deborah, Foster, Sarah, Behrens, Kazuko, Rifkin-Graboi, Anne, Gribneau, Naomi, Spangler, Gottfried, Ward, Mary, True, Mary, Spieker, Susan, Reijman, Sophie, Reisz, Samantha, Tharner, Anne, Nkara, Frances, Goldwyn, Ruth, Sroufe, June, Pederson, David, Pederson, Deanne, Weigand, Robert, Siegel, Daniel, Dazzi, Nino, Bernard, Kristin, Fonagy, Peter, Waters, Everett, Toth, Sheree, Cicchetti, Dante, Zeanah, Charles, Lyons-Ruth, Karlen, Main, Mary and Duschinsky, Robbie (2017) Disorganized attachment in infancy: a review of the phenomenon and its implications for clinicians and policy-makers. Attachment & Human Development, 19 (6). pp. 534-558. ISSN 1461-6734

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/14616734.2017.1354040

Abstract

Disorganized/Disoriented (D) attachment has seen widespread interest from policy makers, practitioners, and clinicians in recent years. However, some of this interest seems to have been based on some false assumptions that (1) attachment measures can be used as definitive assessments of the individual in forensic/child protection settings and that disorganized attachment (2) reliably indicates child maltreatment, (3) is a strong predictor of pathology, and (4) represents a fixed or static “trait” of the child, impervious to development or help. This paper summarizes the evidence showing that these four assumptions are false and misleading. The paper reviews what is known about disorganized infant attachment and clarifies the implications of the classification for clinical and welfare practice with children. In particular, the difference between disorganized attachment and attachment disorder is examined, and a strong case is made for the value of attachment theory for supportive work with families and for the development and evaluation of evidence-based caregiving interventions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Disorganized attachment, infancy, attachment-based interventions, maltreatment, attachment disorder
Subjects: C800 Psychology
L500 Social Work
L900 Others in Social studies
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > School of Health, Community and Education Studies > Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 11 Aug 2017 10:46
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2017 02:19
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/31509

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