Title

Disorganized Attachment in Infancy: A Review of the Phenomenon and Its Implications for Clinicians and Policy-Makers

SMC Author

Mary True

SMC Affiliated Work

1

Status

Faculty

School

School of Science

Department

Psychology

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2017

Publication Title

Journal of Attachment & Human Development

Description/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.

Keywords

Disorganized attachment, attachment disorder, attachment-based interventions, infancy, maltreatment

Scholarly

yes

DOI

10.1080/14616734.2017.1354040

Volume

19

Issue

6

First Page

534

Last Page

558

Disciplines

Psychology

Original Citation

“Disorganized attachment in infancy: a review of the phenomenon and its implications for clinicians and policy-makers.” by Granqvist, P., Sroufe, L. A., Dozier, M., Hesse, E., Steele, M., Van Ljzendoorn, M., Solomon, J., Schuengel, C., Fearon, P.,Bakermans-Kranenburg, M., Steele, H., Cassidy, J., Carlson, E., Madigan, S., Jacobvitz, D., Foster, S., Behrens, K., Rifkin-Graboi, A., Gribneau, N., Spangler, G., Ward, M. J., True, M., Spieker, S., Reijman, S., Reisz, S., Tharner, A., Nkara, F., Goldwyn, R., Sroufe, J., Pederson, D., Pederson, D., Weigand, R., Siegel, D., Dazzi, N., Bernard, K., Fonagy, P., Waters, E., Toth, S., Cicchetti, D., Zeanah, C. H., Lyons-Ruth, K.,, Main, M., & Dischinsky, R. Journal of Attachment & Human Development, 19(6), 534-558. 2017.

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