February 10, 2014
“Attachment and Reactive Attachment Disorders” According to Smith, Saison, and Segal the word attachment is defined as the deep connection established between a child and caregiver that profoundly affects that child’s development and their ability to express emotions and develop relationships (Help.org). Whereas attachment is easily defined it isn’t so easy to define attachment disorders. Experts have not agreed on a definition for the term “attachment disorder,” but Newman and Mares state that the American Psychiatric Association defines the term “reactive attachment disorder” as “markedly disturbed and developmentally inappropriate social relatedness in most contexts that begin before age 5 years and is associated with grossly pathological care” (“Recent Advances”). RAD, also known as reactive attachment disorder, was first described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) –III in 1980 (Medscape). Understanding attachment and reactive attachment disorders in young children is very important in order for the parents or caregiver to realize the symptoms and help the child to work through the behaviors they have and to help them get the therapy needed to build healthy relationships and attachments. If there is neglect in the emotional bonds between the caregiver and the child, the child can develop an attachment disorder. Also if a child does not get the adequate amount of food needed or adequate positive physical touch then they can become unattached. It is important that caregivers understand that children need security help prevent them from becoming unattached. This is done through love and nurturing.
The most common children effected by these disorders are children that have been in foreign orphanages, foster care, or in homes that are unstable. Although there are other reasons for children to become unattached, the most common are because a child may have been abruptly removed from a caregiver,
Cited: Belsky, Janet. Experiencing the Lifespan. 3rd Ed. New York: Worth, 2013. Print. Goldberg, Joseph. “Reactive Attachment Disorder.” Webmd.com. 2012. Web. 20 Feb. 2014. “Reactive Attachment Disorder.” Mayoclinic.org. n.d. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Web. 18 Feb. 2014. "Reactive Attachment Disorder of Infancy or Early Childhood.” MedlinePlus. U.S. National Library of Medicine. 16 May 2012. Web. 18 Feb. 2014. Smith, Melinda, Joanna Saisan, and Jean Segal. "Attachment & Reactive Attachment Disorders." Helpguide.org. Dec. 2013. Web. 18 Feb. 2014.