Attachment Disorder and Its Affect on Child Development
Journal Review 1
Kristin Termini et al’s (2009) article investigated the relationship between how a child morally develops with reactive attachment disorder. It is important to note that early attachment with a child and caregivers involve “appropriate behaviors that they then internalize, which will enable them to conform to social norms” (Termini, Golden, Lyndon, & Sheaffer, 2009, p. 18). It is sufficient to say that moral development is “essential for successful functioning and socialization” (Termini et al., 2009, p. 18). There are many different forms of attachment disorders, however, they all revolve around early childhood development how the child does not effectively attach to their primary caregiver rather than being too attached. This can be related to their mood and behavior associated with neglect of some kind. When there is a lack of attachment a child may feel “rejection from their attachment figures, tend to seek parental attention through inappropriate or antisocial behavior” (Termini et al., 2009, p. 18). Many children with attachment disorders have seen multiple changes within their caregiver system, which results in the lack of “developing appropriate attachments to their caregivers and thus seem to be at a greater risk than typical children for lacking adequate conscience development” (Termini et al., 2009, p. 19). This could have potential to alter the child’s moral development and cognition. When a child lacks the appropriate attachment to their caregivers then certain affects occur. Moral cognition develops through “interactions with parents via enjoyable or conflictual experiences” (Termini et al., 2009, p. 19).
When a proper caregiver is missing in the child’s life, then it has numerous effects on how the child develops. Termini and her team created a research study to see how much a difference could be made from those children with and without proper caregivers. Children with “[attachment disorder] more frequently stated that the [child] would exhibit greater concern with external punishment than the children in the control group” (Termini et al., 2009, p. 24). The experiment also expressed that children with attachment disorder had “more avoidance (unrealistic solutions) by the protagonist than the children in the control group” (Termini et al., 2009, p. 24). Through this, it showed that children with attachment disorder did not understand how to cope with specific situations that would have been taught and learned by their primary caregiver when the situation involve consequences. Their temperament with certain criteria showed that their reasoning and temperament where flawed. It is important to note that “internalization of parental norms requires a secure attachment and thus fear that the safety of the parent provides will be taken away” (Termini et al., 2009, p. 24). As a result of this experiment, children with attachment disorder are unable to cope with certain situations that arise in every day life. The controlled group were able to understand the moral consequences of their actions and able to process them more effectively. This would have a more favorable result when children are in a social environment and dealing with their issues when reaching adulthood.
As a result of the study children attachment disorder are “not different from typical children in their ability to identify emotional responses and appropriate moral behaviors” (Termini et al., 2009, p. 26). It is suffice to say that there are differences when consequences are involved. The study showed differences “in their view of consequences for behavioral transgressions, with the children with [attachment disorders] not only being concerned with external punishment, but also finding unrealistic and extreme solutions to transgressions “Termini et al., 2009, p. 26). It is possible for those children who do not have a proper...
References: Termini, K., Golden, J., Lyndon, A., & Sheaffer, B. (2009). Reactive Attachment Disorder and Cognitive, Affective and Behavorial Dimensions of Moral Development. Behavioral Development Bulletin, 15, 18-28.
Troxel, W., Trentacosta, C., Forbes, E., & Campbell, S. (2013). Negative Emotionality Moderates Associations Among Attachment, Toddler Sleep, and Later Problem Behaviors.Journal of Family Psychology, 27(1), 127-136.
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