Reactive Attachment Disorder in maltreated young children in foster care

Bruce, M., Young, D., Turnbull, S., Rooksby, M. , Chadwick, G., Oates, C., Nelson, R., Young-Southward, G., Haig, C. and Minnis, H. (2019) Reactive Attachment Disorder in maltreated young children in foster care. Attachment and Human Development, 21(2), pp. 152-169. (doi:10.1080/14616734.2018.1499211) (PMID:30021488)

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Abstract

Reactive attachment disorder (RAD) is one of the least researched and most poorly understood psychiatric disorders. Very little is known about the prevalence and stability of RAD symptoms over time. Until recently it has been difficult to investigate RAD due to limited tools for informing a diagnosis. Utilising a newly developed observational tool along with the Disturbances of Attachment Interview. this short-term prospective longitudinal study explored RAD symptoms in maltreated young children in Scotland (n=100, age range =12-62 months) over 12 months. Children were recruited as part of The Best Services Trial (BeST ), in which all infants who came in to the care of the local authority in Glasgow due to child protection concerns were invited to participate. Prevalence of RAD was found to be 5.0% (n=5, 95% CI [0.7-9.3]) when children were first placed in to foster care. Following at least 1 year of improved care conditions, prevalence in the 76 children remaining in the study was 2.1% (n=2, 95% CI [below 0-4.7]). RAD was associated with some mental health and cognitive difficulties. While levels of carer-reported RAD symptoms decreased significantly over time, observed symptoms did not. Findings suggest that RAD resolved in a small majority of cases but further exploration in larger samples would be invaluable.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Reactive attachment disorder, child maltreatment, foster care, inhibited attachment.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Minnis, Professor Helen and Rooksby, Dr Maki and Young-Southward, Ms Genevieve and Oates, Dr Catriona and Haig, Dr Caroline and Nelson, Miss Rebecca and Turnbull, Dr Susan
Authors: Bruce, M., Young, D., Turnbull, S., Rooksby, M., Chadwick, G., Oates, C., Nelson, R., Young-Southward, G., Haig, C., and Minnis, H.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Robertson Centre
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
Journal Name:Attachment and Human Development
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN:1461-6734
ISSN (Online):1469-2988
Published Online:18 July 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 Informa UK Limited
First Published:First published in Attachment and Human Development 21(2):152-169
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
532051Evaluation of the New Orleans Intervention Project for Infant Mental Health in GlasgowHelen MinnisChief Scientist office (CSO)CZH/4/629IHW - MENTAL HEALTH & WELLBEING