Author(s): Hanson RF, Spratt EG, Hanson RF, Spratt EG, Hanson RF, Spratt EG, Hanson RF, Spratt EG
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Abstract In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of children diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). There is considerable disagreement about what this entity actually entails and, in particular, what types of assessments and interventions to use with these children and families. Children with a history of maltreatment (i.e., physical, sexual, emotional abuse, and/or severe neglect) are particularly likely to receive this diagnosis, because the behavior problems often seen in these children are presumed to stem from the maladaptive relationships they have had with abusive caregivers. However, many children are receiving this diagnosis because of behavior problems that clearly extend beyond the DSM-IV criteria for RAD. Perhaps the most concerning consequence of the RAD diagnosis is the emergence of novel treatments that lack a sound theoretical basis or empirical support, and may potentially be traumatizing and dangerous to the child. Thus, the purpose of this article is to review and synthesize what is known about RAD and attachment disorders and to discuss implications for treatment.
This article was published in Child Maltreat
and referenced in Journal of Child and Adolescent Behavior