Psychiatric Illness: Reactive Attachment Disorder

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Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) is a psychiatric illness that is characterized by problems with emotional attachments and usually presents itself around the age of five (Reactive attachment disorder, 2013). Parents or caregivers might notice that the child has emotional attachment issues by the age of one though (Reactive attachment disorder, 2013). The DSM-IV goes on to describe RAD as also including the first or second category (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). The first category describes a failure to interact in developmentally appropriate ways while the second category describes an inability discriminate appropriate attachments to different groups of people (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). Boekamp (2008) describes…show more content…
Bartholemew and Horowitz (1991) described a model of attachment in which the child’s image of the self and others are the most important roles. The four categories in this model are secure attachment in which the child has a sense of worthiness and that others are accepting (Bartholomew & Horowitz, 1991). Preoccupied attachment describes a feeling of unworthiness but with positive feelings towards others, fearful attachment combines unworthiness with a negative feeling towards others (Bartholomew & Horowitz, 1991). Dismissing attachment describes a feeling of worthiness with negative feeling towards others (Bartholomew & Horowitz, 1991). Pignotti (2011) explored the effects that early institutional care has on kids that are later adopted and their risk of RAD. Kemph & Voeller (2007) describe how RAD is seen to occur because of poor nurturing from the mother as well as several other prenatal factors. Minnis, Green, O’Conner, Liew, Glaser, Taylor, & Sadiq (2009) compare RAD with insecure attachment patterns and find that RAD is not the same as attachment insecurity, especially because it occurs early on. Other studies have tried to go further and study RAD and possible biological mechanisms that cause it. Kočovská, Wilson, Young, Wallace, Gorski, Follan, & Minnis (2013) studied the effects of reactive attachment disorder (RAD) and cortisol

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