Reactive Attachment Disorder

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Reactive Attachment Disorder is a common infancy/early childhood disorder. Reactive attachment disorder is located under the trauma- and stressors-related disorder section of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), Fifth Edition. It is normally diagnosed when an infant or child experience expresses a minimal attachment to a figure for nurturance, comfort, support, and protection. Although children diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder have the ability to select their attachment figure, they fail to show behavioral manifestation because they had limited access during the early developmental stage. Some disturbed behaviors include diminished or absence of positive emotions toward caregiver. In addition,…show more content…
Corbin (2007) describes reactive attachment disorder as a biopsychosocial disturbance of attachment. There is interconnectedness between the brain and body which helps explain the development of relationships. Reactive attachment disorder has been known to be caused by a primary caregiver’s lack of affection where, in turn, the infant or child experience neglect or abuse, difficulty coping, inability to function in families, at school or with peers (Taylor, 2002; Wimmer, Vonk, & Bordnick, 2009; Becker-Weidman, 2006 ). In a recent case study, a child diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder had a background of their biological parent being a cocaine and an alcohol addict, therefore, causing the child to exhibit symptoms such as demanding behavior, social isolation, lying, lack of cause and affect reasoning, and non-engaging and unaffectionate with adopted parents. Moreover, in the process of diagnosing/assessing a child with RAD, it is important to note that RAD is a term that has been used interchangeably with attachment disorder by therapist; they are not intended to be understood as synonyms. While having a history of pathogenic care is required before diagnosing a child with RAD, it would not be surprising that the child has had a history of significant injuries and a report of poor mental health (Center for Child & Family Health, 2009). According to the
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