Relationship Between A Parent And A Child

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Introduction When imagining the relationship between a parent and a child, one usually envisions a caring mother or father cradling an infant in their arms, playing games with a toddler, or even teaching a school age child to read. These caring images are one of positivity and optimism. Indeed, familial relationships of this nature are rather typical for the typical supportive family, but what can happen when the family is not of typical form? When the picture takes on a dark undertone, say a tone of physical or emotional abuse or neglect, how might the relationships between a caregiver and child be affected? This relationship is described as attachment, which is the relational pattern a child begins to develop in infancy with at least one primary caregiver (Lehman, Jegtvig 2004). Within the first example, the child develops a relatively normal, healthy attachment; however, within the second scenario where abuse or neglect is present, children may form a type of attachment know as Reactive Attachment Disorder, or RAD (Lehman, Jegtvig 2004). This disorder has profound implications for the child’s overall development. Defining Reactive Attachment Disorder Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) is a relational pattern characteristic of children who have learned not to trust, rely on, help, or love another human being (Lehman, Jegtvig 2004). Children who have developed this attachment do not reach out to one specific caregiver for support, and do not show preference for
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