Research to Improve Child Attachment with CY- Attachment CAP
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CY- Attachment CAP
The CY-Attachment CAP identifies children (ages 4 to 11) with a history of inconsistent or unreliable care and difficulty seeking comfort. Guidelines are provided to improve attachment relationships. This CAP applies to children in community and inpatient mental health settings.
Attachment is a key developmental goal in early childhood, and refers to the evolutionary drive for a young child to maintain proximity with a caregiver for the purposes of safety, protection, and regulation. Once attachments have been formed, the child can use the caregiver as a secure base to explore the environment and as a source of support and comfort when distressed. Young children begin to develop attachments with caregivers at a cognitive age of about 7 to 9 months; at this time the child will begin to show a preference for the attached person and may begin to object to being separated or show wariness with other, less familiar adults.
Through repeated experience within the relationship, children develop an attachment behavioural pattern or system, the quality of which depends on the care received. The attachment relationship pattern is defined at around one year of age. Disruptions may be observed in children who have been socially neglected or deprived (for example, maltreatment, institutional rearing). Attachment quality can be classified into four main patterns:
• Secure: Caregiver is attuned and responds consistently to the child’s needs. Child feels worthy