Reactive Attachment Disorder Case Study by FitPsych

Reactive Attachment Disorder
An overview and case study of reactive attachment disorder in childhood.
# 97293 | 3,320 words | 12 sources | MLA | 2006 | US

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Reactive attachment disorder (RAD), a DSM-IV diagnosis that is made in childhood, has a profound impact on a child's ability to develop secure attachments. RAD often results from a child's exposure to extreme chronic trauma prior to age five This paper discusses a challenging case, encountered by the author, concerning a second grade male student who has been diagnosed with RAD. The major developmental and psychological issues impacting this child are explored and intervention methods for improving functioning of the child are addressed.

Part I: Overview/Description of Case
Part II: Assessment of Developmental/Psychological Factors Including Integrated Review of Relevant Research
Part III: Clinical Recommendations

From the Paper:

"According to Eliot (1999), attachment is so important because it is regarded as the main source of a child's social skills, security, and self-esteem. Attachment is a universal phenomenon among humans and is also found amongst mammals and birds. This suggests attachment has a genetic component. Eliot (1999) noted that babies who have been severely neglected or whose limbic systems make them unable to connect with others will not become attached. However, there is not any evidence to suggest that cognitive impairment, nutritional, or social deprivations play a causal role in the development of an attachment disorder (Hanson & Spratt, 2000)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed. Text rev.). Washington, DC: Author.
  • Carter, A. S., Briggs-Gowan, M. J., & Davis, N. O. (2004). Assessment of young children's social-emotional development and psychopathology: Recent advances and recommendations for practice. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 45, 109-134.
  • Eliot, L. (1999). What's going on in there? How the brain and mind develop in the first five years of life. New York, NY: Bantam Books.
  • Hall, S. E. K., & Geher, G. (2003, March). Behavioral and personality characteristics of children with reactive attachment disorder. The Journal of Psychology, 137, 145-163.
  • Hanson, R. F., & Spratt, E. G. (2000, May). Reactive attachment disorder: What we know about the disorder. Child Maltreatment, 5, 137-145.

Cite this Case Study:

APA Format

Reactive Attachment Disorder (2007, July 31) Retrieved August 18, 2017, from

MLA Format

"Reactive Attachment Disorder" 31 July 2007. Web. 18 August. 2017. <>