Reactive Attachment Disorder: The Confusion Involved Persuasive Essay by Nicky

Reactive Attachment Disorder: The Confusion Involved
A review of the literature regarding the causes, diagnosis and treatment for reactive attachment disorder (RAD).
# 148624 | 1,778 words | 12 sources | APA | 2011 | US
Published on Oct 28, 2011 in Psychology (Disorders)

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The paper argues that given the seemingly endless confusion vis-a-vis the causes of - and potential solutions for - RAD, the medical research community and healthcare providers should be embarrassed at the lack of clarity. The paper points out the contradictions in the literature regarding the causes and treatment of RAD and highlights the vagueness of many studies in their suggestions of possible interventions.

Introduction / Argument
Presentation of Contradictory Literature

From the Paper:

"Julia D Buckner (Yale School of Medicine) and three colleagues write in the journal Child Maltreatment that "few examinations of empirically informed treatments" have been performed (Buckner, 2008). Buckner (290) explains that RAD children display behavioral problems, aggressive behavior, lack of empathy, emotional "liability," impulsivity, hyperactivity and "stealing, lying" among other bad traits. But how can a clinical researcher 100% certain the child given the RAD label isn't in fact behaving badly because he or she has Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that children with FASD display "hyperactive behavior" and "learning disabilities," problems with daily living, "poor reasoning and judgment skills"; and FASD sufferers display "psychiatric problems" and "criminal behavior" ( Aren't those exactly the same as RAD behaviors? How can researchers be so seemingly certain when there are few empirical studies?"

Sample of Sources Used:

  • American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. (2008). Reactive Attachment Disorder.Retrieved May 13, 2009, from
  • Becker-Weidman, Arthur, and Hughes, Daniel. (2008). Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy:An evidence-based treatment for children with complex trauma and disorders of attachment.Child & Family Social Work, vol. 13, 329-337.
  • Boekamp, John R. (2008). Reactive attachment disorder in young children: current perspectives on diagnosis and treatment. CABL/The Brown University Child and Adolescent BehaviorLetter. 24(8), 5-7.
  • Buckner, Julia D, Lopez, Cristina, Dunkel, Stephanie, and Joiner, Thomas E. (2008). BehaviorManagement Training for the Treatment of Reactive Attachment Disorder. ChildMaltreatment, 13(3), 289-297.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2007). What are the characteristics of childrenWith FAS and other FASDs? Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. Retrieved May 11, 2009,From

Cite this Persuasive Essay:

APA Format

Reactive Attachment Disorder: The Confusion Involved (2011, October 28) Retrieved February 06, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Reactive Attachment Disorder: The Confusion Involved" 28 October 2011. Web. 06 February. 2023. <>