The American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC) recently released findings that are endorsed by the American Psychological Association regarding Reactive Attachment Disorder and attachment therapies. A task force formed by APSAC reported that there are many non-controversial interventions designed to improve attachment quality that are based on accepted theory and use generally supported techniques.
Among the caregiver qualities the APSAC recommended that support the development of healthy attachment are:
Responsiveness to children’s physical and emotional needs
A safe and predictable environment
According to the findings, improving positive caretaker and environmental qualities is the key to improving attachment. Calling upon traditional attachment theory, the report emphasized that children who are characterized as having attachment problems require a stable environment with parents taking “a calm, sensitive, non-intrusive, non-threatening, patient, predictable, and nurturing approach.”
The APSAC task force members went on to say that “because attachment patterns develop within relationships, correcting attachment problems requires close attention to improving the stability and increasing the positive quality of the parent-child relationship and parent-child interactions.” According to a review of more than 70 studies of interventions designed to improve early childhood attachment, the interventions that most increased parental sensitivity were also the most effective in improving children’s attachment security
Used by permission of Sage Publications from Child Maltreatment, Vol. 11, No. 1, February 2006.
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