Essay on Reactive Attachment Disorder

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Reactive Attachment Disorder
Connection, according to Curt Thompson (2010), is the most crucial determinant of our long-term welfare. The degree to which we are attached to significant others in our lives, affects not only our interpersonal dynamics throughout life, but impacts our neural networks as well as those of our children (Thompson, 2010). This attachment begins during the first moment of life, and is nurtured and shaped by a child’s relationship with his or her parents, or lack thereof.
Bowlby’s (1969) foundational work on attachment explored the formation of a “secure base” in children through healthy attachment with their parents. This attachment allows those children to explore their world with confidence and security.
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When chronic deprivation leads to persistent activation of stress response systems in a young child, it can actually disrupt and weaken developing brain architecture. Over time, the wear and tear of this excessive stress response and the chemicals it releases can lead to academic struggles, difficulties in social adjustment, mental health problems, and even chronic physical disease (Egeland, Sroufe, & Erickson, 1983).
Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) in the DSM-V
Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), as described in the DSM-V (American Psychiatric Association, 2013), is typified by a consistent pattern of inhibited, emotionally withdrawn behavior toward adult caregivers, in which the child 1) rarely seeks or responds to comfort when distressed, 2) shows minimal social responsiveness or positive affect, and 3) has unexplained episodes of irritability, sadness or fearfulness. According to DSM-V (APA, 2013), the contributing factors to RAD include a child’s having experienced emotional deprivation by adult caregivers and/or repeated change in primary caregivers.
Relationship between neglect and attachment
The roots of the study of neglect are reflected in early behavioral studies of children living in institutions (Provence & Lipton, 1962), as well as in family settings with compromised

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