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Understanding Attachment and Attachment Disorders


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Table of Contents

1. Introduction. Part One: Attachment and Caregiving. 2. What is Attachment? 3. The Classifications of Attachment. 4. What are the Factors Influencing Attachment Organisation (and Disorganisation)? 5. Affectional Bonds and Attachment Figures. 6. Is Attachment Theory Valid across Cultures? Part Two: Assessments of Attachment and Caregiving. 7. Introduction. 8. Assessments of Attachment. 9. Assessments of Caregiving. Part Three: Correlates of Attachment Organisation with Functioning. 10. Which Domains of Functioning are Hypothesised to be Correlated with Attachment and What are the Possible Pathways of its Influence? 11. Evidence for Correlations between Attachment Security/Insecurity and the Child's Functioning. Part Four: What is Attachment Disorder? 12. Two Versions of Attachment Disorder. 13. Research on Attachment Disorder. 14. The Nature of Attachment Disorder. Part Five: Attachment Theory-based Interventions (and Some that are Not). 15. Introduction. 16. Evidence-based Interventions: Enhancing Caregiver Sensitivity. 17. Evidence-based Interventions: Change of Caregiver. 18. Interventions with No Evidence Base. 19. Conclusions Regarding Interventions. References. Index. About FOCUS.Child and Adolescent Mental Health SeriesWritten for professionals, and parents, these accessible, evidence-based resources are essential reading for anyone seeking to understand and promote children and young people's mental health. Drawing on the work of FOCUS, a multidisciplinary project based at the Royal College of Psychiatrists' Research and Training Unit, each title in the series brings together practical and policy-level suggestions with up-to-the minute analysis of research.

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A thorough yet accessible examination and discussion of the evidence on attachment, its influence on development, and attachment disorders

About the Author

Vivien Prior is senior research fellow at the Behavioural and Brain Sciences Unit at the Institute of Child Health, London. Danya Glaser is consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist at the Department of Psychological Medicine, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London.


Attachment theory is currently a hot topic, so it is essential for all psychology enthusiasts and clinicians to have at least some understanding of its theories and applications. However, most texts are complicated to grasp, with intricate theories enmeshed from multiple directions. This book changes that. Here the authors provide an easily digestible introduction to attachment of theory; assessments of attachment and care giving; the impact of attachment security; attachment disorders and treatments. What was of particular interest to me was the chapter on the theories' validity across cultures - a very relevant aspect considering the growing multicultural society of the UK. It draws on the research evidence to unite the more conclusive findings on attachment. This guides the clinician and student toward an understanding of this enlightening approach to explaining, in part, why we are to a large degree a product of our environment. -- The Psychologist
In my opinion, this book will be valuable not only for mental health professionals but also useful for pediatricians and family physicians who want to update their knowledge in attachment and its disorders. -- The J Can Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry
It should be a standard recommended text on clinical psychology programmes as well as other training programmes for health and social care staff working with families. -- Clinical Psychology Forum
Overall, this is a useful and authoritative resource. It achieves a great deal, and will be a most useful purchase for libraries and for those directly concerned with these issues as they affect children and young people. -- British Journal of Social Work
Prior (behavioural and brain sciences, Institute of Child Health, London) and Glaser, a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist at Great Ormond Street Hospital for children in London, discuss attachment disorders. They consider theory, the assessment of attachment patterns, and disturbances with an evidence-based approach. Topics of note include parenting, multiple caregivers, the applicability of theory across different cultures, functioning, and interventions and therapeutic approaches. The book is aimed at social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, teachers, lawyers and researchers. Both author and subject indexes are provided. All books in this series are based on the work of FOCUS, a multidisciplinary project at the Royal College of Psychiatrists' Research and Training Unit. -- Book News
Summarising the existing knowledge base in accessible language, this is a comprehensive reference book for professionals including social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, teachers, lawyers and researchers. Foster and adoptive parents, in deed all parents, and students will also find it of interest. -- Handicap Info
The FOCUS project of the Royal College of Psychiatrists to promote and disseminate information about evidence-based research and practice underpinning child and adolescent mental health services is driven by, and values good quality scientific endeavour and thinking. -- Young Minds Magazine
The work of John Bowlby's attachment theory continues to develop and grow with this new volume... The authors give a comprehensive insight into the latest research, assessment and significance of attachment theories cross- culturally. -- Community Care
This book is timely. The outline of attachment is clearly presented, the classification system follows well, and understanding how the attachments evolve and the factors involved is helpful. I particularly liked the section on different cultures and what has been explored across differing parenting styles and social groupings - its well worth reading. Anyone planning to undertake a research project or clinical study will find this book extremely helpful when trying to select the best available method. -- British Journal of Psychiatry
This is a text that is packed with research evidence and, therefore, will serve as a useful reference tool. The links to practice are clear, and practitioners will be enabled to work towards a more evidence-based approach in their work with children and their caregivers. -- Practice: Social Work in Action
Understanding Attachment and Attachment Disorders is a text applicable to large audiences, and proves a succinct traverse into the field of attachment disorders. -- EABP Newsletter
With the current emphasis on the education of children in public care, and multi-agency approaches to these children, this is a recommended text for the service bookshelf and for local authority educational psychologists with an interest in the area. It is also pertinent for independent educational psychologists involved in assessment of children in public and private Court cases. -- Debate

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