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Phenomenology
Adoptive parents can be unprepared for the challenges in caring for children with reactive attachment disorder
  1. Anna T Smyke
  1. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Anna T Smyke, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Tulane University School of Medicine, 1430 Tulane Avenue #8055, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA; asmyke{at}tulane.edu

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Implications for practice and research

  • Adoptive parents experience significant challenges in caring for children diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder.

  • Informing prospective adoptive parents about attachment issues and providing concrete assistance to develop healthy attachment relationships may decrease some of the frustration experienced by parents and children affected with the disorder.

  • Future research could address factors contributing to the diagnosis of reactive attachment disorder as well as best practices for ameliorating the disorder.

Context

Reactive attachment disorder is a rare and challenging disorder that affects children exposed to markedly poor care giving environments and impacts on the individuals who ultimately assume responsibility for their care. Children who have had multiple placements in foster care are likely to have experienced multiple attachment disruptions and may be reticent …

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