When young children have a negative and chaotic relationship with their caregivers, they have a risk for developing an attachment disorder. One of the most severe types of attachment disorders seen in children who have experienced abuse and neglect is reactive attachment disorder, which has resulted in general behavioral problems, social problems, and mental health problems in children. Untreated reactive attachment disorder can also lead to an increased risk of mental health problems as an adult.
While reactive attachment disorder is considered relatively rare, it is frequently seen in institutional settings such as foster care. Approximately 35 to 45 percent of children in foster care have symptoms of reactive attachment disorder. Family based treatment approaches can both teach caregivers parenting skills and address behaviors in children that are effective in improving attachment, sense of self, and reducing negative behaviors associated with reactive attachment disorder. This course discusses the symptoms and risks associated with reactive attachment disorder and explores effective treatment approaches.