Recent years have witnessed a growing debate about the role of attachment theory in the treatment of maltreated children. Many professional organizations have issued statements against physically restraining children as some attachment therapists promote; however, often lost in these debates is the fundamental issue of what attachment theory and research proposes as the appropriate form of treatment. Given that these attachment therapies are often directed toward maltreated children, it becomes critical for clinicians working with abused and neglected children to understand these issues and recognize unethical and dangerous treatments. This article provides a summary of the theoretical and empirical bases for the use of attachment theory in the treatment of maltreated school-age children, an examination of the ways questionable approaches to treatment have misinterpreted and misapplied attachment theory, and a conceptualization of attachment-based intervention grounded in current theory and research.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health(social science)
- Applied Psychology
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health