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ATTACHMENT AND BONDING


INDISCRIMINATE FRIENDLINESS

Indiscriminate friendliness is common among post-institutionalized children. Indiscriminate friendliness must be differentiated from sociability or gregariousness, also common in post-institutionalized children. Indiscriminately friendly children respond to any adult as long as their needs and wishes are met: one person can easily replace another. For children living in institutional care, indiscriminate friendliness has adaptive advantages. Indiscriminate friendliness may occur regardless of whether the child has a preferred attachment figure. After adoption, it is problematic. Evaluation of 14 institutionalized children who entered foster care at age 18 to 24 months found that these children initially displayed fear at separation from their foster parents, but several months later they displayed indiscriminate friendliness to all adults. In a longer follow-up study of children adopted from institutions at age 2 years, indiscriminate friendliness continued for several years, but was gone by age 8 years in most children.

 

From THE HANDBOOK OF INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION MEDICINE by Laurie C. Miller. © 2004 by Oxford University Press, Inc. Used by Permission.

 

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