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ATTACHMENT AND BONDING


CHARACTERISTICS OF ATTACHMENT DISORDER

Although some children may recover from a single loss of this magnitude, others unfortunately suffer recurrent psychic losses. Some children gradually commit themselves less and less to succeeding parent figures and eventually no longer attach to anyone. Such children may appear cheerful, easy-going, and unafraid, and may be described as affectionate and charming. However, this sociability is superficial and closer inspection reveals a child who is indiscriminately friendly. Such behaviors mask inner feelings of insecurity and self-hate. Deep down, the child no longer cares for anyone.

Children with attachment issues have little or no understanding of family bonds, the depth of parental commitment, or the desires a parent has in acting for the child's best interests. The unattached child determines what is best for himself; it does not occur to him that adults would try to understand what is best for him and to help him. The child has little desire for relationships with adults except as a means to fulfill wishes. There is little empathy or concern for parents or the rest of the family. These children have difficulties with reciprocal relationships, accepting responsibilities and developing a conscience. A variety of behavioral problems are common among children with disordered attachment (see list on next page).

 

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

 

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