Assessing attachment style in traumatized adolescents in residential care: A case approach

Jacobs, Catherine, Boyce, Nichola, Ilan-Clarke, Yael and Bifulco, Antonia ORCID logoORCID: (2019) Assessing attachment style in traumatized adolescents in residential care: A case approach. Maltrattamento E Abuso All’infanzia: Rivista Interdisciplinare | Child Abuse and Maltreatment: Interdisciplinary Journal, 21 (1) . pp. 39-54. ISSN 1591-4267 [Article] (doi:10.3280/MAL2019-001004)


Traumatised young people present with damaged attachment styles. This is particularly noticeable among those in residential care who have been separated from their parents for rea-sons of neglect or abuse. Whilst any level of insecure attachment style confers risk for psychological disorder, those at more intense levels of mistrustful avoidance, and those categorised as ‘disorganized’ are seen to have higher levels of need. This is linked to more complex trauma, unresolved loss and mixed attachment patterns. The paper examines the attachment styles in two cases of young people in residential care, assessed using the Attachment Style Interview as part of a larger action-research project (Bifulco et al., 2016). One has very marked angry-dismissive style and the other disorganized with mixed approach-avoidance behaviours. The two young people selected have somewhat different trauma histories and present with different psychological disorders. Attachment characteristics are understandable in light of early life trauma and family relationships, but present difficulties for attaining support, regulating emotions and coping. They also present difficulties for staff responsible for their care.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology > Centre for Abuse and Trauma Studies (CATS)
Item ID: 28538
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Depositing User: Natasa Blagojevic-Stokic
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2019 13:36
Last Modified: 29 Aug 2021 22:44

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