According to the emotional and social problems encountered in disruptive behaviour disorder (DBD), there is little available information regarding the attachment processes during middle childhood. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the attachment representations to both caregivers in a sample of 84 children, aged 8–12 years (N = 42 with a diagnosis of DBD; N = 42 as a comparison group). Attachment is assessed through the Child Attachment Interview, a semi-structured interview that incorporates both narrative and behavioural assessments of attachment, permits the assessment of attachment representations using dimensional and categorical approaches, and allows for the detection of disorganisation to both parents individually. Our results point to the presence of high frequencies of insecure attachment (more than 80%) in the DBD group, with a higher percentage of dismissing attachment, and an over-representation of disorganised attachment (more than 50%). Higher levels of dismissal and lower levels of security are found in DBD than in the comparison group. No attachment differences with respect to both parents are found. Understanding how different aspects of attachment during a specific developmental phase plays a role within the broader emotional functioning of DBD has great potential to lead to innovations in evaluations and treatment processes.

Attachment representations in children with disruptive behavior disorders: A special focus on insecurity in middle childhood

Bizzi F.;Pace C. S.
2020-01-01

Abstract

According to the emotional and social problems encountered in disruptive behaviour disorder (DBD), there is little available information regarding the attachment processes during middle childhood. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the attachment representations to both caregivers in a sample of 84 children, aged 8–12 years (N = 42 with a diagnosis of DBD; N = 42 as a comparison group). Attachment is assessed through the Child Attachment Interview, a semi-structured interview that incorporates both narrative and behavioural assessments of attachment, permits the assessment of attachment representations using dimensional and categorical approaches, and allows for the detection of disorganisation to both parents individually. Our results point to the presence of high frequencies of insecure attachment (more than 80%) in the DBD group, with a higher percentage of dismissing attachment, and an over-representation of disorganised attachment (more than 50%). Higher levels of dismissal and lower levels of security are found in DBD than in the comparison group. No attachment differences with respect to both parents are found. Understanding how different aspects of attachment during a specific developmental phase plays a role within the broader emotional functioning of DBD has great potential to lead to innovations in evaluations and treatment processes.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1017934
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