Child attachment problems can develop during the early years of a child's life. Normally, children bond or attach with their primary caretakers and learn to trust and feel secure with them. This positive or secure attachment experience enables a child to form other trusting relationships and is essential to promoting positive outcomes in a child across a range of developmental areas. These include the social, emotional and behavioral areas, as well as the child's ability to learn to his potential at school.
A secure attachment can promote positive outcomes in a child, from his earliest childhood years, to adolescence, and beyond, to the elder years. The opposite can be true for children who lack opportunities to develop secure attachment bonds with the significant adults in their lives.
When the child lacks a secure, healthy bond with a primary caretaker, the risk increases that the child will show attachment problems. He will have difficulty trusting the caretaker or anyone else. Children with
attachment problems are afraid to trust and love and may develop
controlling behaviors that keep other people at a distance. They have
difficulty relating to others and may show the the
Elevated stress hormones, for example, which often typifies these children can impair
their functioning across the major developmental areas. They may be more likely than securely attached children to show child problems . For example:
Attachment Problems in children often reflect a lack of attunement between the child and parent. Some causes of lack attunement may include:
Attachment influences every aspect of human development. This includes the mind, for example, the child's self-perception and mental health, the child's physiology (e.g. often hyperaroused), the ability to regulate emotions, and the quality of her relationships throughout the life-span.
Studies indicate that securely attached children do better in a number of areas. These include self esteem; independence; autonomy; enduring friendships; trust and intimacy; impulse control; empathy and compassion, as well as resilience.
If you are worried about attachment issues in an adoptive child Child Adoption Matters can help. This site includes numerous resources to help you deal with a range of adoption issues.
If you are worried about child attachment issues in an adoptive child an attachment based psychological assessment can help.
Dr O'Connor offers Psychological Assessments that she tailors to the specific needs of a child or adolescent who is showing attachment problems.