The risk of developing reactive attachment disorder from serious social and emotional neglect or the lack of opportunity to develop stable attachments may increase in children who:
- Live in a children's home or other institution
- Frequently change foster homes or caregivers
- Have inexperienced parents
- Have prolonged separation from parents or other caregivers due to hospitalization
- Have a mother with postpartum depression
- Are part of an unusually large family, such that parental time is scarce or available unequally or rarely
However, most children who are severely neglected don't develop reactive attachment disorder.
July 10, 2014
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- Chaffin M, et al. Report of the APSAC task force on attachment therapy, reactive attachment disorder, and attachment problems. Child Maltreatment. 2006;11:76.
- Position statement on reactive attachment disorder. American Psychiatric Association. http://www.psych.org/advocacy--newsroom/position-statements. Accessed April 9, 2014.
- Hoecker JL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 22, 2014.
- Tervo RC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 20, 2014.
- Mikic N, et al. Mentalization and attachment representations: A theoretical contribution to the understanding of reactive attachment disorder. Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic. 2014;78:34.
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