An Uncommon Disorder That Is Fairly Common among Institutionalized Children

Balasingham, Shawna

Reactive attachment disorder (RAD) is a psychological disorder that affects a child's ability to develop appropriate social relatedness. It was first added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual in the 1980s. There are two types of RAD: inhibited, which results in extreme social isolation and watchfulness, and disinhibited, which results in inappropriate social familiarity and lack of discriminate attachment. The disproportionate prevalence of RAD in children in the foster care or orphanage system speaks to the importance of addressing this disorder. It is believed that the prevalence of RAD can be reduced through reforms to these institutions internationally.


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Columbia Social Work Review

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Social Work
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February 13, 2013