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

Author/s Catherine Jacobs, Nichola Boyce, Yael Ilan-Clarke, Antonia Bifulco
Publishing Year 2019 Issue 2019/1
Language English Pages 16 P. 39-54 File size 197 KB
DOI 10.3280/MAL2019-001004
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Traumatised young people present with damaged attachment styles. This is particularly no-ticeable 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 psy-chological disorder, those at more intense levels of mistrustful avoidance, and those catego-rised as ‘disorganized’ are seen to have higher levels of need. This is linked to more com-plex trauma, unresolved loss and mixed attachment patterns. The paper examines the at-tachment styles in two cases of young people in residential care, assessed using the At-tachment 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 ap-proach-avoidance behaviours. The two young people selected have somewhat different trauma histories and present with different psychological disorders. Attachment characteris-tics are understandable in light of early life trauma and family relationships, but present dif-ficulties for attaining support, regulating emotions and coping. They also present difficulties for staff responsible for their care.

Keywords: Residential care, adolescent, disorganized attachment, ASI.

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Catherine Jacobs, Nichola Boyce, Yael Ilan-Clarke, Antonia Bifulco, Assessing Attachment style in traumatized adolescents in residential care: A case approach in "MALTRATTAMENTO E ABUSO ALL’INFANZIA" 1/2019, pp 39-54, DOI: 10.3280/MAL2019-001004