Children Diagnosed With Attachment Disorder: A Qualitative Study of the Parental Experience

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Virginia Tech

Parents of children who have been diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) often face a challenging dilemma. They are faced with parenting children who often respond from an orientation of feeling unloved and mistrustful of their caregivers. The purpose of this study was to develop a detailed description of the story of four such parents. A multi-case qualitative design and constructivist and coping theoretical frameworks guided the investigation. The constant comparative method of analysis was used to develop three core categories that described the subtitles of parent's experiences. Parent's quotes were used to further embellish the findings. The findings include parent's experiences in recognizing RAD behavior, their response to this behavior, and advice and recommendations they would share with others dealing with this diagnosis. Parents described their child's behavior, resources and methods they used to cope, and had both encouraging and critical reflections of their experiences.

Attachment Disorder, Parent's Experience, Qualitative Study