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Title: Attachment patterns in children with ADHD
Author: Forde, Elizabeth
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2007
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Initially, the attachment patterns of a sample of children with ADHD were identified. A between groups comparative analysis was then employed to compare the attachment patterns of children with ADHD and the normative data. The ADHD sample comprised two groups: (i) children that were looked after and accommodated and (ii) children that were living with their biological parents. In this study looked after and accommodated children represented a high risk comparison group for ADHD and early disruptive experiences. The attachment patterns of these two groups of children were also compared. Children with insecure and secure attachment classifications were then compared on measures of internalising and externalising problems and parent/guardian stress. Overall, children with ADHD did not display a significantly higher proportion of insecure attachment patterns than children from the normative data. Although, children that were looked after and accommodated did display a higher percentage of insecure attachment patterns compared to children that live with their biological parents, this difference was not significant. Additionally, there was no difference between the scores of secure and insecure children with ADHD in the following areas: social problems, oppositional problems, emotional problems, anxiety problems and problems with perfectionism. However, the parents/guardians of children with insecure attachment patterns showed significantly higher levels of stress compared with the parents/guardians of children with a secure attachment pattern. The findings of the current study do not support the previous research which has found evidence in support of an association between ADHD and high rates of attachment insecurity. Despite these findings, it is argued that for children with ADHD and an insecure attachment pattern, consideration should be given to exploring the child’s behaviours within the context of the parent-child attachment relationship. For these children, attachment theory might offer additional help in formulating interventions instead of viewing problematic behaviours exclusively in terms of ADHD.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available