Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) is recently new to clinical literature. RAD is a “Stress and Trauma-Related Disorder” that stems from an inability for a child to attach to a caregiver. Aside from some psychoanalytic foundations, most of what is known about RAD is based off John Bowlby’s attachment theory. As research has developed, RAD has been considered its own diagnosis in the DSM-5 rather than labelled under the umbrella term of “attachment disorder.” A biopsychosocial model of RAD argues that RAD is primarily formed and exacerbated by neglect from a caregiver that can infringe upon the child’s ability to form relationships later in life. Being a new diagnosis, current and detailed prevalence and prognosis of RAD are unknown. In addition, legal implications of maltreatment further contribute to the under-diagnosis of RAD. Currently, holding therapy is the most prominent treatment for RAD. Because so little information is known about RAD, more study and experimentation is necessary for better treatment and understanding.

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