1st Edition

Enhancing Early Attachments
Theory, Research, Intervention, and Policy

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ISBN 9781593854706
Published March 8, 2007 by Guilford Press
357 Pages

USD $49.00

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Book Description

Synthesizing the latest theory, research, and practices related to supporting early attachments, this volume provides a unique window into the major treatment and prevention approaches available today. Chapters address the theoretical and empirical bases of attachment interventions; explore the effects of attachment-related trauma and how they can be ameliorated; and describe a range of exemplary programs operating at the individual, family, and community levels. Throughout, the authors consider cross-cutting issues such as the core components of effective services and appropriate outcome measures for attachment interventions. Also discussed are policy implications, including how programs to enhance early child-caregiver relationships fit into broader health, social service, and early education systems.

Table of Contents

I. Theoretical and Research Bases for Interventions to Enhance Early Attachments
1. Interventions to Enhance Early Attachments: The State of the Field Today, Lisa J. Berlin
2. Examination of the Precursors of Infant Attachment Security: Implications for Early Intervention and Intervention Research, Jude Cassidy, Susan S. Woodhouse, Glen Cooper, Kent Hoffman, Bert Powell, and Mindy Rodenberg
3. Attachment-Based Intervention Programs: Implications for Attachment Theory and Research, Yair Ziv
4. The Developmental Neurobiology of Disrupted Attachment: Lessons from Animal Models and Child Abuse Research, Frank W. Putnam
5. Reciprocal Influences of Attachment and Trauma: Using a Dual Lens in the Assessment and Treatment of Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers, Alicia F. Lieberman and Lisa Amaya-Jackson
II. Interventions to Enhance Early Attachments: Practice and Policy
6. The Circle of Security Intervention: Differential Diagnosis and Differential Treatment, Glen Cooper, Kent Hoffman, Bert Powell, and Robert Marvin
7. Minding the Baby: Enhancing Parental Reflective Functioning in a Nursing/Mental Health Home Visiting Program, Arietta Slade, Lois S. Sadler, and Linda C. Mayes
8. Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-Up: An Intervention Targeting Empirically Identified Needs of Foster Infants, Mary Dozier, Oliver Lindhiem, and John P. Ackerman
9. Building Attachment Relationships Following Maltreatment and Severe Deprivation, Charles H. Zeanah and Anna T. Smyke
10. The Nurse–Family Partnership: Foundations in Attachment Theory and Epidemiology, David L. Olds
11. Enhancing Early Attachments in the Context of Early Head Start: Can Programs Emphasizing Family Support Improve Rates of Secure Infant–Mother Attachments in Low-Income Families?, Susan Spieker, Dana Nelson, Michelle DeKlyen, and Fredi Staerkel
12. Tales From the Capitol: Tried, True, and Not-True Strategies for Increasing Policy Support for Programs to Enhance Early Attachment, Geoffrey Nagle and Joan Wightkin
• Commentaries
1. Why Less Is More: From the Dodo Bird Verdict to Evidence-Based Interventions on Sensitivity and Early Attachments, Marinus van IJzendoorn, Marian J. Bakermans-Kranenburg, and Femmie Juffer
2. Models versus Metaphors in Translating Attachment Theory to the Clinic and Community, Thomas G. O'Connor and Wendy L. Nilsen
3. Enhancing Early Attachments: Synthesis and Recommendations for Research, Practice, and Policy, Mark T. Greenberg

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Lisa J. Berlin, PhD, is a Research Scientist at the Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University. Her work focuses on early development and programs and policies for young children and their families; she is especially concerned with child abuse prevention. Currently she is directing two studies, with funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, addressing the intergenerational transmission of problematic parenting.

Yair Ziv, PhD, is a Senior Study Director at Westat. He has conducted research on attachment-based early intervention and on parent-child relationships in infancy, childhood, and adolescence. Dr. Ziv's research program focuses on cognitive models of self and others and the mechanisms through which these models guide social perception, information processing, and behavior in close relationships.

Lisa Amaya-Jackson, MD, MPH, is Associate Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University Medical Center. She is Associate Director at the UCLA-Duke National Center for Child Traumatic Stress and Co-Director of Research and Training at the Center for Child and Family Health in North Carolina. Dr. Amaya-Jackson is a clinician-researcher known for her research in the assessment and treatment of children exposed to traumatic life events and her expertise in implementing evidence-based treatment for child trauma in community settings.

Mark T. Greenberg, PhD, is Emeritus Professor in the College of Health and Human Development at The Pennsylvania State University, where he is also Founding Director of the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center. A developmental psychologist, Dr. Greenberg is the author of over 350 journal articles and book chapters on the development of well-being; learning; and the effects of prevention efforts on children and families. He is a Founding Board Member of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). Dr. Greenberg is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Urie Bronfenbrenner Award for Lifetime Contribution to Developmental Psychology in the Service of Science and Society from the American Psychological Association. One of his current interests is how to help nurture awareness and compassion in our society. He is Chairperson of the Board of CREATE, a nonprofit devoted to improving the quality of schooling and the lives of teachers and students.


This is the first serious, empirically grounded integration of attachment-focused interventions in the first years of life. It is authoritative, comprehensive, and balanced--not surprisingly, as it is authored by the acknowledged leaders in the field. By far the best available synthesis to date, and one that is likely to guide practice over the next decade.--Peter Fonagy, PhD, FBA, Department of Clinical Psychology, University College, UK; and Anna Freud Centre, London, UK

This highly readable volume from leading experts in attachment research and intervention has much to offer to students, practitioners, and researchers. It provides key overviews of various approaches to attachment-based interventions and discusses the theory and research underlying the programs. The book also identifies useful directions for the next generation of attachment-based intervention and prevention programs./m-/Byron Egeland, PhD, Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota

The essential engine of human growth and development lies in relationships, starting with the interactions between infants and the important adults in their lives. While the basic science of attachment behavior is well established, this volume moves on to applying this knowledge to strengthening early relationships in at-risk populations. The editors have assembled a stellar group of scholars to present the finest thinking on effective attachment interventions. Their ideas will enrich the thinking of scholars, graduate students, and practitioners in the early childhood field.--Edward Zigler, PhD, Department of Psychology (Emeritus), Yale University
In a nutshell, exceptional!...It is one of the first books to offer researchers, practitioners, and policymakers a collection of efficacious, theoretically, and empirically grounded interventions to enhance attachment relationships between at-risk parents and their infants or young children, and the policy, political, and logistical strategies to help them succeed. One of the exciting features of this book is that the rigor and integrity to attachment theory in these intervention programs is clearly evident even though the language used to present these complex concepts to parents is sometimes stunningly simple and clear. From the attachment purists to the lesser initiated who share similar goals of affecting change in relationships between parents and young children, this book is a must read. The chapters resonate with attachment theory's propositions and conceptual complexity while also leaving the reader with the knowledge and framework for change in these attachment relationships. This merger of the integrity to attachment theory with efficacious, but often common-sense interventions is what makes this book so valuable....The book is outstanding....Several chapters are written by 'the best of the best' that the attachment field has to offer, an opportunity few books provide....Indeed, this book will appeal to any reader who ventures into its pages because it represents real hope and potential to effect change.
--Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 1/11/2007ƒƒ
Represents a pioneer step forward in describing attempts to prevent disturbances in the parenting of very young children by applying principles of John Bowlby's attachment theory....One of the special contributions of this volume is the description of programs to build attachment relationships in particularly difficult situations....This volume gives us a glimpse into the complexities of providing services to multiproblem families in which insecure attachments urgently need to be prevented or changed.
--PsycCRITIQUES, 1/11/2007ƒƒ
This is a valuable resource for any organization, program, group, or individual who is using a preventative orientation to working with children and their families.
--Child and Family Journal, 1/11/2007