Debate on attachment in family courts
In the November 2018 issue of Infant Mental Health Journal 4 open access papers were published on the (non-)sense of using measures derived from the work of Pat Crittenden (‘Dynamic-Maturational Model’) in family court disputes and individual diagnoses. We compared the DMM classification systems of attachment with a map of the world sensu Borges:
Jorge Luis Borges (1946; 1999) wrote in his one page story “On Exactitude in Science:
“In that Empire, the art of cartography reached such perfection that the map of one province alone took up the whole of a city… . In time … the Colleges of Cartographers set up a Map of the Empire which had the size of the Empire itself and coincided with it point by point . . . . Succeeding generations understood that this widespread map was useless and not without impiety they abandoned it to the inclemencies of the sun and of the winters. (p. 90)
Consensus statement on disorganized attachment
In 2017 a consensus statement on “Disorganized attachment in infancy: a review of the phenomenon and its implications for clinicians and policy-makers” was published in Attachment and Human Development. The paper is open access, and its abstract follows here:
Disorganized/Disoriented (D) attachment has seen widespread interest from policy makers, practitioners, and clinicians in recent years. However, some of this interest seems to have been based on some false assumptions that (1) attachment measures can be used as definitive assessments of the individual in forensic/child protection settings and that disorganized attachment (2) reliably indicates child maltreatment, (3) is a strong predictor of pathology, and (4) represents a fixed or static “trait” of the child, impervious to development or help. This paper summarizes the evidence showing that these four assumptions are false and misleading. The paper reviews what is known about disorganized infant attachment and clarifies the implications of the classification for clinical and welfare practice with children. In particular, the difference between disorganized attachment and attachment disorder is examined, and a strong case is made for the value of attachment theory for supportive work with families and for the development and evaluation of evidence-based caregiving interventions.
Consensus statement by:
Granqvist, P., Sroufe, L. A., Dozier, M., Hesse, E., Steele, M., van Ijzendoorn, M., Solomon, J., Schuengel, C., Fearon, P., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M., Steele, H., Cassidy, J., Carlson, E., Madigan, S., Jacobvitz, D., Foster, S., Behrens, K., Rifkin-Graboi, A., Gribneau, N., Spangler, G., Ward, M. J., True, M., Spieker, S., Reijman, S., Reisz, S., Tharner, A., Nkara, F., Goldwyn, R., Sroufe, J., Pederson, D., Pederson, D., Weigand, R., Siegel, D., Dazzi, N., Bernard, K., Fonagy, P., Waters, E., Toth, S., Cicchetti, D., Zeanah, C. H., Lyons-Ruth, K., Main, M. & Duschinsky, R. (2017). Disorganized attachment in infancy: a review of the phenomenon and its implications for clinicians and policy-makers. Attachment & human development, 1-25.
Published in Child Development Perspectives: Methylation Matters, see pdf under Methylation.
Our correspondence on GENE-BY-ENVIRONMENT EXPERIMENTS was published in Nature Reviews Genetics.
Van IJzendoorn, M.H., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M.J., Belsky, J., Beach, S., Brody, G., Dodge, K.A., Greenberg, M., Posner, M., & Scott, S. (2011) Gene-by-environment experiments: A new approach to finding the missing heritability. Nature Reviews Genetics 12, 881-881, DOI: 10.1038/nrg2764-c1.
Some interviews can be found in the attachments below, one on the Holocaust in a Slovenian national newspaper, and another on differential susceptibility in Bild der Wissenschaft.
Our paper on OXTR and parenting in SCAN was among the top-five highly cited papers in this journal according to the editor, Lieberman, see attached correspondence. Because of our recent meta-analysis on OXTR and human behavior we are now in doubt about the replicability of this earlier finding. See Bakermans-Kranenburg, M.J. & Van IJzendoorn, M.H. (2013). A sociability gene? Meta-analysis of oxytocin receptor (OXTR) genotype effects in humans. Psychiatric Genetics, 24, 45-51.doi: 10.1097/YPG.0b013e3283643684
We also conducted a meta-analysis on experimental studies with intranasal oxytocin administration (‘A Sniff of Trust’ in press with Psychoneuroendocrinology) showing that feelings of trust are elevated but that the expected lowering of out-group trust was not confirmed.
Genetic differential susceptibility demonstrated in an educational intervention study, see http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21028155.000-positive-feedback-gives-kids-with-adhd-a-head-start.html.
See wikipedia on differential susceptibility: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Differential_susceptibility_hypothesis