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Journal article Full text available online for free

Disorganized attachment in infancy: a review of the phenomenon and its implications for clinicians and policy-makers

Author:
GRANQVIST Pehr
Journal article citation:
Attachment and Human Development, 19(6), 2017, pp.534-558.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

Disorganised/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 disorganised 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 summarises the evidence showing that these four assumptions are false and misleading. The paper reviews what is known about disorganised infant attachment and clarifies the implications of the classification for clinical and welfare practice with children. In particular, the difference between disorganised 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. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

Can typical US home visits affect infant attachment? Preliminary findings from a randomized trial of Healthy Families Durham

Authors:
BERLIN Lisa J., et al
Journal article citation:
Attachment and Human Development, 19(6), 2017, pp.559-579.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

US government-funded early home visiting services are expanding significantly. The most widely implemented home visiting models target at-risk new mothers and their infants. Such home visiting programs typically aim to support infant–parent relationships; yet, such programs’ effects on infant attachment quality per se are as yet untested. Given these programs’ aims, and the crucial role of early attachments in human development, it is important to understand attachment processes in home visited families. The current, preliminary study examined 94 high-risk mother–infant dyads participating in a randomised evaluation of the Healthy Families Durham (HFD) home visiting program. The authors tested (a) infant attachment security and disorganisation as predictors of toddler behaviour problems and (b) program effects on attachment security and disorganisation. The results found that (a) infant attachment disorganization (but not security) predicted toddler behaviour problems and (b) participation in HFD did not significantly affect infant attachment security or disorganisation. Findings are discussed in terms of the potential for attachment-specific interventions to enhance the typical array of home visiting services. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

U.S. transracial adoption trends in the 21st Century

Author:
MARR Elisha
Journal article citation:
Adoption Quarterly, 20(3), 2017, pp.222-251.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis
Place of publication:
Philadelphia

A number of researchers have called attention to the lack of information available on transracial adoption at the national level. This project was a concerted effort to identify detailed informational about transracial adoption in the United States from nationally representative data sources. The 2000 U.S. Census and 2008-2012 American Community Survey data were analyzed to identify information about the number of young adoptees adopted transracially in the population, the proportion of transracial adoptions that are international, which racial groups adopt transracially, and which racial groups are transracially adopted in the 21st century. (Publisher abstract)

Journal article

Taking ownership of gaming and disability

Authors:
WASTERFOS David, HANSSON Kristofer
Journal article citation:
Journal of Youth Studies, 20(9), 2017, pp.1143-1160.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis
Place of publication:
Philadelphia, USA

Gaming among young people with disabilities is often understood within a habilitation frame, as if video and computer games primarily should help to exercise and ‘improve’. Little is known about how these games are used within a private frame, and how young people with disabilities operate their gaming as concrete persons rather than as treatment-receiving clients. Through the use of stories, descriptions, and demonstrations from Swedish youth and young adults with disabilities (muscle diseases, cerebral palsy, and Asperger’s syndrome), we explore these gamers’ practical maneuvers, verbal accounts, and biographical-narrative concerns in relation to digital games. As they strive to bypass or overcome digital inaccessibility, various challenges find their way into their gaming practices, not only to complicate, distract, or disturb them but also to give them extra meaning. Gamer–game identifications turn multifaceted, with disabilities serving as paths both around and into the games’ ‘magical circles’. We suggest partly new concepts – beyond a habilitation frame – to capture how young people struggle to take ownership of gaming and disability: engrossment maintenance, vicarious gamers and biographical as well as situational refuge. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

Betrayed? That's me: implicit and explicit betrayed self-concept in young adults abused as children

Authors:
DELKER Brianna C., FREYD Jennifer J.
Journal article citation:
Journal of Aggression Maltreatment and Trauma, 26(7), 2017, pp.701-716.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

Attenuated awareness of betrayal, or "betrayal blindness," is a proposed survival mechanism in relationships where awareness of betrayal will mobilise confront-or-withdraw responses that jeopardise a needed relationship. Empirical tests of betrayal blindness and its effects are hampered by the methodological conundrum of how to measure an absence of awareness. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the validity of a novel empirical method to measure implicit betrayed self-concept, the first step in a long-term research aim to operationalise “betrayal blindness.” Informed by betrayal trauma theory, the authors hypothesised that a history of betrayal within close childhood relationships (but not recent close relationships or “not-close” relationships) would predict implicit betrayed-self associations in young adulthood. An adaptation of the Implicit Association Test (IAT) and measured implicit and explicit betrayed-self associations and self-reported history of physical, sexual, and psychological abuse in 529 university undergraduates was designed. Internal consistency reliability of the betrayed self IAT was low but adequate. Hierarchical regression modeling revealed that history of abuse within close childhood relationships (but not recent close relationships or “not-close” relationships) predicted betrayed-self IAT scores. The effect size was small. In addition, history of betrayal by someone close (but not someone “not close”) at any age predicted increased explicit evaluations of the self as betrayed versus respected, a small effect size. Findings indicate that implicit betrayed self-concept can be measured empirically. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

Implementing article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in child protection decision-making: a critical analysis of the challenges and opportunities for social work

Author:
McCAFFERTY Paul
Journal article citation:
Child Care in Practice, 23(4), 2017, pp.327-341.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

One of the most frequently cited principles in the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is Article 12. This article provides a critical analysis of the challenges that child protection social work faces when implementing Article 12 in social work decision-making whilst simultaneously keeping children safe. The article begins with an outline of the general reasons for involving children in decisions that affect them but argues that despite being beneficial, implementing Article 12 has proved to be problematic due to theoretical, practical and ethical challenges within social work which will be examined. The article continues by arguing that it is possible to overcome these obstacles using Lundy’s model of conceptualising Article 12 as a real-world tool that offers practical solutions to help social work/workers overcome rather than avoid the identified challenges. It is intended that these suggestions will help empower social work/workers to discharge their legal obligation to enable children to be heard in decisions that affect them. The article concludes by arguing for a more empowering approach to children’s involvement in social work decision-making with some reflections on the future of Article 12 within the social work paradigm. (Publisher abstract)

Journal article

Successful academic achievement among foster children: what did the foster parents do?

Authors:
SKILBRED Dag Tore, IVERSEN Anette Christine, MOLDESTAD Bente
Journal article citation:
Child Care in Practice, 23(4), 2017, pp.356-371.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

Children who spend part of their childhood in foster homes have, as a group, lower academic achievement than their peers. However, some of these children do well and succeed in higher education. Resilience is about positive development enhanced by protective factors despite adversity. Protective factors may be both positive qualities in the children themselves and their social contexts. The purpose of this article is to explore how young people who spent part of their childhood in foster care succeeded in higher education. The authors interviewed 13 foster parents and 16 young adults with ongoing or completed university studies. Two main themes emerged as particularly important: the young adults’ motivation and effort, and qualities in the foster home. This article focuses on the qualities in the foster home. The analysis showed three main themes related to the foster home that supported school achievement: the promotion of a feeling of belonging in the foster home; core values such as taking school work seriously and giving one’s best; and providing order and structure in the foster children’s lives. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

Interprofessional collaboration in Finnish residential child care: challenges in incorporating and sharing expertise between the child protection and health care systems

Authors:
TIMONEN-KALLIO Eeva, HAMALAINEN Juha, LAUKKANEN Eila
Journal article citation:
Child Care in Practice, 23(4), 2017, pp.389-403.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

Many children taken into care tend to be in need of psychiatric treatment as well as child protection services, and thus the professional expertise of both systems must be coordinated in their care. However, it is widely known across Europe that collaboration between child protection services and mental health services is not working well and the outcomes for looked-after children are poor. In spite of drastic need for knowledge, interprofessional collaboration between residential workers and mental health practitioners is poorly explored in international research. Most importantly, very little is known about shared expertise in multi-agency teams between these systems. Based on the analysis of interprofessional focus group interviews (eight interviews with 17 practitioners) in Finland, it is claimed that both sides have unrealistic expectations and perceptions of the other professional grouping and its facilities to help high-need children. The study also indicates that the collaboration assumes an equality of status and responsibilities between the professionals that does not always exist amongst residential child care practitioners and mental health professionals. The analysis suggests that the concept of residential child care work itself needs more empirical research to strengthen the interprofessional competencies and enhance child-centred integrated care. (Publisher abstract)

Journal article

Serving families with child maltreatment and substance use disorders: a decade of learning

Authors:
HUEBNER Ruth A., et al
Journal article citation:
Journal of Family Social Work, 20(4), April 2017, pp.288-305.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis
Place of publication:
Philadelphia, USA

An increase in parental substance use disorders (SUD) and the number of infants and toddlers entering foster care has prompted federal and state efforts to change the treatment paradigm toward more integrated and family-centred strategies. The Regional Partnership Grant (RPG) programme demonstrated that family-centred strategies can improve child and parent outcomes. The current challenge is to bring effective strategies to scale. This conceptual article highlights the lessons learned from 10 years of implementing and evaluating programmes to meet the needs of families affected by parental SUD and child maltreatment. Effective family-centred strategies identified by the RPG programme are illustrated with specifics from the Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Team programme. These effective strategies could be implemented in any jurisdiction and include (1) collaboration toward integrated services between child welfare and SUD treatment, (2) timely access to SUDS treatment, (3) recovery management and support, (4) tailored family services, and (5) adaptation to local jurisdiction needs. When these strategies are operational, children are more likely to be safe and remain in parent custody, and parents are more likely to achieve sobriety and improve their parental capacity. Future research might examine the unique impact of each of the five strategies independently. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

Examining risk, strengths, and functioning of foster families: implications for strengths-based practice

Authors:
JULIEN-CHINN Francie J., et al
Journal article citation:
Journal of Family Social Work, 20(4), April 2017, pp.306-321.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis
Place of publication:
Philadelphia, USA

Foster families provide safe and stable homes for children and youth who are removed from their homes due to maltreatment. Despite the stressors associated with bringing children in and out of a family’s home, many maintain healthy family functioning and continue fostering for many years serving an essential function in the child welfare system. This study sought to understand the factors that explained higher levels of family functioning within foster families. Collaborating with one statewide public child welfare agency, 681 licensed foster parents participated in an online survey that examined the association between family functioning with family strengths and risk factors. Findings from this study can inform strengths-based practice including training, assessment, and interventions for new and existing foster families to strengthen families and improve the well-being of children and youth in their care. (Publisher abstract)

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