However, much research still needs to be done in order to improve the assessment and diagnostic process of RAD as well as to gain greater understanding of the disorder. The current conceptualization of RAD, as described in the and the , ties the etiology of the disorder to pathogenic care with an emphasis on socially aberrant behavior across contexts rather than on disturbed attachment behavior.
In order to have a secure base from which to explore the world, be resilient to stress, and form meaningful relationships with themselves and others, all infants need a primary adult who cares for them in sensitive ways and who perceives, makes sense of and responds to their needs. Attachment is an instinctive system in the brain that evolved to ensure infant safety and survival. Primary caretakers are usually the natural mothers, but they need not be. A father, another relative or a non-relative can function in the role of primary caretaker provided they sustain a central role in a child's life for at least three, and preferably five years - the period when a child's brain develops most rapidly.
Reactive Attachment Disorder - personality research
A style of parenting called Attachment Parenting helps adoptive parents and adopted children establish a strong bond fairly easily. Attachment Parenting promotes sensitive responsiveness to a baby combined with close physical contact. Parents can accomplish this by simply responding to an infant's cries and meeting the infant's needs, whatever they may be. All babies benefit from being held by their primary caregivers and they enjoy being held a lot! Soft carriers and bed sharing are a great way to meet this need closeness and keep the baby physically close and happy. Attachment Parenting is also being used by foster parents, who foster newborns just prior to being adopted, with great success. (14) In her book,Launching a Baby's Adoption, Patricia Johnston writes, "promoting attachment…lends itself to a whole style of parenting which fits right in with my strong view…that adoptions must be baby-centered. Parents promote intimacy by responding to the baby's cues rather than imposing their own will upon Baby. The pediatrician and author, William Sears, M.D., actually calls this style "attachment parenting." How does this style of parenting promote attachment? When human infants know their cries will be answered and they experience physical closeness, specific physiological mechanisms are triggered that enhance the attachment process. (8)