Recommendation ID

Relationship between attachment difficulties and complex trauma:- This research recommendation is composed of 2 parts:
Assess the prevalence of attachment difficulties (including attachment disorders), complex trauma and the combination of both in children and young people in the care system and on the edge of care.
Investigate the effect of various factors, such as multiple placements, on the likelihood of having attachment difficulties, complex trauma or both.

Any explanatory notes
(if applicable)

Why this is important:- Little is known about the prevalence of attachment difficulties, complex trauma or both in children and young people in the care system and on the edge of care in the UK. This information is important for understanding the needs of these populations and will highlight how complex trauma can be considered as a potential explanation for a child or young person's behaviour, with or without the diagnosis of attachment difficulties. The effect various factors have on the outcome of
attachment difficulties and complex trauma also needs investigating. For example, multiple placements may decrease the risk of a child or young person developing a secure attachment with a primary caregiver. This will provide evidence for minimising placement disruption often experienced by children and young people and the importance of finding a stable, supportive home for those in care.
The study design may be a cross-sectional study of children and young people on the edge of care, in care and adopted from care to ascertain the number of children who have attachment difficulties and/or complex trauma.
In addition, data are collected on potential explanatory factors (for example, multiple placement) for the outcome of attachment difficulties, complex trauma or both.
Primary outcome measures may include:
- attachment
- carer sensitivity
- placement disruption
- complex trauma.
A large number of children are needed to attain power to detect a difference and for running a multiple regression analysis. Qualitative data may also be collected on the child or young person's experience in care.

Source guidance details

Comes from guidance
Children’s attachment: attachment in children and young people who are adopted from care, in care or at high risk of going into care
Date issued
November 2015

Other details

Is this a recommendation for the use of a technology only in the context of research? No  
Is it a recommendation that suggests collection of data or the establishment of a register?   No  
Last Reviewed 30/11/2015