Electronic Theses and Dissertations


Open Access Thesis


Attachment disorder in children -- Iowa; Families -- Iowa -- Psychological aspects; Birth order; Domestic relations; Child psychopathology;


John Bowlby's attachment theory suggests that based on their needs for protection, comfort and nurturance, infants form attachments with their primary caregivers. The initial relationships a person has with others will serve as a blueprint for all future relationships. This connection has a significant influence on every area of a person's life, including cognition, physical and emotional health, future relationships, education and development of values. When an infant's needs are met with inconsistency, abuse or maltreatment, the influence on a child's life and those caring for the child is widespread. This study sought to explore the impact caring for a child with attachment disorder has on a family as well as the supports needed for foster and/or adoptive families dealing with attachment disorders to be successful and to determine the areas of need regarding a child's education. Results indicate that caring for a child with attachment difficulties has a negative impact on the family, including other children in the home, as well as the overall family environment, such as routines. However, the parents surveyed remain positive towards their children with attachment difficulties and committed to helping them. The study also reflects that schools are not fully prepared for the challenges a child with attachment difficulties can present.

Date of Award


Degree Name

Specialist in Education


Department of Educational Psychology and Foundations

First Advisor

Kimberly K. Knesting-Lund


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Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (vi, 72 pages)



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