Social Work Theories in Action

By Mary Nash; Robyn Munford et al. | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Chapter 14
Attachment Issues and Work
with Adolescents

Nikki Evans and Marie Connolly


Literature and research focusing on the nature, prevalence and stability of attachment patterns often implicitly convey secure attachment patterns as an ideal or a goal. As such, theorists have viewed secure attachment as a 'prototype' (Fletcher 2002). However, insecure attachment patterns cannot be considered rare when they are displayed by a significant percentage of young children (Fletcher 2002). For example, Howe (1995) reports that 40 per cent of children display insecure attachment patterns, of which 25 per cent are assessed as avoidant, 10 per cent ambivalent, and 5 per cent as disorganized attachment styles. Significantly, longitudinal research has generally demonstrated the endurance of attachment patterns (Daniel and Taylor 2001), highlighting the importance of attachment style stability over time and across the lifespan. Given the potentially widespread significance of insecure attachment styles and their enduring nature, adolescent attachment issues are likely to be of concern to practice. This chapter, in this section, builds on the previous ones by exploring issues of attachment specifically in the context of adolescent work. It discusses the formation of internal models of attachment, and considers the relevance of attachment theory to practice within the residential placement setting, and family work following transition from residential care. Issues for practice are explored, with particular reference to cross-cultural issues.

Internal models of attachment

By definition, attachment is relational it concerns the nature of relationships between people. Neglect, maltreatment and abuse always occur in the context of relationships (George 1996). Young people who are raised in difficult and


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Social Work Theories in Action


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 272

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?