helping a family through a stressful period, we have found it useful to give special emphasis to the child's attachment needs.
However, our current conclusion from the evidence is that there is not sufficient justification for regarding attachment insecurity as a clinical problem in itself. Nor is there justification for using it, except on an experimental basis, as a screening index for preventive intervention. There is too small a rate of correct predictions. In some cases insecure attachment may indeed represent a developmental process gone seriously wrong, but in others, the insecure attachment does not seem to have such important implications. Eventually, perhaps, we will know more about how to distinguish the two kinds of situation, and thus will know how to target early interventions.
This research was supported in part by NIMH grant MH28018. The authors thank the families who participated and others whose help was essential: D. Pfenninger, T. Rowlison, B. Ridge, T. Triplett, J. Harness, B. Hohman, and J. Alberts.
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