A new perspective on youth care programs: Using attachment theory to guide interventions for troubled youth

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Moore, K., Moretti, M. M., & Holland, R. (1998). A new perspective on youth care programs: Using attachment theory to guide interventions for troubled youth. Residential Treatment For Children & Youth, 15(3), 1-24. doi:10.1300/J007v15n03_01


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Residential Treatment For Children & Youth in 1998, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1300/J007v15n03_01

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Attachment Behavior
Conduct Disorder
Hospital Programs
Residential Care Institutions
Attachment Theory

Traditional models of residential care for troubled youth are based on the assumption that their difficult and threatening behaviour needs to be contained and controlled. The authors argue that, despite the usefulness of some traditional treatment strategies when employed within certain contexts, these interventions are often of limited value in working with youth who have developed internal working models of adults as rejecting, punitive and untrustworthy. The reliance of traditional treatment programs on behavior can, in effect, undermine already fragile attachments of troubled youth to adults to develop a sense of personal responsibility for and control of their actions. We propose that attachment theory offers a framework for a fundamentally different approach to working with troubled youth's internal working models of self and other. This article reviews the process of transformation of a "traditional" control-focused program into a program that is guided by attachment theory.

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