Journal of Student Engagement: Education Matters


The early years of a child’s life are regarded as the most important, in the sense that encounters within infancy tend to influence the child’s maturation. ‘Attachment’ is regarded as a prime contributor to the success or inhibition of child development, making it a vital component of child–caregiver interactions. This paper highlights the detrimental consequences that insecure attachment can have upon the maltreated child and their personal development through focusing on reactive attachment disorder (RAD). RAD is recognised as a clinical disorder that limits the child’s social abilities, emotional regulation and cognitive function. Throughout this paper, RAD will be explored in terms of origin, characteristics, implications and educational implications for children with the disorder, which will be framed within Bronfenbrenner’s Bioecological Model of Human Development. In accentuating the deleterious factors stemming from RAD, and ultimately insecure attachment, the need for secure attachment is implied.