Journal Article

Disabled Children, Maltreatment and Attachment

David Howe

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 36, issue 5, pages 743-760
Published in print July 2006 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online February 2006 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Disabled Children, Maltreatment and Attachment

Show Summary Details


Two bodies of literature on children with disabilities are identified and described. One recognizes an association between disability and maltreatment. The other finds an association between children with a disability and insecure attachments. The present paper seeks a theoretical integration between these two research traditions. The model generated examines the dynamics that affect a child with a disability’s attachment classification and risk of being maltreated in terms of a transaction between both parental and child factors. In the case of children with certain types of disability, unresolved parental states of mind with respect to attachment are seen as a risk factor for maltreatment. Implications for prevention, support and treatment are considered.

Keywords: disabled children; abuse; neglect; attachment

Journal Article.  7999 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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