Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


This theoretical research paper focuses on both attachment theory and self psychology to examine the consequences institutions have on infant mental health. The research specifically addresses Eastern European institution infants that develop reactive attachment disorder. The research discusses the current treatment solutions for reactive attachment disorder using the two aforementioned theoretical lenses. Institution infants are an important target for research because the pathogenic care provided by institutions inherently disrupts the infants early attachment needs. The findings of this study were as follows: 1) It would benefit potential adoptive parent to participate in educational training about reactive attachment disorder. 2) Adoptees that develop reactive attachment disorder need to be treated with empathy despite the symptoms. 3) The adoptive parents need to take responsibility for getting the adoptee the mental health care that is appropriate.


85 p. Thesis (M.S.W)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2007. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 79-85).