Attachment goes to court: child protection and custody issues

dc.contributor.authorForslund, Tommie
dc.contributor.authorGranqvist, Pehr
dc.contributor.authorvan IJzendoorn, Marinus H.
dc.contributor.authorSagi- Schwartz, Avi
dc.contributor.authorGlaser, Danya
dc.contributor.authorSteele, Miriam
dc.contributor.authorHammarlund, Mårten
dc.contributor.authorSchuengel, Carlo
dc.contributor.authorBakermans-Kranenburg, Marian J.
dc.contributor.authorSteele, Howard
dc.contributor.authorShaver, Phillip R.
dc.contributor.authorLux, Ulrike
dc.contributor.authorSimmonds, John
dc.contributor.authorJacobvitz, Deborah
dc.contributor.authorGroh, Ashley M.
dc.contributor.authorBernard, Kristin
dc.contributor.authorCyr, Chantal
dc.contributor.authorHazen, Nancy L.
dc.contributor.authorFoster, Sarah
dc.contributor.authorPsouni, Elia
dc.contributor.authorCowan, Philip A.
dc.contributor.authorCowan, Carolyn Pape
dc.contributor.authorRifkin-Graboi, Anne
dc.contributor.authorWilkins, David
dc.contributor.authorPierrehumbert, Blaise
dc.contributor.authorTarabulsy, George M.
dc.contributor.authorCarcamo, Rodrigo A.
dc.contributor.authorWang, Zhengyan
dc.contributor.authorLiang, Xi
dc.contributor.authorKazmierczak, Maria
dc.contributor.authorPawlicka, Paulina
dc.contributor.authorAyiro, Lilian
dc.contributor.authorChansa, Tamara
dc.contributor.authorSichimba, Francis
dc.contributor.authorMooya, Haatembo
dc.contributor.authorMcLean, Loyola
dc.contributor.authorVerissimo, Manuela
dc.contributor.authorGojman-de-Millán, Sonia
dc.contributor.authorMoretti, Marlene M.
dc.contributor.authorBacro, Fabien
dc.contributor.authorPeltola, Mikko J.
dc.contributor.authorGalbally, Megan
dc.contributor.authorKondo-Ikemura, Kiyomi
dc.contributor.authorBehrens, Kazuko Y.
dc.contributor.authorScott, Stephen
dc.contributor.authorRodriguez, Andrés Fresno
dc.contributor.authorSpencer, Rosario
dc.contributor.authorPosada, Germán
dc.contributor.authorCassibba, Rosalinda
dc.contributor.authorBarrantes-Vidal, Neus
dc.contributor.authorPalacios, Jesus
dc.contributor.authorBarone, Lavinia
dc.contributor.authorMadigan, Sheri
dc.contributor.authorJones-Mason, Karen
dc.contributor.authorReijman, Sophie
dc.contributor.authorJuffer, Femmie
dc.contributor.authorFearon, R. Pasco
dc.contributor.authorBernier, Annie
dc.contributor.authorCicchetti, Dante
dc.contributor.authorRoisman, Glenn I.
dc.contributor.authorCassidy, Jude
dc.contributor.authorKindler, Heinz
dc.contributor.authorZimmermann, Peter
dc.contributor.authorFeldman, Ruth
dc.contributor.authorSpangler, Gottfried
dc.contributor.authorZeanah, Charles H.
dc.contributor.authorDozier, Mary
dc.contributor.authorBelsky, Jay
dc.contributor.authorLamb, Michael E.
dc.contributor.authorDuschinsky, Robbie
dc.description.abstractAttachment theory and research are drawn upon in many applied settings, including family courts, but misunderstandings are widespread and sometimes result in misapplications. The aim of this consensus statement is, therefore, to enhance understanding, counter misinformation, and steer family-court utilisation of attachment theory in a supportive, evidence-based direction, especially with regard to child protection and child custody decision-making. The article is divided into two parts. In the first, we address problems related to the use of attachment theory and research in family courts, and discuss reasons for these problems. To this end, we examine family court applications of attachment theory in the current context of the best-interest-of-the-child standard, discuss misunderstandings regarding attachment theory, and identify factors that have hindered accurate implementation. In the second part, we provide recommendations for the application of attachment theory and research. To this end, we set out three attachment principles: the child’s need for familiar, non-abusive caregivers; the value of continuity of good-enough care; and the benefits of networks of attachment relationships. We also discuss the suitability of assessments of attachment quality and caregiving behaviour to inform family court decision-making. We conclude that assessments of caregiver behaviour should take center stage. Although there is dissensus among us regarding the use of assessments of attachment quality to inform child custody and child-protection decisions, such assessments are currently most suitable for targeting and directing supportive interventions. Finally, we provide directions to guide future interdisciplinary research collaboration.en_US
dc.identifier.citationTommie Forslund, Pehr Granqvist, Marinus H. van IJzendoorn, Avi Sagi-Schwartz, Danya Glaser, Miriam Steele, Mårten Hammarlund, Carlo Schuengel, Marian J. Bakermans-Kranenburg, Howard Steele, Phillip R. Shaver, Ulrike Lux, John Simmonds, Deborah Jacobvitz, Ashley M. Groh, Kristin Bernard, Chantal Cyr, Nancy L. Hazen, Sarah Foster, Elia Psouni, Philip A. Cowan, Carolyn Pape Cowan, Anne Rifkin-Graboi, David Wilkins, Blaise Pierrehumbert, George M. Tarabulsy, Rodrigo A. Carcamo, Zhengyan Wang, Xi Liang, Maria Kazmierczak, Paulina Pawlicka, Lilian Ayiro, Tamara Chansa, Francis Sichimba, Haatembo Mooya, Loyola McLean, Manuela Verissimo, Sonia Gojman-de-Millán, Marlene M. Moretti, Fabien Bacro, Mikko J. Peltola, Megan Galbally, Kiyomi Kondo-Ikemura, Kazuko Y. Behrens, Stephen Scott, Andrés Fresno Rodriguez, Rosario Spencer, Germán Posada, Rosalinda Cassibba, Neus Barrantes-Vidal, Jesus Palacios, Lavinia Barone, Sheri Madigan, Karen Jones-Mason, Sophie Reijman, Femmie Juffer, R. Pasco Fearon, Annie Bernier, Dante Cicchetti, Glenn I. Roisman, Jude Cassidy, Heinz Kindler, Peter Zimmermann, Ruth Feldman, Gottfried Spangler, Charles H. Zeanah, Mary Dozier, Jay Belsky, Michael E. Lamb & Robbie Duschinsky (2022) Attachment goes to court: child protection and custody issues, Attachment & Human Development, 24:1, 1-52.en_US
dc.publisherTaylor & Francisen_US
dc.relation.isAvailableAtCollege of Behavioral & Social Sciencesen_us
dc.relation.isAvailableAtDigital Repository at the University of Marylanden_us
dc.relation.isAvailableAtUniversity of Maryland (College Park, MD)en_us
dc.rightsThis is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
dc.subjectAttachment theoryen_US
dc.subjectbest interests of the childen_US
dc.subjectchild custodyen_US
dc.subjectchild protectionen_US
dc.subjectfamily courten_US
dc.subjectconsensus statementen_US
dc.titleAttachment goes to court: child protection and custody issuesen_US


Original bundle
Now showing 1 - 1 of 1
Thumbnail Image
1.24 MB
Adobe Portable Document Format
License bundle
Now showing 1 - 1 of 1
No Thumbnail Available
1.57 KB
Item-specific license agreed upon to submission