Clinical Social Work Journal

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 120–131 | Cite as

Adoptive Mothers’ Perceptions of Reactive Attachment Disorder Therapy and its Impact on Family Functioning

  • Jane S. Wimmer
  • M. Elizabeth Vonk
  • Patricia M. Reeves
Original Paper


The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore adoptive mothers’ perceptions of attachment therapy and its impact on family functioning. Sixteen mothers were interviewed 3 years after therapy. Analysis of the data revealed two sets of parental perceptions: first, attachment therapy was consistently supportive, emotionally painful, and physically safe; second, therapy preserved family structure, mothers remained committed to their children, and parenting was continuously stressful. This study highlights the need for further research on the treatment of children with attachment disorders and is not intended as a treatise on the efficacy of attachment therapy as a treatment modality.


Adoption Attachment Reactive attachment disorder Attachment therapy Perceptions of therapy Qualitative research 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jane S. Wimmer
    • 1
  • M. Elizabeth Vonk
    • 2
  • Patricia M. Reeves
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Social WorkDalton State CollegeDaltonUSA
  2. 2.School of Social WorkUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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