Disordered parental attachment can commit children to lives characterised by relationship difficulties, behaviour problems, educational failure, and poor self-esteem. It is a major root of trans-generational neglect and abuse and frequently underlies mental health problems, drug and alcohol addiction, homelessness, and crime. Early childhood setting of hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis function appears to contribute to these costly difficulties. More broadly, the concept of attachment can contribute to defining and managing the psychosocial dimension of routine paediatric care. The current under-representation of attachment in paediatric education, practice, and research needs to be rectified.
- child protection
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Competing interests: none
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