Assessing disturbances of attachment symptoms using interview technique.


Disturbances of attachment represent a clinically significant disorder and seriously impair social behavioural functioning. To date there has been little research and valid diagnostic methods are lacking. In the present study a German Version of the Disturbances of Attachment Interview developed by Smyke and Zeanah (1999) was used to assess disturbances of attachment in a sample of foster children and the validity of the translation is investigated. Furthermore, the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (Goodman, 1997) was used to examine the discriminative validity. The results show a satisfying reliability and the scales of attachment disorders declare the main of the variance. There is a weak association between the disinhibited scale and hyperactivity in the SDQ. Overall the disinhibited disorder can be distinguished from other behaviour patterns. Regarding the inhibited scale there are associations with all SDQ scales and the inhibited category seems harder to distinguish from other deviant developmental issues. The method is evaluated as a qualified approach to the diagnosis of attachment disorders in the context of a multimethodical approach. Furthermore, the findings suggest further examination of the construct of attachment disturbances.