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ERIC Number: EJ892260
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Aug
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 42
ISSN: ISSN-0075-417X
An Activating Mechanism of Aggressive Behaviour in Disorganised Attachment: A Moment-to-Moment Case Analysis of a Three-Year-Old
Kim, Eun Young
Journal of Child Psychotherapy, v36 n2 p152-167 Aug 2010
This study examines an activating mechanism of aggressive behaviour in young children. Many studies on attachment theories have indicated disorganised attachment as a significant risk factor for externalising problems and have explained the aetiology of disorganised attachment in terms of deficits in affect, behaviour and cognitive functions from a traumatic or inconsistent environment. Via the moment-to-moment analysis of the play therapy process with a three-year-old, this paper attempts to identify how these emotional, behavioural and cognitive factors interact in actual situations and can lead to an observable behaviour: aggressive behaviour. The findings from this study indicate that the child with disorganised attachment was going through a dual process, one with her therapist and the other with her internalised caregivers. When anxiety and an ambiguous social cue from an unpredictable situation were added to the child's repetition of previous attachment experience, this "click" lowered the threshold of regulation of affect, behaviour and cognition. The child turned to disorganised and aggressive behaviour, relying on her physiological signals regarding the perceived threat. Finally, this paper describes how these difficulties can be channelled by symbolic play via displacement and containment. (Contains 1 table and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A