DIAGNOSTIC USE OF CRITTENDEN’S ATTACHMENT MEASURES IN FAMILY COURT IS NOT BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT.
Authors of this article are:
Van Ijzendoorn MH, Bakermans JJW, Steele M, Granqvist P.
A summary of the article is shown below:
We express serious doubt and cautioning regarding Spieker and Crittenden’s (2010) claim that attachment measures associated with the dynamic-maturational model of attachment and adaptation (DMM; Crittenden, 2016) can be used for court decision-making. We demonstrate, using Crittenden’s and coworkers’ (e.g., Spieker & Crittenden, ) own data, that such measures have (a) insufficient reliability for use in individual diagnosis and (b) cannot retrodict maltreatment with sufficient sensitivity or specificity for court use. Just as atypical forms of attachment are sometimes observed among children reared adequately, typical (secure or mildly insecure) forms of attachment are sometimes observed among maltreated children and among children of caregivers struggling with psychopathology or socioeconomic adversity. The stakes are high, so it is imperative that court decisions accord with the rule of law. Certainty beyond a reasonable doubt is required, and DMM measures do not meet that requirement.
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attachment;child protection;court;dynamic maturational model;maltreatment
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