Most cited CAMH paper #15 of 25: Linking lack of care in childhood to anxiety disorders in emerging adulthood: the role of attachment styles

CAMH Journal
Celebrating 25 years in 2020 CAMH is a high quality, peer-review of child and adolescent mental health services research. We have articles for practitioners describing evidence-based clinical methods and clinically orientated research. Follow on twitter @TheCAMH

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To celebrate the Child and Adolescent Mental Health journal’s 25th anniversary, we have released the 25 top cited articles of all time*! All papers are freely available online for you to read.

Number 15 is…

Linking lack of care in childhood to anxiety disorders in emerging adulthood: the role of attachment styles
Adriano Schimmenti, Antonia Bifulco
First Published: 09 December 2013

Key Practitioner Message

  • Emotional neglect in childhood, involving rejection, criticism, and negative interaction with parents as key attachment figures, relates to the development of anxiety disorders in adolescence and adulthood
  • Such emotional neglect is argued to contribute to the development of internal working models of insecure anxious attachment based on fear of rejection and fear of separation in the child, hampering future relationships
  • Practitioners who work with children or adolescents suffering from anxiety disorders should assess the role played by emotional neglect and anxious attachment styles in the onset and maintenance of these disorders to inform the focus of psychological treatment
  • Practitioners working in parenting programs need to identify and combat emotionally neglectful parenting to avoid the development of anxiety disorders
  • Using life span models of experience and development can help identify specific risk pathways from childhood to later disorder to aid prevention strategies

*as of December 2019

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