Attachment and Alternatives: Theory in Child Welfare Research

Karla T. Washington

Abstract


In an effort to improve the effectiveness of their services with children and adolescents, many social workers consult research guided by attachment theory. This article provides a brief overview of attachment theory with specific attention given to its application to contemporary child welfare research. Criticisms of attachment theory are discussed in detail, along with possibilities for alternative research frameworks including crisis intervention, anti-discrimination, social construction, and critical social work theories.

Keywords


Child welfare; research; attachment theory; theoretical alternatives

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