Development and Examination of the Reactive Attachment Disorder and Disinhibited Social Engagement Disorder Assessment Interview

Published

Journal Article

© The Author(s) 2018. The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) categorizes reactive attachment disorder (RAD) and disinhibited social engagement disorder (DSED) as two separate disorders, and their criteria are revised. For DSED, the core symptoms focus on abnormal social disinhibition, and symptoms regarding lack of selective attachment have been removed. The core symptoms of RAD are the absence of attachment behaviors and emotional dysregulation. In this study, an international team of researchers modified the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Assessment for RAD to update it from DSM-IV to DSM-5 criteria for RAD and DSED. We renamed the interview the reactive attachment disorder and disinhibited social engagement disorder assessment (RADA). Foster parents of 320 young people aged 11 to 17 years completed the RADA online. Confirmatory factor analysis of RADA items identified good fit for a three-factor model, with one factor comprising DSED items (indiscriminate behaviors with strangers) and two factors comprising RAD items (RAD1: failure to seek/accept comfort, and RAD2: withdrawal/hypervigilance). The three factors showed differential associations with clinical symptoms of emotional and social impairment. Time in foster care was not associated with scores on RAD1, RAD2, or DSED. Higher age was associated with lower scores on DSED, and higher scores on RAD1.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lehmann, S; Monette, S; Egger, H; Breivik, K; Young, D; Davidson, C; Minnis, H

Published Date

  • January 1, 2018

Published In

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1552-3489

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1073-1911

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/1073191118797422

Citation Source

  • Scopus