Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Brown, Laurel


A significant focus is placed on positive outcomes for children in today’s society. However, mental health clinicians attest that poor attachments, during early childhood, are likely to have negative effects on a child’s long-term outcomes. By using the post-positivist paradigm, 10 mental health clinicians were interviewed and each provided their perspectives regarding the negative social skills and emotional regulations of young children, when parents fail to appropriately bond with their children, during their early years. Their ideas were formulated, connected, and structured to develop a theoretical statement. The resulting theory focused on the parent’s ability to develop and strengthen the parent/child relationship, through a range of interventions. Parent’s inability to form positive attachments were influenced by a variety of issues, such as, depression, drug and/or alcohol dependency, poverty, poor relationships with the child’s parent, mental illness, violence, etc. These factors resulted in poor social dynamics with the parent; thereby, hindering their bonding. Children with poor attachments tend to display poor socioemotional affects, such as, poor social, coping, and problem solving skills, tantrums, clingy, withdrawn, or aggressive behaviors, etc. These negative effects, often impacts the child throughout their developmental years.

Included in

Social Work Commons