Prevalence of reactive attachment disorder in a deprived population

Helen Minnis, Susan Macmillan, Rachel Pritchett, David Young, Brenda Wallace, John Butcher, Fiona Sim, Katie Baynham, Claire Davidson, Christopher Gillberg

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68 Citations (Scopus)


Reactive attachment disorder (RAD) is associated with early childhood maltreatment and has unknown population prevalence beyond infancy. All 1646 children aged 6-8 years old in a deprived sector of an urban UK centre were screened for RAD symptoms. Parents of high and low scorers were interviewed using semi-structured interviews probing for psychopathology and individuals likely to have RAD were offered face-to-face assessment. Questionnaire data were available from 92.8% of teachers and 65.8% of parents. Assessments were conducted with 50% of those invited and missing data were imputed - based on the baseline data - for the rest. We calculated that there would be 23 children with definite RAD diagnoses, suggesting that the prevalence of RAD in this population was 1.40% (95% CI 0.94-2.10). In this deprived general population, RAD was not rare.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-346
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number5
Early online date11 Apr 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2013


  • reactive attachment disorder
  • RAD
  • childhood maltreatment
  • deprived population


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