Professor Pehr Granqvist. Photo: Niklas Björling
Professor Pehr Granqvist. Photo: Niklas Björling

The article Disorganized attachment in infancy: A review of the phenomenon and its implications for clinicians and policy makers constitutes a "consensus statement”, signed by 40 researchers (developmental and clinical psychologists) under the leadership of Professor Granqvist and Dr. Robbie Duschinsky (Cambridge University and affiliated with the Department of Psychology, Stockholm University).

The many misconceptions have already caused much harm to individual children, parents and families. But the article points to what can be done with the best interests of children, parents and families in mind!

The article is spreading fast, in only 7 days of online publication it got 1143 views on the journal website alone, and also about 600 reads on ResearchGate. So now it is your turn, see details and links below.


Disorganized/Disoriented (D) attachment has seen widespread interest from policy makers, practitioners, and clinicians in recent years. However, some of this interest seems to have been based on some false assumptions that (1) attachment measures can be used as definitive assessments of the individual in forensic/child protection settings and that disorganized attachment (2) reliably indicates child maltreatment, (3) is a strong predictor of pathology, and (4) represents a fixed or static “trait” of the child, impervious to development or help. This paper summarizes the evidence showing that these four assumptions are false and misleading. The paper reviews what is known about disorganized infant attachment and clarifies the implications of the classification for clinical and welfare practice with children. In particular, the difference between disorganized attachment and attachment disorder is examined, and a strong case is made for the value of attachment theory for supportive work with families and for the development and evaluation of evidence-based caregiving interventions.


Pehr Granqvist, L. Alan Sroufe, Mary Dozier, Erik Hesse, Miriam Steele, Marinus van Ijzendoorn, Judith Solomon, Carlo Schuengel , Pasco Fearon, Marian Bakermans-Kranenburg, Howard Steele, Jude Cassidy, Elizabeth Carlson, Sheri Madigan, Deborah Jacobvitz, Sarah Foster, Kazuko Behrens, Anne Rifkin-Graboi, Naomi Gribneau, Gottfried Spangler, Mary J Ward, Mary True, Susan Spieker, Sophie Reijman, Samantha Reisz, Anne Tharner, Frances Nkara, Ruth Goldwyn, June Sroufe, David Pederson, Deanne Pederson, Robert Weigand, Daniel Siegel, Nino Dazzi, Kristin Bernard, Peter Fonagy , Everett Waters, Sheree Toth, Dante Cicchetti, Charles H Zeanah, Karlen Lyons-Ruth, Mary Main & Robbie Duschinsky (2017): Disorganized attachment in infancy: A review of the phenomenon and its implications for clinicians and policymakers. Attachment & Human Development. DOI: 10.1080/14616734.2017.1354040

Read the article on the journal website 10.1080/14616734.2017.1354040 or download the pdf directly, link below (Open Access).

Read more about Professor Pehr Granqvist.