Skip to main content



Child-Maltreatment-Research-L (CMRL) List Serve

Database of Past CMRL Messages

Welcome to the database of past Child-Maltreatment-Research-L (CMRL) list serve messages. The table below contains all past CMRL messages (text only, no attachments) from Nov. 20, 1996 - December 22, 2017 and is updated quarterly.

Instructions: Postings are listed for browsing with the newest messages first. Click on the linked ID number to see a message. You can search the author, subject, message ID, and message content fields by entering your criteria into this search box:

Message ID: 8790
Date: 2011-01-17

Author:Bonnie Ciambotti

Subject:Re: two questions about common labels

Hello, Sheri, I am relatively new to the trauma field, but I am currently a trauma therapist working primarily with children (ages 4 and older), and I have also been a foster parent. It seems to me that attachment disorders are sometimes designated before sufficient observation of a child has occurred, especially if removed from the home for reasons of neglect or abuse. I believe that a child's trauma-related behaviors in the home can be interpreted as attachment issues before the child has had an opportunity to attach to a new caregiver, or before it becomes clear whether or not the child was attached to primary caregivers. The RAD diagnosis has the potential for influencing many decisions in a child's future, and I believe that professionals must be very careful to diagnose carefully. Because diagnoses are often required very early in the treatment process, care must be taken to continually reassess as treatment continues. I hope my perspective is helpful. Bonnie Ciambotti, LCSW On Sat, Jan 15, 2011 at 3:22 PM, D F MCMAHON > wrote: Two labels that are endemic in child welfare cases are "parentification" and "attachment disorder". These have been around for quite awhile. The source is usually a CPS investigator, a caseworker, or a therapist, sometimes a foster parent, once in awhile an adoptive or step-parent. My question is not really specific, but wondering about your thoughts as to use and/or misuse of these labels. Thanks, Sheri McMahon

Hello, Sheri, I am relatively new to the trauma field, but I am currently a trauma therapist working primarily with children (ages 4 and older), and I have also been a foster parent. It seems to me that attachment disorders are sometimes designated before sufficient observation of a child has occurred, especially if removed from the home for reasons of neglect or abuse. I believe that a child's trauma-related behaviors in the home can be interpreted as attachment issues before the child has had an opportunity to attach to a new caregiver, or before it becomes clear whether or not the child was attached to primary caregivers. The RAD diagnosis has the potential for influencing many decisions in a child's future, and I believe that professionals must be very careful to diagnose carefully. Because diagnoses are often required very early in the treatment process, care must be taken to continually reassess as treatment continues. I hope my perspective is helpful. Bonnie Ciambotti, LCSW On Sat, Jan 15, 2011 at 3:22 PM, D F MCMAHON > wrote: Two labels that are endemic in child welfare cases are "parentification" and "attachment disorder". These have been around for quite awhile. The source is usually a CPS investigator, a caseworker, or a therapist, sometimes a foster parent, once in awhile an adoptive or step-parent. My question is not really specific, but wondering about your thoughts as to use and/or misuse of these labels. Thanks, Sheri McMahon