Title

Attachment Theory in Action: Emotional Regulation for Youth-At-Risk

First Presenter's Institution

University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Second Presenter's Institution

NA

Third Presenter's Institution

NA

Fourth Presenter's Institution

NA

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Location

Ballroom F

Strand #1

Social & Emotional Skills

Strand #2

Mental & Physical Health

Relevance

    • Heart: Social and Emotional Skills

      • Fostering social and emotional skills and the social climate for all children and youth.

        • Early childhood attachment relationships with the primary caregiver and secondary attachment figures in the youth’s life increase student empowerment, self-esteem, emotional intelligence, healthy identity development, and emotional intelligence. Attachment theory in it’s most rudimentary form is how we relate to others and our internal sense of the ability to manage experiences. If our experiences go beyond our ability to manage it also includes having the ability to reach out to others for support. This concept is important for individuals working with youth-at-risk who function with low external and internal resources. With this knowledge, professionals working with youth-at-risk can support and aid individuals that may need additional support due to early childhood attachment trauma.

    • Health: Mental and Physical Health

      • Promoting the mental and physical health of all children and youth

        • Early childhood attachment trauma is linked to many forms of psychological pathology. Having an understanding of attachment patterns at a young age and working to develop healthy ways of coping and a sense of security and safety is paramount. It is no secret that youth-at-risk are more susceptible to psychological trauma due to the higher rates of poverty, community violence, educational inequality, and many additional factors. Attachment theory is a way to conceptualize these resource deficits and offers concrete ways to look at these deficits as adaptations instead of pathology.

Brief Program Description

In this presentation participants will learn about the foundations of Attachment Theory, the impact on emotional regulation, and implications for professionals working with youth-at-risk. The foundation set by Bowlby and Ainsworth will be discussed along with the current contributions of neurobiology. Implications for advocacy, treatment planning, developmental and trauma informed conceptualization, and community/classroom interventions.

Summary

In this presentation participants will learn about the foundations of Attachment Theory opening with the contributions of John Bowlby, Mary Ainsworth, Harry Harlow, and Konrad Lorenz beginning in the mid 1930’s. Attachment theory will be presented as a conceptual framework for professionals to aid youth-at-risk in exploring information that could increase, or decrease, quality of life. The presenter will describe how current research in neurobiology has contributed to the theoretical framework and reiterated the importance of early childhood attachment connections and their ability to shape later interpersonal and intrapersonal interactions. Early childhood attachment patterns will be examined through their contribution to adult relationships with intimate partners, children, friends, or companions and how they have impacted our ability to regulate our emotional experiences. Specifically participants with learn the historical foundations of Attachment Theory, current research in neurobiology concerning attachment systems, the effects of traumatic experience on attachment systems, the effect early childhood attachment has on later relationships and emotional regulation.

Evidence

This presentation on Attachment Theory and Emotional Regulation will be based on the research being conducted Allan Schore, Alan Sroufe, and the early contributions of John Bowlby, Mary Ainsworth, Harry Harlow, and Konrad Lorenz. Attachment theory has it’s roots in psychodynamic theory in the early 1930s; recent discoveries in neuroscience that brought the psychological data into sharp focus and reinvigorated this field of research that has significant implications for youth and individuals living in low resource communities.

    • Cassidy, J., & Shaver, P. R. (2008). Handbook of Attachment, Second Edition : Theory, Research, and Clinical Applications (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford Publications.

    • Shaver, P. R., & Mikulincer, M. (2012). An Attachment-Theory Framework for Conceptualizing Interpersonal Behavior. In L. M. Horowitz & S. Strack (Eds.), Handbook of Interpersonal Psychology (pp. 17–35). Hoboken, NJ, USA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Retrieved from http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/9781118001868.ch2

    • Schore, J. R., & Schore, A. N. (2007). Modern Attachment Theory: The Central Role of Affect Regulation in Development and Treatment. Clinical Social Work Journal, 36(1), 9–20. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10615-007-0111-7

    • Causadias, J. M., Salvatore, J. E., & Sroufe, L. A. (2012). Early patterns of self-regulation as risk and promotive factors in development: A longitudinal study from childhood to adulthood in a high-risk sample. International journal of behavioral development, 0165025412444076.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Charmayne Adams has a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from Wake Forest University and is a Nationally Certified Counselor through the National Board of Certified Counselors. She is currently attending the University of Tennessee in Knoxville; she is in her first year of a doctoral program in Counselor Education and Supervision. Charmayne has found a passion in the intersection between counseling and social justice issues, especially those concerning individuals who have been victims of traumatic experience. Her hope is to engage colleagues and students in the national conversation on race, ethnicity, and role of counselors as advocates for change.

Charmayne has a variety of clinical experience including crisis and suicidal hotline counseling, in-patient psychiatric facilities, department of corrections state prison, alternative school, and mobile crisis teams. She has presented webinars; published book reviews, and presented at state conferences and regional conferences on the topics of Trauma-informed care and Attachment Theory.

Keyword Descriptors

Attachment Theory, Emotional Regulation

Presentation Year

2017

Start Date

3-6-2017 10:30 AM

End Date

3-6-2017 11:45 AM

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Mar 6th, 10:30 AM Mar 6th, 11:45 AM

Attachment Theory in Action: Emotional Regulation for Youth-At-Risk

Ballroom F

In this presentation participants will learn about the foundations of Attachment Theory, the impact on emotional regulation, and implications for professionals working with youth-at-risk. The foundation set by Bowlby and Ainsworth will be discussed along with the current contributions of neurobiology. Implications for advocacy, treatment planning, developmental and trauma informed conceptualization, and community/classroom interventions.