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dc.contributor.authorRoss, Lynda
dc.descriptionI am a member of the CWSA/ACEF Executive and as such prepared and facilitated a 1-day pre-conference workshop for Canadian women’s/gender studies coordinators/chairs that focussed on addressing concerns about the impact of the current financial climate on women’s/gender studies programmes across Canada. Discussions throughout the day resulted in a press release, strategies CWSA/ACEF could use to support programmes under threat, and the framing of the format for a special lunch time session with the same theme (Women’s Studies in Hard Economic Times: Realities and Strategies) that I was co-facilitating and was scheduled for the next day. The lunch time session was open to all conference participants. In addition, I presented a paper in a session entitled “Constructions of Motherhood.” Although the audience was modest, some good discussion followed about the effects of assigning responsibility for childhood psychological/psychiatric “disorders” to mothers and more generally about the effects on women of pathologizing what might be considered “normal” behaviour. I am shortly going to a conference in Waterloo ON that will be focussed on these same issues and so the discussion in this session was helpful in terms of further thinking about “disorders” from a social as well as legal standpoint.en
dc.description.abstractReactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) made its first appearance in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders’ nosology in 1980 (DSM-III: American Psychiatric Association). Its inclusion was a response to findings from a sparse, but compelling, literature that focused primarily on institutionalized children and the consequences that could result from severe maltreatment and extreme deprivation experienced during infancy. In its earliest iterations, the disorder became synonymous with “maternal deprivation,” a term introduced by Spitz (1945) in his work with “foundlings” and later popularized by Bowlby (1951, 1952, 1958) through his work with the World Health Organization. Recognized as a “disorder of mothering,” RAD in infancy was commonly linked to poor mothering skills or maternal psychopathology (Derivan, 1982; Evler, 1985; Tibbits-Kleber & Howell, 1985). In 1997 Volkmar recommended that “[a]lthough empirical data on the reactive attachment disorder diagnostic concept, strictly defined, are rather limited, ample evidence supports its continued inclusion in the DSM-IV.” (p. 261). The ubiquitous use of the term “attachment disorders” in the applied, clinical and particularly in the popular literatures blending concepts drawn from different disciplines and research paradigms has introduced both a level of confusion to the RAD construct as well as a more global focus on mothering practices. This paper reviews the historical development of the “disorder,” its contemporary definitions and associated problems, and discusses the ways in which RAD informs notions of contemporary motherhood.en
dc.subjectreactive attachment disorderen
dc.subjectDiagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disordersen
dc.subjectinstitutionalized childrenen
dc.subjectmaternal deprivationen
dc.subjectdisorder of motheringen
dc.titleReactive Attachment Disorder and its Implications in Defining the "Good Mother"en

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