Mental health articles

OF mental health care and mentally ill

Disorders of social functioning

Disorders of social functioning

This category includes selective mutism, reactive attachment disorders of childhood and disinhibited attachment disorders of infancy.

Selective mutism

The main problem in this condition is the child’s refusal to talk in certain situations while conversing normally in others. Generally, normal speech is present while in a minority there are problems of articulation and speech production. Milder forms present themselves at the start of school life and are usually transitory. Behavioural and family therapy result in a good prognosis for 50 per cent of cases.

Attachment disorders

The motion of attachment in infants was strongly influenced by the writings of John Bowlby (1980). According to these theories, a child needs to be attached to a protective figure as biologically adaptive. Children develop attachments to a relatively small number of figures. This relationship offers a secure base from which the child explores the world around them. Although all children develop attachments, the quality of the attachments vary greatly and can be measured by how distressed the child becomes when separated and by the child’s response to reunions. Based on the quality of these attachments, securely attached children do much better than insecurely attached children although not all of those do badly.

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