Trauma & Attachment


The family in which the child grows up provides the primary context within which children have their first experiences. Problems within the family or problems between the main caregiver and the child can stand in the way of optimal development.


Attachment Style

Children can be insecurely attached which means they have an ambivalent or avoidant attachment style. If a child has had an unpredictable and inconsistent relationship with the caregiver, he/she may develop a disorganised attachment style. What we refer to as attachment traumas may play a role in this regard. A child that is insecurely attached or disorganised attached, has a greater chance of developing psychopathology. The child may have, for example, problems regulating his/her emotions, have low self-esteem or difficulties in establishing contacts or relationships with important others.


Trauma & Attachment

The Trauma and Attachment research programme includes studies that focus on the attachment between caregiver and child as well as the primary upbringing context, which is the family. The main focus within this programme is on applied research. Research is being carried out to determine the underlying processes that play a role when a child is abused. In addition, we are researching the effects of a new type of treatment for foster care and we are also researching effective factors within the treatment of families.



As part of the Trauma and Attachment research, a collaboration has begun called ConsenseP. This is a collaboration between a number of foster care organisations and scientific institutions in the area of trauma, attachment and foster care. Scientific initiatives have been incorporated within this network and it also provides a platform for the exchange of expertise.