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Children and young people who are adopted from care, in care, or at risk of going into care are at higher risk of attachment difficulties and disorders. This may increase the likelihood of mental health conditions and poor emotional regulation. GPs play a role in managing this risk in the community in conjunction with a multi-disciplinary team and supporting referrals to secondary care. However, many GPs are unfamiliar with the terminology of attachment difficulties, attachment disorders, secure attachment and insecure attachment. This article aims to explain these terms and provide an update for GPs on the implications of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines on child attachment, which focuses on looked after children.

Original publication




Journal article


InnovAiT: Education and inspiration for general practice


SAGE Publications

Publication Date





173 - 179