Date of Award


Degree Type


First Advisor

Dr. Patricia Whitfield

Second Advisor

Dr. Stephen Keith

Third Advisor

Dr. Edna Allen Bledsoe


This study examined the perceptions of parents, group leaders, and students to see if the students displayed symptoms of attachment disorders. Fifty-three students, twenty-seven parents, and twelve group leaders from a private school participated. Subjects completed a Likert type scale survey including seventeen symptoms of attachment disorders. Subjects were required to answer the extent to which each symptom applied to the student ( eg; very little to very much). Correlational studies of each question and descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data. Significant correlations were found for question numbers 5 ( cruelty to animals), 7 (hyperactivity), 9 ( does not tink of consequences), 10 (Lack of conscience), 11 ( Abnormal eating), and 16 (inappropriately demanding), among students, group leader, and parents. Professionals who work with Attachment Disorder suggest that if specific characteristics (superficially engaging and charming, unaffectionate on parental terms, lying about the obvious, lack of cause and etfoct thinking, lack of conscience) are more prevalent, the child is more likely to have Attachment Disorder. Three of the characteristics ( 18%) found significant in this study match the characteristics considered more prevalent by researchers (lying about the obvious, lack of cause and effect thinking, lack of conscience). The exact percentage of students with Attachment Disorders in the general population can not be determined, because it is not a direct medical diagnosis. With the information found it can be determined that there are very few students who display all of the symptoms of attachment disorder in this population of emotionally disabled students.

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