Attachment disorders : an evolutionary perspective

Minnis, H. and Reekie, J. and Young, D. and Gray, A. and O'Connor, T. and Ronald, A. and Plomin, R. (2007) Attachment disorders : an evolutionary perspective. British Journal of Psychiatry, 191 (5). p. 460. ISSN 0007-1250 (

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We were interested to read Dr O’Connell’s response to our paper. Unfortunately we did not have space to do justice to a discussion of reactive attachment disorder from an evolutionary point of view, although we agree that this is an important theoretical perspective. Dr Minnis first became interested in reactive attachment disorder when working as an orphanage doctor in Guatemala. Most of the children there displayed symptoms of the disinhibited form of the disorder and it seemed clear that these behaviours were adaptive in a setting where primary attachment figures were lacking. We have touched on the maintenance of these behaviours from an evolutionary perspective in a previous paper (Minnis et al, 2006).


Minnis, H., Reekie, J., Young, D. ORCID logoORCID:, Gray, A., O'Connor, T., Ronald, A. and Plomin, R.;