Attachment disorder: Validating a questionnaire based on DSM-5



Monette S, Terradas MM, Boudreault MY, Carrier A, Ruest-Bélanger A, Robert A, Archambault M, Cyr C, Couture S. (2018). Attachment disorder: Validating a questionnaire based on DSM-5. Enfance. 4(4): 511-532.


A review of the scientific literature shows a lack of valid tools for the assessment of reactive attachment disorder (RAD) and disinhibited social engagement disorder (DSED), two diagnostic entities usually grouped under the term “attachment disorders” (AD). The objective of this study is to validate the short form of the Early TRAuma-related Disorders Questionnaire (ETRAD-Q-SF), an instrument specifically developed to assess AD based on the diagnostic criteria of the last edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association; APA, 2013). Caregivers (n = 145) of children aged 5 to 12 years-old from the general population, adopted or in foster care, with or without a diagnosis of AD, completed a sociodemographic questionnaire, the ETRAD-Q, and the Relationship Problem Questionnaire (RQP; Minnis, Rabe-Hesketh, & Wolkind, 2002; Vervoort et al., 2013), another instrument measuring AD. Exploratory factor analysis of the ETRAD-Q-SF shows that items are grouped under two factors (RAD and DSED) that are moderately correlated. The two scales of ETRAD-Q-SF show excellent internal consistency and correlate in the expected ways with those of the RQP. Adopted or foster-care children with a diagnosis of AD have higher scores on both ETRAD-Q-SF scales than those without diagnosis of AD. These two groups also have higher scores on both ETRAD-Q-SF scales than children from the general population. These results support the fidelity, the factorial validity, and the convergent validity of the ETRAD-Q-SF.