Dubois-Comtois K, Cyr C, Pascuzzo K, Lessard M. (2013). Attachment theory in clinical work with adolescents. Journal of Child and Adolescent Behavior. 1: 1-8.
Adolescence is a critical period of transformation that can result in the emergence or consolidation of psychopathology. Attachment theory offers a framework for understanding adolescent normative and pathological functioning as well as relevant intervention models that promote the emergence of individual and interpersonal abilities. This article provides a framework for clinicians interested in the therapeutic application of attachment theory with adolescents. It addresses the salient aspects of attachment during the adolescence period and its impact on adolescents’ adaptation and difficulties. The article also provides a brief description of the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI), a method of choice to assess adolescent attachment state of mind. Finally, the clinical application of attachment theory with adolescents is described and supported with clinical vignettes.