Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Psychology


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Lis Pike


The following paper examines the literature on attachment and children in foster care to form the foundation for a study of the effects of attachment and visitation on the behavioural problems of these children. It begins with an overview of the area of attachment, focusing on the work of Bowlby, Ainsworth, and Main. Cicchetti and colleagues extensive research on attachment in maltreated school aged children is reviewed. The mental health imp1ications for maltreated children are discussed. The section on foster care gives an overview of the area including demographics and practices. Attachment theory has led to development of current practices that emphasise the important role that natural parents need to continue to play when their child is placed in foster care. The ways in which contact has been shown to assist children with identify formation, improved psychological health and increasing the chances of reunification, is discussed.