Because the behavior of children with attachment disorder* often appears similar to (and is often misdiagnosed as) conduct order, oppositional-defiant disorder, and/or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, it is important to be able to distinguish those children whose behavior problems indicate the presence of attachment disorder from those who have other disorders. Up until February 1997, the primary tool used to assess and diagnose attachment disorder has been the Symptom Checklist, developed at Evergreen Consultants, or one of its variations. The Checklist was developed to describe the symptoms that therapists had observed when treating children with attachment disorder. However, no research had ever been conducted to determine the reliability or validity of The Symptoms Checklist, and its items.
*The term "attachment disorder" as it is used here, is different from the DSM-IV diagnosis of "Reactive Attachment Disorder".
The RADQ was designed to be used by psychotherapists and school personnel to assist in identifying and diagnosing attachment disorder in children between the ages of 5 and 18 years. It can be routinely used as a screening tool to identify whether or not the behavior problems a child has are consistent with the presence of attachment disorder. In addition it distinguishes children with attachment disorder from those with conduct disorder or other psychiatric disorders. A child
's score on the RADQ can be used to estimate the severity of his/her attachment disorder, and may indicate whether the child experiences an anxious, avoidant, or ambivalent type of attachment disorder.
The RADQ was developed by Liz Randolph, Ph.D. over years of research with a large sample group. Dr. Randolph joined The Institute for Attachment & Child Development in publishing this tool and offers it to the field at a modest cost as compared to other assessment tools. Dr. Randolph and The Institute for Attachment & Child Development are committed to further research to validate the Attachment Disorder Diagnosis and its treatment. The Scoring Manual and Scoring Sheets can be found in the Bibliography and Book Order sections of this web site and orders are processed through The Institute for Attachment & Child Development.