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1. A psychiatric disorder of children characterized by lack of emotional responsiveness especially to caregivers and by frequent negative emotions such as fear and sadness, caused by emotional neglect or other conditions preventing formation of secure attachment to a caregiver early in life. Also called reactive attachment disorder.
2. Any of various other disorders characterized by difficulty forming healthy attachments.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.