Skip to main content

Conference on attachment between children and parents to be held at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

May. 6, 2005, 1:50 PM

NASHVILLE, Tenn. ñ The complex issues of attachment between children
and parents will be the topic of an all-day research conference at the
Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development, Thursday,
May 19.

“The conference will cover typical attachment processes as well as
how attachment can be disrupted,” said Patti van Eys, clinical
assistant professor of psychology and human development and co-director
of the Vanderbilt University Center of Excellence for Children in State
Custody, which is co-sponsoring the conference. “The presentations will
be far-ranging, looking not only at behavioral consequences but also
brain development and animal research models of attachment.”

Attachment between children and parents is critical in healthy child
development. It affects learning, control of emotion, mental health and
interpersonal relationships. Attachment can be disrupted by abuse or
neglect, severe depression or substance abuse by caregivers, lack of
continuity in care or other factors that result in developmental

Viola Miller, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Children‘s
Services, will open the conference. Presenters will include Judy L.
Cameron, professor of behavioral neuroscience, Oregon Health and
Science University; Jude Cassidy, professor of developmental
biology-psychology, University of Maryland; Fred Rothbaum, professor of
child development, Tufts University; and
Charles Zeanah Jr., professor of psychiatry and pediatrics, Tulane University.

The conference is free and open to the public. For information, contact Stephanie Comer at 615-322-8240 or

For more Vanderbilt news, visit

Media contact: Melanie Catania, (615) 322-NEWS

Jan Rosemergy, (615) 322-8238