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Attachment Patterns in Children and Adolescents With Gender Dysphoria

About the Course

The current study examines patterns of attachment/self-protective strategies and rates of unresolved loss/trauma in children and adolescents presenting to a multidisciplinary gender service. Fifty-seven children and adolescents (8.42–15.92 years; 24 birth-assigned males and 33 birth-assigned females) presenting with gender dysphoria participated in structured attachment interviews coded using dynamic-maturational model (DMM) discourse analysis. The children with gender dysphoria were compared to age- and sex-matched children from the community (non-clinical group) and a group of school-age children with mixed psychiatric disorders (mixed psychiatric group). Information about adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), mental health diagnoses, and global level of functioning was also collected. Results indicate that akin to children with other forms of psychological distress, children with gender dysphoria present in the context of multiple interacting risk factors that include at-risk attachment, unresolved loss/trauma, family conflict and loss of family cohesion, and exposure to multiple ACEs.

This course is based on the reading-based online article, Attachment Patterns in Children and Adolescents With Gender Dysphoria created by Kasia Kozlowska, PhD., et al. in 2021.

Publication Date:

Frontier Psychology 11:582688 Jan 2021

Course Material Authors

Course Material Authors authored the material only, and were not involved in creating this CE course. They are identified here for your own evaluation of the relevancy of the material this course is based on.

Kasia Kozlowska, PhD.

Dr. Kasia Kozlowska is a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Australia, a Clinical Associate Professor in the Disciplines of Psychiatry and of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Sydney Medical School, and a clinical researcher at The Brain Dynamics Centre, Westmead, Australia. Her interests include the treatment of children with somatic symptoms and their families, the integration of attachment assessments and systems thinking into clinical practice, and the neurobiology of the fear cascade.

Catherine Chudleigh

Catherine Chudleigh is a research psychologist at the University of Sydney and is affiliated with The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Australia. Her top areas of expertise are Hyperventilation, Conversion Disorder, Absence Seizure, and Generalized Tonic-Clonic Seizure.

Georgia McClure, PhD.

Georgia McClure holds an Honours degree in psychology from Macquarie University and a combined Doctorate of Clinical Psychology/ Masters of Science from the University of Sydney and is an Associate Member of the Australian Clinical Psychology Association (ACPA). She has experience working with individuals across the lifespan and has worked with individuals to provide comprehensive assessment and treatment for depression, anxiety, relationship problems, emotion regulation and illness/health concerns. She is particularly interested in child, adolescent and family therapy.

Course Creator

Elizabeth Mosco, Ph.D., PMH-C, CPLC

Elizabeth Mosco, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in Reno, NV. She opened a private practice after 10 years of conducting home-based assessment and therapy with the VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System. Dr. Mosco’s clinical interests include maternal mental health, older adults, and third wave cognitive behavioral therapies.

Recommended For:

Counselors, marriage and family therapists, psychologists and social workers. This course is appropriate for all levels of knowledge.

Course Objectives:

After taking this course, you should be able to:

  1. Describe the Dynamic-Maturational Model of Attachment and Adaptation.
  2. List at least 3 psychiatric diagnoses and/or adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) associated with children with gender dysphoria.
  3. Compare at-risk attachment patterns in children with gender dysphoria with clinical and non-clinical age and sex-matched children.

Disclosure to Learners

Disclosure of Relevant Financial Relationships

CE Learning Systems adheres to the ACCME's Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Medical Education. Any individuals in a position to control the content of a CE activity – including faculty, planners, reviewers, or others ― are required to disclose all relevant financial relationships with ineligible entities (formerly known as commercial interests).

The following relevant financial relationships have been disclosed by this activity's planners, faculty, and the reviewer:

Planners and Reviewers

The planners of this activity have reported that they have no relevant financial relationships.

Commercial support

There is no commercial support for this distance-learning course.

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Course Number 103165
2 CE credit hours
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  • Reading-Based Online
Exam Fee $11.94
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