Attachment disorder is the term used to describe disorders of mood, behavior, and social relationships that are the result of a young child's (less than three years) failure to develop normal attachments to caregivers. Typically this is a result of unusual early experiences of neglect, abuse, or abrupt separation from caregivers between 6 months and three years of age.
This can also be the result of frequent change or excessive numbers of caregivers, or lack of caregiver responsiveness to child communicative efforts. A common result of this lack of attachment is a failure to trust. The most severe manifestation of the disorder is called reactive attachment disorder (hyperlink), a frequently destructive disorder.