TOPIC: Vulnerable child syndrome (VCS) refers to the combination of the parental view that their child is at increased risk for death despite the child’s objective health and the resulting behavior problems in the child. Although risk factors for the development of the syndrome have been outlined, the variability in the development of VCS has not been explained. PURPOSE: A theoretical explanation for the variability in the development of VCS utilizing Susan Calkins’ model is explored. By considering the development of VCS in light of Calkins’ model, variability may be explained and preventative interventions may be instituted. SOURCES USED: Relevant literature pertaining to child development and VCS was reviewed. CONCLUSIONS: By recognizing the risk of the role that parenting sensitivity plays in the development of VCS, team-based interventions involving a developmental approach may be employed, and the long-term behavioral sequelae of the disorder may be prevented or alleviated.