Author

Jared Benware

Date of Award:

2013

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Educational Specialist (EdS)

Department:

Psychology

Advisor/Chair:

Gretchen Gimpel Peacock

Abstract

The attachment of a child and his or her caregiver is a bond that helps tie them together emotionally. The most important principle of attachment theory is the need of a child to develop a relationship with at least one primary caregiver for healthy emotional and social development to occur. The majority of attachment research has focused primarily on mother-child attachment, minimizing fathers' contributions to attachment. The current study examined attachment of both mothers and fathers in two-parent families. Research questions focused on the relationship between mother-child attachment and father-child attachment, the relationship between child temperament and father-child attachment security, and whether the amount of time each parent is away from his/her child predicts attachment security. The participants in this study consisted of 50 sets of parents (100 participants) who had at least one child between the ages of 3-5. The relationship between father-child and mother-child attachment was not significant. Likewise, the relationship between child temperament and parent-child attachment was not significant. Also, parents' time away from their child was not a significant predictor of attachment. Further research is needed with more ethnicities and cultures represented; a more balanced sample of economic classes; mothers who work more hours outside of the home; and the use of more impartial, third party observation measures to assess attachment and child temperament.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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