Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Educational Specialist (EdS)




Gretchen Gimpel Peacock


Research has found that attachment relationships between parents and children are formed independent of each other and have different outcomes for the child. Very little research regarding parent-child attachment relationships has been done with children who have a disability. This study aimed to learn more about whether differences exist in attachment relationships between mothers and fathers and whether or not the child has a disability. Results indicate that fathers of children with a disability appear to have less secure attachments with their children compared to fathers of typically developing children as well as mothers of children with and without disabilities. It is unclear as to why this may be; however, it is hypothesized that factors such as understanding the child’s needs and being able to engage in highly stimulating play (e.g., throwing child in the air, etc.) may contribute to this finding. Further research is needed to better understand what factors contribute to the development of a secure attachment between the father-child dyad when the child has a disability and why fathers may be experiencing greater difficulty than mothers of children with a disability as well as fathers of typically developing children.



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