Maternal Adult Attachment Styles and Mother-Child Transmissions of Social Skills and Self-Esteem

Timothy Curran, Utah State University
Diana Jill Meter, Utah State University
Anastacia Janovec, University of Georgia
Evin Brown, Utah State University
Sarah Caban, University of Georgia


Grounded in principles of attachment theory and social learning theory, the goal of this study was to investigate how maternal attachment styles relate to both parent and child psychosocial outcomes. Specifically, we examined maternal self-esteem and social skills as mediators in the relationship between maternal adult attachment styles and child social skills and self-esteem. Data were collected from 229 (N = 458) mother–child dyads who completed measures on attachment styles, social skills, and self-esteem. The results showed significant indirect effects from maternal secure and preoccupied attachments to child social skills via mother social skills. The results also showed an indirect link from maternal secure attachment to child self-esteem through mother self-esteem.