Father Involvement, Paternal Sensitivity, and Father-Child Attachment Security in the First 3 Years

Department of Psychology, Clark University, 950 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01610, USA.
Journal of Family Psychology (Impact Factor: 1.89). 04/2012; 26(3):421-30. DOI: 10.1037/a0027836
Source: PubMed


To reach a greater understanding of the early father-child attachment relationship, this study examined concurrent and longitudinal associations among father involvement, paternal sensitivity, and father-child attachment security at 13 months and 3 years of age. Analyses revealed few associations among these variables at 13 months of age, but involvement and sensitivity independently predicted father-child attachment security at age 3. Moreover, sensitivity moderated the association between involvement and attachment security at 3 years. Specifically, involvement was unrelated to attachment security when fathers were highly sensitive, but positively related to attachment security when fathers were relatively less sensitive. Father involvement was also moderately stable across the two time points, but paternal sensitivity was not. Furthermore, there was significant stability in father-child attachment security from 13 months to 3 years. Secure attachment at 13 months also predicted greater levels of paternal sensitivity at 3 years, with sensitivity at age 3 mediating the association between 13 month and 3 year attachment security. In sum, a secure father-child attachment relationship (a) was related to both quantity and quality of fathering behavior, (b) remained relatively stable across early childhood, and (c) predicted increased paternal sensitivity over time. These findings further our understanding of the correlates of early father-child attachment, and underscore the need to consider multiple domains of fathers' parenting and reciprocal relations between fathering behavior and father-child attachment security.

  • Source
    • " the findings call for replication in larger scale samples . One consequence of the small sample size is that with the subsequent range of appropriate analysis , the findings should be viewed as tentative . It is perhaps worth mentioning that the difficulty of recruiting fathers in research is well documented and was evident in the current study ( Brown et al . , 2012 ; Caldera , 2004 ) . Given a lack of available paternal reports in the current study , it was unfortu - nately not possible to measure father reports of paternal involvement and instead , paternal involvement was rated by mothers alone . An attempt was made to control for the wide range of disagreement between mother and father reports "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Recent re-conceptualisation of paternal involvement (Pleck, J. H. (201049. Pleck, J. H. (2010). Paternal involvement: Revised conceptualization and theoretical linkages with child outcomes. In M. Lamb (Ed.), The role of the father in child development (5th ed., pp. 67–107). London: Wiley.View all references). Paternal involvement: Revised conceptualization and theoretical linkages with child outcomes. In M. Lamb (Ed.), The role of the father in child development (5th ed., pp. 67–107). London: Wiley), while proving fruitful, has yet to be applied to investigations into what extent a father's level of involvement may affect child–peer interactions in the preschool age range, over and above the effects of mother–child attachment quality and socio-economic status (SES). Patterns of associations between attachment quality, sensitivity and general caregiving behaviours have also yet to be compared in equally involved mothers and fathers. Thirty preschool children (17 males:13 females) with similar SES profiles and their immediate caregivers participated in hour-long observations, conducted in the home. Even when attachment quality was controlled for, children with low paternal involvement were found to have higher levels of child–peer aggression. Further, patterns of effects between caregiver sensitivity, child–caregiver attachment quality and general caregiver interactions were similar for equally involved mothers and fathers. These preliminary data support the concept of applying Pleck's (201049. Pleck, J. H. (2010). Paternal involvement: Revised conceptualization and theoretical linkages with child outcomes. In M. Lamb (Ed.), The role of the father in child development (5th ed., pp. 67–107). London: Wiley.View all references) re-conceptualisation of paternal involvement to preschool attachment, and have implications towards the wider study of child–father attachment. Limitations of the current study and directions for future research are discussed.
    Early Child Development and Care 12/2014; 185(4):1-13. DOI:10.1080/03004430.2014.944907
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Despite a dramatic increase of single parenthood during the past decades, parent-child transmission of attachment has almost always been examined in intact families. A first objective of the current study was to examine child attachment in the context of single parenthood, both maternal and paternal. A second objective was to investigate intergenerational transmission of attachment in single parent-child dyads, compared with that observed in two-parent families. The samples consisted of 50 married couples and 43 single parents (22 mothers and 21 fathers), along with their 3- to 6-year-old children. Parental and child attachment representations were measured, respectively, with the Adult Attachment Interview and the Attachment Story Completion Task. Findings suggested that single parenthood per se was not linked to more insecure or disorganized child attachment representations. However, when the father was the sole caregiver, children exhibited more disorganized representations. Different patterns of mother-child associations were found according to family structure: associations were significant among married families but not among single-mother families. Results also replicated those of previous studies in finding a nonsignificant father-child association in two-parent families and a significant one in single-father families, specifically with respect to hyperactivation. Further research is needed to clarify whether the differences found are attributable to different circumstances leading to single parenthood for men and women, or to parental gender itself. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
    Journal of Family Psychology 08/2012; 26(5):784-92. DOI:10.1037/a0029627 · 1.89 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study was designed to examine connections among father beliefs, perceptions, context, and involvement, and school-aged children's attachment and school outcomes in the U.S. and Taiwan (n = 274 father-child dyads). Fathers completed questionnaires regarding their family demographics, education-related beliefs, perceptions, and involvement, and children's school achievement. Children completed a pictorial measure of attachment and standardized socio-emotional assessments. Father involvement was related to father beliefs and perceptions and to children's attachment-related secure exploration. Children's positive and negative school outcomes were related to father beliefs, perceptions, involvement, and children's attachment. School outcomes were uniquely predicted from nationality, attachment, father-teacher relationship quality, and fathers' beliefs about teachers, motivation for involvement, perceptions of invitations for involvement, efficacy, and school-based involvement, as well as from family income and mother involvement. Results are discussed in the context of "relationship-focused" education.
    Fathering A Journal of Theory Research and Practice about Men as Fathers 04/2013; 11(1):3-30. DOI:10.3149/fth.1101.3
Show more