Correlates of self-reported attachment (in)security in children: the role of parental attachment status and rearing behaviors.

J. Roelofs*, C. Meesters, P. Muris

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We investigated the influence of self-reported parental romantic attachment status and rearing behaviors on children's self-reported attachment (in) security towards father and mother in a sample of 237 non-clinical children aged 9-12. All children and their parents completed a single-item measure of attachment style. The parents further completed an index of their authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive rearing behaviors. Results showed that the attachment status of the father was significantly related to the child's attachment style to the father. Further, children who portray themselves as insecurely attached to their fathers have fathers with lower average authoritative scores compared to children who are securely attached to their fathers. In examining the relative contribution of attachment style and rearing behaviors of the parents, insecure attachment status of the father was still significantly related to insecure attachment style of the child but the effect of authoritative rearing behaviors of the father on attachment (in) security of children was not statistically significant anymore. Altogether, these results support the notion that attachment status of the father was most substantially associated with self-reported insecure attachment of children.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-566
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008

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