Children’s emotion understanding in relation to attachment to mother and father

Lamprini Psychogiou, Selina Nath, Angeliki Kallitsoglou, Konstantinos Dimatis, Elizabeth Parry, Abigail Russell, Merve Yilmaz, Willem Kuyken, Nickolas Moberly

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Although attachment plays a key role in children's socio‐emotional development, little attention has been paid to the role of children's attachment to their father. This study examined whether insecure attachment to each parent was associated with reduced emotion understanding in children and whether children showed consistent attachments to their mother and father. We measured children's attachment to each parent using the Manchester Child Attachment Story Task and child emotion understanding using the Test of Emotion Comprehension (children's Mage = 5.64 years, SD = 0.84). The results indicated that insecure father–child attachment and insecure mother–child attachment were each associated with lower emotion understanding in children after controlling for parent's depressive symptoms and children's age. There was significant concordance of child attachment to mother and father. The findings provide support for convergence of children's attachment across parents and suggest that father–child attachment is an important factor to consider when examining children's emotion understanding.

© 2018, The British Psychological Society. The attached document (embargoed until 02/03/2019) is an author produced version of a paper published in the British Journal of Developmental Psychology uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self- archiving policy. The final published version (version of record) is available online at the link below. Some minor differences between this version and the final published version may remain. We suggest you refer to the final published version should you wish to cite from it.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Developmental Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2018

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