Early Attachment Network with Mother and Father: An Unsettled Issue

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Infants’ patterns of attachment to their mothers and fathers influence important developmental outcomes. Studies suggest that infants form discordant attachment patterns to mothers and fathers, and stress the importance of assessing infants’ parental attachment relationships to evaluate their integrative effects on how they function later in life. However, such studies are few, based on small samples, and not well-designed longitudinally. Moreover, mixed results on how infants’ attachment patterns to mothers and fathers affect important developmental outcomes have resulted in theoretical inconsistencies regarding the model that best describes the organization of multiple attachment relationships and their effect on later development. In this article, we review research on the unsettled issue of infants’ network of attachment to mothers and fathers, and propose explanatory models that can be tested empirically; the methods we suggest are more robust and innovative than those that have been used traditionally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-121
Number of pages7
JournalChild Development Perspectives
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Authors. Child Development Perspectives © 2017 The Society for Research in Child Development


  • developmental outcomes
  • early attachment network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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