Early attachment networks to multiple caregivers: History, assessment models, and future research recommendations

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Early attachment has been commonly hypothesized to predict children's future developmental outcomes, and robust evidence relying on assessments of single caregiver-child attachment patterns has corroborated this hypothesis. Nevertheless, most often children are raised by multiple caregivers, and they tend to form attachment bonds with more than one of them. In this paper, we briefly describe the conceptual and empirical roots underlying the notion of attachment networks to multiple caregivers. We detail potential reasons for research focusing on a single caregiver (most often mothers, but recently also fathers) and the historical attempts to establish a more ecologically valid assessment of attachment to multiple caregivers. Finally, we describe a recently developed organizational framework that includes testable models on which future research may rely for assessing the predictive power of attachment networks to multiple caregivers on children's developmental outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-19
Number of pages11
JournalNew Directions for Child and Adolescent Development
Volume2021
Issue number180
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Wiley Periodicals LLC.

Keywords

  • attachment
  • caregiver
  • child
  • father
  • mother
  • network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Psychology

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