Attachment Relationship Quality With Mothers and Fathers and Child Temperament: An Individual Participant Data Meta-Analysis

Or Dagan, Carlo Schuengel, Marije L. Verhage, Sheri Madigan, Glenn I. Roisman, Marinus Van IJzendoorn, Marian Bakermans-Kranenburg, Robbie Duschinsky, Abraham Sagi-Schwartz, Jean François Bureau, Rina D. Eiden, Brenda L. Volling, Maria S. Wong, Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan, Ora Aviezer, Geoffrey L. Brown, Julie Reiker, Sarah Mangelsdorf, R. M.Pasco Fearon, Kristin BernardMirjam Oosterman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A growing body of research suggests that, compared with single parent–child attachment relationships, child developmental outcomes may be better understood by examining the configurations of child–mother and child–father attachment relationships (i.e., attachment networks). Moreover, some studies have demonstrated an above-chance level chance of concordance between the quality of child–mother and child–father attachment relationships, and child temperament has been offered as a plausible explanation for such concordance. To assess whether temperament plays a role in the development of different attachment network configurations, in this preregistered individual participant data meta-analysis we tested the degree to which the temperament dimension of negative emotionality predicts the number of secure, insecure-avoidant, insecure-resistant, and disorganized attachment relationships a child has with mother and father. Data included in the linear mixed effects analyses were collected from seven studies sampling 872 children (49% female; 83% White). Negative emotionality significantly predicted the number of secure (d = −0.12) and insecure-resistant (d = 0.11), but not insecure-avoidant (d = 0.04) or disorganized (d = 0.08) attachment relationships. Nonpreregistered exploratory analyses indicated higher negative emotionality in children with insecure-resistant attachment relationships with both parents compared to those with one or none (d = 0.19), suggesting that temperament plays a small yet significant role in child–mother/child–father insecure-resistant attachment relationships concordance. Taken together, results from this study prompt a more in-depth examination of the mechanism underlying the small yet significantly higher chance that children with increased negative emotionality have for developing multiple insecure-resistant attachment relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalDevelopmental psychology
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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