ABSTRACT

Introduction Much of Bowlby's discourse on the importance of attachment relationships for children was focused on the child's primary caregiver - typically the child's mother. However, he also discussed the fact that children tend to form attachment relationships with fathers as well (Bowlby, 1988). Indeed, the literature suggests that children do form attachments with their fathers, and that father-child attachment relationships are also important for children's development (Lamb, 2002; van IJzendoom & De Wolff, 1997). Furthermore, an abundance of research outside the field of attachment suggests the importance of fathers for different aspects of children's development including academic achievement and socioemotional functioning (Howard, Lefever, Borkowski, & Whitman, 2006; Roopnarine, Krishnakumar, Metindogan, & Evans, 2006; Tamis-LeMonda & Cabrera, 2002). Given our limited understanding of father-child attachment processes, the current study aims to examine whether fathers' self-reported attachment styles are related to father-child attachment security among a diverse sample of fathers. Furthermore, the role of parenting beliefs in mediating the relationship between adult attachment and child attachment will be explored.