ABSTRACT

Since the 1970s, attachment theory has guided research on parenting and child outcomes (Grossmann, Grossmann, Kindler, & Zimmermann, 2008). Studies indicate that parenting practices, including prompt, sensitive, and developmentally appropriate care-giving, promote children's attachment security, as indicated by children's proximity seeking and secure base behaviour (Ainsworth, Blehar, Waters, & Wall, 1978; Bowlby, 1969/1982; De Wolff & van IJzendoom, 1997). Numerous studies have documented relations amongst mothering dimensions and individual differences in child attachment (see Cassidy & Shaver, 1999 for a review), but results from studies with fathers are less straightforward (see van IJzendoom & De Wolff, 1997 metaanalytic review, and Grossmann et aI., 2002) . Indeed, "antecedents and correlates of infant-father attachment security are different from correlates of infant-mother security" (Grossmann et aI., 2008, p. 860), with correlations between fathering quality and infant attachment security generally lower than those between mothering and

security (Belsky & Pasco Fearon , 2008) . As interest in fathers increases, some researchers have focused more specifically on how child-father attachment is conceptualised and assessed across developmental periods. Current studies have identified predictors of child-father attachment security (e.g. Brown, McBride, Shin, & Bost, 2007) at multiple contextual levels, including the individual level (i.e. fathers' own internal working models (lWMs) and use of social support, see Grossmann et a\., 2002; Newland, Coyl, & Freeman, 2008) and the broader cultural level (e.g. Richaud de Minzi, 2006; Roopnarine, Krishnakumar, Metindogan, & Evans, 2006). Both cultural and fathering practices may affect attachment security with fathers, as well as children's academic, social and emotional development.