ABSTRACT

Introduction Parenting behaviours and parent-child relationships are thought of as important factors in children's development. One of the most comprehensive perspectives on parent-child relationships is the Bowlby/Ainsworth attachment paradigm (e.g. Ainsworth, 1973; Bowlby, 1973, 1980). Attachment theory distinguishes between secure and insecure attachments children form with their parents. The quality of this relationship finds its origin in the parents ' responsiveness and availability to the child's signals, an assertion supported by a meta-analysis of 66 studies (De Wolff & van IJzendoom, 1997). A secure attachment encourages the child to pursue exploration of the environment, and supports the development of social and cognitive competence while enhancing the child 's self-worth (Ainsworth & Bowlby, 1991; Sroufe , Egeland, Carlson, & Collins , 2005) . On the other hand, an insecure attachment, as the result of a disruptive affection bond, promotes the development of less optimal behaviours such as aggression, dependency and impulse control problems (Simons, Patemite, & Shore, 2001) .