A growing literature connects childhood socio-emotional skills to adult socio-economic outcomes. But what explains differing levels of socio-emotional skills? Current theories consider parental investment and socialisation, but neglect the emotional and relational aspects of parenting. Attachment theory offers a model of the micro-level mechanisms that connect parenting processes and socio-emotional development intergenerationally. It has, however, tended to de-emphasise macro, contextual socio-economic factors. Through an extensive, integrative review of the empirical literature on the effects and antecedents of parent-child attachment, we argue that attachment is a mechanism through which socio-emotional - and socio-economic - (dis)advantages persist.
- Early childhood
- Intergenerational transmission