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Parent-child attachment as a mechanism of intergenerational (dis)advantage

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-284
Number of pages20
JournalFamilies, Relationships and Societies
Issue number2
Early online date6 Oct 2017
DateAccepted/In press - 15 Aug 2017
DateE-pub ahead of print - 6 Oct 2017
DatePublished (current) - 1 Jul 2018


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.

    Research areas

  • Attachment, Early childhood, Intergenerational transmission, Non-cognitive, Parenting, Socio-emotional

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    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Policy Press at . Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 541 KB, PDF document


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