Early toddler-parent attachment as a predictor of the quality of children’s friendship in middle childhood
Nika Čermak & Ljubica Marjanovič Umek
Abstract: The central premise of the attachment theory is that attachment security and the model of early child-parent relationship is reflected in the child’s interpersonal relationships across the life span, including his/her friendships. The child-parent relationship at different developmental stages is thus considered one of the most important predictors of social development in children. The present study examined the longitudinal connection between early attachment of toddlers and the quality of their friendships in middle childhood. The sample consisted of 129 toddlers (52% boys), from which 118 participated in the second wave of data collection. Toddler attachment was assessed with Attachment Q-sort at the age of 15 months, while friendship quality at 9 years was assessed using three measures, namely a self-report, observations and a sociometric measure. We found a significant correlation between attachment and observed friendship quality, while attachment was not directly related to self-reported friendship quality and number of reciprocal friendships. Furthermore, we examined links between attachment and friendship quality by proposing a path model. Individual quality of child interaction was found to be a significant mediator of the path from attachment security to later peer competence, as reflected in the number of reciprocal friendships. Significant, but moderate correlations suggest a moderate effect of secure attachment on friendship quality in middle childhood.
Keywords: attachment behavior, friendship, peer relations, psychosocial development, longitudinal studies
Čermak, N., & Marjanovič Umek, L. (2021). Zgodnja navezanost med malčkom in staršem kot napovednik kakovosti prijateljstva otrok v srednjem otroštvu [Early toddler-parent attachment as a predictor of the quality of children’s friendship in middle childhood]. Psihološka obzorja, 30, 1–10. https://doi.org/10.20419/2021.30.525
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