Attachment and Temperament in the Early Life Course: A Meta-Analytic Review

Ashley M. Groh, Angela J. Narayan, Marian J. Bakermans-Kranenburg, Glenn I. Roisman, Brian E. Vaughn, R. M.Pasco Fearon, Marinus H. van IJzendoorn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


This meta-analytic review examines the association between early attachment (assessed at 1–5 years) and child temperament (assessed at birth–12 years), and compares the strength of this association with recently documented meta-analytic associations between early attachment and social competence, externalizing behavior, and internalizing symptoms. Based on 109 independent samples (N = 11,440) of diverse socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds, temperament was weakly associated with attachment (in)security (d =.14, CI [0.08, 0.19]) but modestly associated with resistant attachment (d =.30, CI [0.21, 0.40]). Temperament was not significantly associated with avoidant (d =.10, CI [−0.02, 0.19]) or disorganized (d =.11, CI [−0.03, 0.25]) attachment. Across developmental domains, early attachment security was more strongly associated with social competence and externalizing behaviors than internalizing symptoms and temperament.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)770-795
Number of pages26
JournalChild development
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Authors. Child Development © 2016 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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