Parents’ attachment representations and child–parent attachment have been shown to be associated, but these associations vary across populations (Verhage et al., 2016). The current study examined whether ecological factors may explain variability in the strength of intergenerational transmission of attachment, using individual participant data (IPD) meta-analysis. Analyses on 4,396 parent–child dyads (58 studies, child age 11–96 months) revealed a combined effect size of r =.29. IPD meta-analyses revealed that effect sizes for the transmission of autonomous-secure representations to secure attachments were weaker under risk conditions and weaker in adolescent parent–child dyads, whereas transmission was stronger for older children. Findings support the ecological constraints hypothesis on attachment transmission. Implications for attachment theory and the use of IPD meta-analysis are discussed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by a grant from Stichting tot Steun Nederland to Mirjam Oosterman and Carlo Schuengel and a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Canada (grant number 430-2015-00989) to Sheri Madigan. We are also grateful for the financial support that enabled researchers to carry out the original studies of which the data are included in this work. None of the authors have any conflicts of interest to disclose.
© 2018 The Authors. Child Development published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for Research in Child Development.