Longitudinal associations between adult attachment states of mind and parenting quality

Rebecca J. Shlafer, K. Lee Raby, Jamie M. Lawler, Paloma S. Hesemeyer, Glenn I. Roisman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Much of the current evidence regarding the associations between attachment states of mind and parenting quality is based on concurrent or short-term longitudinal studies with samples of adults. Using data from the Minnesota Longitudinal Study of Risk and Adaptation, we examined the predictive significance of the coherence of participants’ discourse during the Adult Attachment Interview, assessed at ages 19 and 26 years, for parenting quality measured using observations (administered when participants’ children were 24 and 42 months old) and interview ratings (collected when parents were 32 years old). Results indicated that associations between AAI coherence and parenting quality varied based on when adult attachment was assessed, as well as when and how parenting quality was assessed. Coherence of mind measured at age 19 years predicted observed supportive parenting when it was assessed when participants were in their late-20s and early-30s, a developmental period when parenting can be conceptualized as a salient developmental task, but not before. In contrast, coherence of mind measured at age 26 years predicted both observed and interview-ratings of supportive parenting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-95
Number of pages13
JournalAttachment and Human Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, © 2014 Taylor & Francis.


  • adult attachment
  • development
  • longitudinal study
  • parenting quality
  • states of mind


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