Examining ecological constraints on the intergenerational transmission of attachment via individual participant data meta-analysis

Marije L. Verhage*, R. M. Pasco Fearon, Marinus H. van IJzendoorn, Marian J. Bakermans-Kranenburg, Sheri Madigan, Glenn I. Roisman, Mirjam Oosterman, Kazuko Y. Behrens, Maria S. Wong, Sarah Mangelsdorf, Lynn E. Priddis, Karl-Heinz Brisch, The Collaboration on Attachment Transmission Synthesis

*Corresponding author for this work

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    Abstract

    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.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2023-2037
    Number of pages15
    JournalChild Development
    Volume89
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018

    Bibliographical note

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