Relationship theory in the nursery: attachment and beyond

Sheila Degotardi*, Emma Pearson

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    42 Citations (Scopus)


    Contemporary approaches to early childhood education widely acknowledge that young children's relationships with others play a fundamental role in their learning and development. This article explores the construct of relationships within the context of early childhood infant programmes through an examination of the contribution and applicability of attachment theory to current understandings of the nature and consequences of young children's relationships in these settings. A review of the sociocultural context of relationships, the infants' role in relationship formation, and the nature of peer relationships leads to the proposal that practitioners, policy makers, and researchers need to adopt a wider, more dynamic approach to relationships that includes, but extends beyond, that afforded by attachment theory alone.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)144-155
    Number of pages12
    JournalContemporary Issues in Early Childhood
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


    Dive into the research topics of 'Relationship theory in the nursery: attachment and beyond'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this