Multiple attachments and the role of the father

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It is difficult to draw conclusions from research into the role of the father because different research studies take a different focus, e.g. whether the children are in two-parent or one-parent households. This means it is difficult to draw any conclusions over the role of the father as research is so varied. Even when differences are found, they may be small.

Traditionally, fathers were seen to play a minor role in parenting and research reflected this.

In Schaffer and Emersons study, only 3% of the infants had their father as their first attachment, but fathers were the first joint attachment in nearly a third of the babies.

Society has changed a lot, fathers today are much more likely to be involved with their babies than skilled working class fathers.

Evidence to suggest that mothers typically adopt more of a caregiver tole and fathers more of a playmate role:

LAMB (1977) - observed…


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