Role of the father

  • Created by: mayono1
  • Created on: 18-05-19 20:32

Outline and evaluate the role of the father (attachment figures) [16 marks]

AO1 -

Traditionally we thought in terms of mother-infant attachment. Schaffer and Emerson (1964) found that the majority of babies did become attached to their mother first and within a few weeks or months formed secondary attachments to other family members, including the father. In 75% of the infants studied, an attachment was formed with their father by the age of 18 months. This was determined by the fact that the infants protested when their fathers walked away.

Grossman (2002) carried out a longitudinal study looking at both parents’ behaviour and its relationship to the quality of children’s attachment into their teens. Quality of infant attachment with mothers but not fathers was related to child’s attachments in adolescent suggesting that father attachment was less important. However, the quality of fathers’ play with infants was related to the quality of adolescent attachments. This suggests that fathers have a different role in attachment - one that is more to do with play and stimulation, and less to do with nurturing.

There is some evidence to suggest that when fathers do take on the role of being the main caregiver they adopt behaviours more typical


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