Child-parent attachment and children's peer relations: a quantitative review

Dev Psychol. 2001 Jan;37(1):86-100.


The central premise of attachment theory is that the security of the early child-parent bond is reflected in the child's interpersonal relationships across the life span. This meta-analysis was based on 63 studies that reported correlations between child-parent attachment and children's peer relations. The overall effect size (ES) for child-mother attachment was in the small-to-moderate range and was quite homogeneous. ESs were similar in studies that featured the Strange Situation and Q-sort methods. The effects were larger for peer relations in middle childhood and adolescence than for peer relations in early childhood. ESs were also higher for studies that focused on children's close friendships rather than on relations with other peers. Gender and cultural differences in ESs were minimal. The results for the few studies on father-child attachment were inconclusive.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Father-Child Relations
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Mother-Child Relations
  • Object Attachment*
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Peer Group*