This meta-analytic review examines the association between early attachment (assessed at 1-5 years) and child temperament (assessed at birth-12 years), and compares the strength of this association with recently documented meta-analytic associations between early attachment and social competence, externalizing behavior, and internalizing symptoms. Based on 109 independent samples (N = 11,440) of diverse socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds, temperament was weakly associated with attachment (in)security (d = .14, CI [0.08, 0.19]) but modestly associated with resistant attachment (d = .30, CI [0.21, 0.40]). Temperament was not significantly associated with avoidant (d = .10, CI [-0.02, 0.19]) or disorganized (d = .11, CI [-0.03, 0.25]) attachment. Across developmental domains, early attachment security was more strongly associated with social competence and externalizing behaviors than internalizing symptoms and temperament.
© 2016 The Authors. Child Development © 2016 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.