Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Father and child, Attachment behavior, Parenting, Adjustment (Psychology) in children, Mexican Americans-Psychology, Father attachment, Parenting behaviors, Child outcomes, Mexican American, Caucasian American


This study explored how fathers' attachment in close relationships (as measured by three dimensions--(a) comfort with dependency, (b) comfort with closeness, and (c) relationship anxiety) relates to their observed parenting behaviors, and how the fathers' attachment dimensions are related to their children's adjustment outcomes. Differences in attachment dimensions between Mexican American and Caucasian fathers were also explored. The sample included in the analysis was a subset from the Supporting Father Involvement study based in California. Participants were ninety fathers, predominantly low-income, with two thirds Mexican American and approximately one fourth European American. The findings indicated that fathers' attachment was related to child adjustment outcomes. Fathers' lower anxiety, higher comfort with dependency, and higher comfort with closeness were associated with higher child adjustment. Higher anxiety, lower comfort with dependency, and lower comfort with closeness were associated with poorer child adjustment. Fathers' attachment was not associated with parenting behaviors, and no relationship was found between fathers' parenting behaviors and child adjustment outcomes. Fathers' attachment dimensions did not vary based on ethnicity; however, Limit Setting/Expectations were marginally higher for Caucasian fathers than Mexican American fathers. Further examination of these relationships is detailed and the importance of including factors such as the co-parental relationship and marital quality in future studies is emphasized.




v, 44 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2011. Includes bibliographical references (p. 36-44)