Attachment and Temperament in the Early Life Course: A Meta-Analytic Review

Ashley M. Groh*, Angela J. Narayan, Marian J. Bakermans-Kranenburg, Glenn I. Roisman, Brian E. Vaughn, R. M.Pasco Fearon, Marinus H. van IJzendoorn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)770-795
Number of pages26
JournalChild Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Attachment and Temperament in the Early Life Course: A Meta-Analytic Review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this