Early mother–child attachment and behavior problems in middle childhood: the role of the subsequent caregiving environment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The current study investigated associations between early mother–child attachment, as well as mother–child and teacher–child relationships, and internalizing and externalizing behaviors in middle childhood. Data from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development were used. Findings from a series of individual growth curve analyses revealed that attachment security was negatively related to internalizing and externalizing behaviors, while insecure/other and avoidant attachment were positively related to internalizing behaviors. In addition, longitudinal associations were found between mother–child and teacher–child relationships and internalizing and externalizing behaviors across middle childhood. Implications for attachment theory are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)590-612
Number of pages23
JournalAttachment and Human Development
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2 2014



  • behaviors
  • middle childhood
  • mother–child attachment
  • mother–child relationships
  • teacher–child relationships

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this