Pleasure in parenting and father-child attachment security.Attach Hum Dev. 2020 02; 22(1):51-65.AH
This study examined relations between father-child attachment security and both paternal sensitivity and fathers' pleasure in parenting. At 12 months of age sensitivity was coded from father-infant interactions and pleasure in parenting was coded from fathers' interviews assessing attitudes toward the parenting role. Father-child dyads participated in the Strange Situation Procedure assessing attachment relationship quality. Sensitivity was related to more pleasure in parenting, but neither variable alone predicted attachment security. However, pleasure in parenting moderated the association between sensitivity and attachment. Moreover, the concordance between sensitivity and pleasure in parenting differed markedly across attachment classifications. In secure relationships fathers showed strong concordance between sensitivity and pleasure in parenting. Fathers in avoidant relationships demonstrated high sensitivity coupled with low pleasure in parenting, whereas fathers in disorganized relationships showed low sensitivity coupled with high pleasure in parenting. Results speak to the importance of integrating cognitive, affective, and behavioral aspects of parenting in father-child attachment research.