Lindstedt, J., Korja, R., Vilja, S., & Ahlqvist-Björkroth, S. (2021). Fathers’ prenatal attachment representations and the quality of father–child interaction in infancy and toddlerhood. Journal of Family Psychology, 35(4), 478–488.


Despite the strong evidence that fathers have a crucial role in child well-being, very little is known about the development of the father–child relationship from prenatal to postnatal period. In this longitudinal study, the fathers’ prenatal attachment representations (n = 129), between 29 and 32 gestational weeks, were assessed with the Working Model of Child Interview, and the father–child interaction was analyzed with the Parent-Child Early Relational Assessment at 4 and 18 months after the birth. The results showed that fathers’ prenatal balanced attachment representations were associated with more positive paternal behaviors compared to fathers with disengaged attachment representations when the child was 4 months old, but not when the child was 18 months old. In addition, positive changes occurred in the interaction quality between 4 and 18 months in all three groups of representation categories (balanced, disengaged, distorted), which offers an optimistic view of the evolving nature of the father–child relationship. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

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