The relationship between adult attachment and co-parenting and parent-child relationship in Chinese parents
This study uses the Actor-Partner Interdependent Model to explore father’s and mother’s adult attachment related to their own (actor effects) and the partners’ (partner effects) co-parenting and parent-child relationships, respectively. Methods: Participants were from a cross-sectional sample of 1313 Chinese heterosexual married couples (fathers’ mean age = 39.74, SD = 5.61; mothers’ mean age = 37.55, SD = 5.04) whose biological children were pupils (mean age = 10.17, SD = 4.26). Results: Results revealed that: (a) within co-parenting, couple members’ actor effects from adult attachment avoidance to positive and negative co-parenting were found both significant, and the actor effects from adult attachment anxiety to negative co-parenting was found significant, whereas the partner effects was significant only from attachment avoidance to positive co-parenting; (b) within parent-child relationships, couple members’ actor effects from adult attachment avoidance to parent-child closeness and conflict were found both significant, and the actor effects from adult attachment anxiety to parent-child conflict was found significant, whereas the partner effects was significant only from attachment anxiety to parent-child conflict. Conclusions: The results support the theoretical view that there may be antagonism between parents’ adult attachment behavioral system and caregiving behavioral system, and highlights the negative effects of parents’ adult attachment avoidance and anxiety on their partners’ parenting function.