Secure base representations for both fathers and mothers predict children's secure base behavior in a sample of Portuguese families

Ligia Monteiro, Manuela Veríssimo, Brian E. Vaughn, Antonio J. Santos, Kelly K Freeman Bost

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Relations between fathers' and mothers' representations of attachment (independently assessed using an attachment script representation task) and children's secure base behavior (assessed using the Attachment Q-sort; AQS) were studied in 56 Portuguese families (mean age of child = 31.9 months). Each parent's secure base script representation score predicted AQS security scores for the child with that parent at approximately equivalent degrees of association. However, both parental secure base script scores and AQS security scores were positively correlated across parents. A hierarchical regression predicting AQS security with father from both parent's scriptedness scores and from the AQS score with mother showed a unique, significant influence of father's scriptedness score and the AQS score with mother, but mother's scriptedness score did not uniquely add to the prediction. Difficult temperament was ruled out as a mediator of the cross-parent association for AQS security scores.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-206
Number of pages18
JournalAttachment and Human Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 16 2008



  • Attachment
  • Attachment Q-sort
  • Fathers
  • Mothers
  • Secure base script representation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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