Parental Attachment Anxiety and Avoidance Predicting Child's Anxiety and Academic Efficacy in Middle Childhood


  • Nebi Sümer Middle East Technical University, Department of Psychology
  • Mehmet Harma İstanbul Kemerburgaz University, Department of Psychology


parental attachment anxiety, avoidance, middle childhood, anxiety, academic self-concept


Previous work has documented that attachment security is systematically linked with child adjustment and academic competence. This study aims to examine the associations between parents' own report of anxious and avoidant attachment and their children's report of trait anxiety and academic self-efficacy in math and Turkish literature courses. Mothers (N=1539) and fathers (N=1436) from four cities in Turkey, separately completed the measures of attachment orientations, and their children (N=1877), attending 4th and 5th grades, completed the measures of trait anxiety and academic self-concept on math and literature courses in their school. Regression analyses showed that whereas mother attachment anxiety predicted boys' trait anxiety, father attachment avoidance predicted girls' anxiety. In predicting academic self-efficacy, mother attachment avoidance predicted their son's and father attachment anxiety predicted their daughter's academic self-efficacy in both math and literature courses. Our results confirmed the importance of having a warm and secure romantic attachment between spouses in marriage, not only for their relationship satisfaction and happiness, but also for their children's emotional adjustment and academic competence.