Prevention Science

, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 61–69 | Cite as

Early Elementary School-Aged Child Attachment to Parents: A Test of Theory and Implications for Intervention

  • Monica L. Oxford
  • Tracy W. Harachi
  • Richard F. Catalano
  • Kevin P. Haggerty
  • Robert D. Abbott


Child attachment to parents has been shown in the literature to reduce the likelihood of problem behaviors through enhancing resiliency. Research examining attachment and its relationship to antisocial behavioral outcomes in adolescents has been shaped largely by social control theorists who have theorized that attachment to prosocial others inhibits the expression of antisocial behavioral outcomes (Hirschi, 1969). This paper seeks to expand the literature by investigating the development of child attachment to parent(s) during the early elementary school years as specified theoretically by the social development model (Catalano & Hawkins, 1996). Using structural equation modeling, the results support the theoretical model as proposed by the social development model. School-aged children's attachment to parents can be successfully predicted by constructs outlined in the social development model. Finally, implications for interventions that enhance child attachment to parent(s) are discussed.

attachment elementary school-aged children social development model structural equation modeling children 


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Copyright information

© Society for Prevention Research 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Monica L. Oxford
    • 1
  • Tracy W. Harachi
    • 1
  • Richard F. Catalano
    • 1
  • Kevin P. Haggerty
    • 1
  • Robert D. Abbott
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Social Work, Social Development Research GroupUniversity of WashingtonUSA
  2. 2.Educational PsychologyUniversity of WashingtonUSA

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