In an interview conducted with Richard Bowlby, he discusses the influence of culture on fatherhood and attachment. According to him, the dual attachment model (in which both mothers and fathers are considered as primary caregivers) applies mostly in Western cultures, less so in Middle Eastern and Far Eastern cultures. According to him, in individualistic societies such as in the West, fathers who typically engage in one-on-one activities with their child, such as through tumble play, would be emotionally preparing them for their adult life by indirectly teaching them how to trust a boss or a colleague. This, of course, can be achieved when fathers serve as a secure base. On the other hand, collectivistic societies adopt different practices. In these societies, people naturally function in groups but are still expected to be independent in their adult life. In Lebanon for example, it is not uncommon for children to be raised by not only their parents and grandparents, but also their neighbors and their family friends. While having this kind of social support is extremely beneficial, it should not replace the one-on-one quality time between a father and his child. Since fathers are considered as primary attachment figures, it becomes our responsibility to actively reinforce this idea and push for more father-child interactions.
Bowlby, J. (1982). Attachment and loss: Attachment. New York, NY: Basic Books. (Original work published 1969).
Newland, L. A., & Coyl, D. D. (2009). Fathers’ role as attachment figures: an interview with Sir Richard Bowlby. Early Child Development and Care, 180(1-2), 25-32. DOI: 10.1080/03004430903414679