According to the results, fathers with a secure attachment and secure attachment representations had higher pleasure in parenting when their child was 3 months old, thus greater paternal sensitivity when they interacted with their child at 12 months. While there was no direct association between secure representations and sensitive parenting, the relationship was shown to be mediated by pleasure in parenting. In other words, fathers with more secure attachment were shown to display greater pleasure in parenting, which in its turn would lead to higher paternal sensitivity. More so, pleasure in parenting was shown to affect paternal sensitivity in various ways. For instance, when fathers perceived their role as rewarding and satisfying, they were more open to accepting challenges, which led to more adaptive behaviors with their child such as patience, responsiveness and warmth.
Paternal sensitivity is a crucial aspect of parenting, as it has been shown to increase the quality of the father-child relationship and is associated with better child well-being (Lucassen et al., 2011). The results of these study show that paternal sensitivity can be achieved when fathers develop positive attitudes towards their parenting role, after having integrated their own relationship with their own caregivers. For that, fathers are encouraged to discuss their own early life experiences with their caregiver, as this has been shown to facilitate the transition to parenthood and contributes to higher paternal sensitivity. Finally, this study sheds light on the impact of attachment on parenting. More specifically, results show that positive close relationships with caregivers can promote healthier father-child interactions, attitudes, and cognitions.
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Aytuglu. A., & Brown, G. L. (2021). Pleasure in Parenting as a Mediator Between Fathers’ Attachment Representations and Paternal Sensitivity. Journal of Family Psychology. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/fam0000905
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Lucassen, N., Tharner, A., Van Ijzendoorn, M. H., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J., Volling, B. L., Verhulst, F. C., Lambregtse-Van den Berg, M. P., & Tiemeier, H. (2011). The association between paternal sensitivity and infant-father attachment security: A meta-analysis of three decades of research. Journal of Family Psychology, 25(6), 986–992. https://doi.org/0.1037/a0025855