Attachment to Both Mother & Father Predicts Emotional Regulation

Emotional regulation is an important developmental milestone for young children. Emotional regulation is defined by a child’s ability to balance emotions so that he or she can successfully engage in a new task at hand.

2021 longitudinal study measured the effect of parent-child attachments at age three on the child’s capacity for emotional regulation at age five. The study found that when children are securely attached to both parents, they have greater capacity to regulate their emotions.

Moreover, the father and mother were found to contribute to emotional regulation in different ways. For instance, playing with the father generated greater intensity of emotions, thus providing different experiences than the mother gave. A lack of secure attachment with one parent was compensated somewhat by secure attachment to the other parent.