Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Child Development



First Reader/Committee Chair

Kamptner, Laura


This study attempted to investigate father attachment using the dual primary attachment figure model by examining caregiving and exploration behaviors of mothers and fathers as they relate to attachment security utilizing an archival data set of 177 young adult females. A subsequent factor analysis of the involvement scales revealed four distinct items creating the caregiving variables (one for mother and one for father) and six items creating the exploration variables. Results showed that mothers engaged in caregiving and exploration behaviors more than fathers, but their exploration predicted mother attachment more than caregiving. Fathers engaged in more caregiving than exploration, but it was their involvement in exploration that was more strongly related to father attachment. These findings, which provide partial support for the dual primary attachment figure model, suggest that father exploration is a cornerstone for the father-child attachment relationship, but also predictive of mother-child attachment. Future studies should include observational assessments of father attachment as well as exploration in current assessments of father attachment.