Is parental attachment security contextual? Taiwanese parent-child attachment patterns across sporting, schooling, and global domains

Ya-Hsin Lai, Sam Carr

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter in a published conference proceeding


Little research has been directed at attachment processes and how they differ across contexts. The concept of ‘context-specific’ attachment might be useful. The purpose of this study was to initially explore if parental attachment patterns varied across sporting, schooling, and global contexts. A cross-sectional study explored Taiwanese parental attachment patterns across three contexts. The Chinese version of the Contextual Attachment Scales (CAS, edited by authors – for context-specific attachment assessment) and the Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment (IPPA; Sun & Yen, 2004 – for global attachment assessment) were administered to 431 youth athletes (84% boys, Mage=13.65±2.46). Two-stage Cluster analyses were used to discover possible contextually-different combinations. The first stage of Cluster analyses was applied to all variables: (1) security in sport, (2) insecurity in sport, (3) security in schooling, (4) insecurity in schooling, and (5) global security. Results identified four emergent clusters (details see Table 1). These clusters did not identify clusters where stark differences in attachment existed across contexts. The second stage sought to further identify individuals who experienced different perceptions of parental attachment by context. Three separate cluster analyses were conducted in the context of sport, schooling and global attachment. Results identified four emergent clusters in sport, three clusters in schooling, and two for global attachment. Exploring the sample in relation to these separate cluster analyses, fivea contextually-different combinations were identified (details see Table 2), and 7% of the sample appeared to have parental attachment scores that differed markedly by context. This proposed concept of ‘context-specific’ attachment could provide a considerable perspective to further clarify if ‘contextual-level’ attachment could be linked between ‘state-level’ and ‘global-level’ attachment as a hierarchical model of attachment. Furthermore, the causal relationships between contextual attachment and children’s psychological-related outcomes, as well as the transition of parental attachment processes across contexts are suggested for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Attachment Conference, 2017, Book of Abstracts.
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2017


Dive into the research topics of 'Is parental attachment security contextual? Taiwanese parent-child attachment patterns across sporting, schooling, and global domains'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this