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Attachment, caregiving and children’s mental health

Parents’ and children’s mental representations of caregiving and attachment: influences on the parent-child relationship and children’s psychosocial development and well-being during pre-adolescence and adolescence.

The importance of parenthood for the child's emotional development is central to a current discussion about the factors that may explain the increased frequency of mental illness among young people. Here, we focus on the development of children's internalising (anxiety related) and externalising behaviour problems during the transition to puberty, considering both the child's emotional need of the parent and the parent's thoughts and feelings about his/her relationship with the child.

The aims of this research programme are of high relevance for parents, teachers, health care and social services. The questions raised and relevant hypotheses tested in the project build upon previous and ongoing work around parenthood and in particular parental representations of caregiving as a complementary part of attachment theory.

The project has received funding from the Swedish Research Council, Crafoord Foundation and the Magnus Bergvall Foundation.

PI / research coordinator

Elia Psouni

elia [dot] psouni [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se