Attachment in early childhood

Principal Investigator

Maria Manuela Veríssimo


Nuno Torres




Our  research is inspired by attachment theory, and investigates how attachment networks are established and how they constrain the developmental process.


We current focus:

  • How children’s attachment security to mothers and fathers may influence their representations of relationships, scripted knowledge of secure base behavior, and their expectations regarding relational behaviors in different relational contexts. 
  • How fathers and mothers are: a) involved in child related activities( Direct Care; Indirect Care; Teaching/Discipline; Play and Leisure outdoors) across different region of Portugal, comparing rural with urban areas and different socio cultural groups and b) share beliefs and attitudes about their roles. And what is the direct and an indirect effect of these features on child social development. 
  • How mother and father quality of attachment assessments predict the number of children’s reciprocal friendships, their social acceptance from peers, their profiles of friendship and their self representations and self esteem (using observation and interviews). 
  • What is the combined role of cortisol and OT on preschollers’ social behavior and social bonds.