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Abstract

A theoretical model of children's dependency on teachers and other caregivers in elementary school was tested and supported in this study. Based on attachment theory and social-cognitive theory, parental intrusiveness and children's separation anxiety were hypothesized to heighten dependent behaviors with school caregivers. Families of children in Grades K–5 participated. Parent- and child-report measures with good psychometric properties were employed. Parental intrusiveness and children's separation anxiety were associated with clingy, dependent relationships with school caregivers in cross-informant correlational analyses. Intrusiveness and separation anxiety jointly accounted for 18%–29% of the variance in dependency scores. Results are consistent with attachment models of continuity between parent–child relationships and relations with other caregivers. Practice recommendations for teachers and school providers are given. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Psychol Schs 44: 823–837, 2007.