Children's Relationships with Caregivers: Mothers and Child Care Teachers


  • Some of the teacher-child and mother-child attachment Q-sets were gathered as part of the dissertation of Darlene Galluzzo, the masters theses of Virginia Davila and Ellen Wolpow, and the National Child Care Staffing Study. Thank you for making the data available to us. Thanks also to the research team who worked on the two longitudinal studies: Kristin Droege, Darlene Galluzzo, Annette Groen, Catherine Matheson, Lisabeth Meyers, Jacqueline Moore, Leslie Philipsen, Ellen Wolpow, and Fang Wu. The research could not have been completed without the cooperation of the participating families and child care teachers.

Reprint requests may be addressed to Carollee Howes, Graduate School of Education, University of California, Los Angeles, 405 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024–1521.


Infant, toddler, and preschool children's relationships with mothers and teachers were examined in this study. 110 children were observed with their mothers during child care arrivals and reunions. 403 children were observed with their teachers in child care. 3 categories of relationships were derived from these observations. Children in the secure relationship category experienced more teacher involvement than children in the avoidant or ambivalent relationship categories. Children in the ambivalent relationship categories experienced more teacher involvement than children in avoidant relationship categories. A subsample (n= 23) of children were seen with their mothers both during child care arrivals and reunions and in the Strange Situation. Relationship classifications were similar.