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Attachment and Parenting: The Mediating Role of Work-Family Balance in Portuguese Parents of Preschool Children


Faculdade de Psicologia e de Ciências da Educação da Universidade do Porto, Rua Dr. Manuel Pereira da Silva, 4200-392 Porto, Portugal (


Given the increasingly challenging task of balancing multiple adult life roles in contemporary society, this study examined the influences of both conflicting and (positively) synergistic work and family roles in mediating associations between the quality of adult attachment and both parental satisfaction and parenting stress. Participants were 242 Portuguese fathers and mothers involved in dual-earner relationships and in parenting preschool-aged children. Structural Equations Modeling analyses yielded findings demonstrating that the paths from romantic attachment (avoidance and anxiety) to parenting stress and satisfaction were fully explained by work-family dimensions, especially the conflict dimension. Implications of these findings for parent education and intervention are discussed.