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Journal of Attachment Parenting

The Journal of Attachment Parenting is an online review of research related to the Eight Principle of parenting. The Journal's innovative content is also available as a printable digital version.

Parenting research compilation underscores parenting practices for optimal child development and healthy attachment.

Prominent health psychologist Kathleen Kendall-Tackett served as the first editor of the Journal in 2013. API Knowledge Coordinator, Art Yuen, worked with Kendall-Tacket and API Technology Coordinator, Naomi Davidson to design and produce a multidisciplinary compilation of parenting research that relates to API's Eight Principles of Parenting and informs healthy parent-child relationships and development. 

The Journal of Attachment Parenting highlights and explores key parenting studies published in high-quality, peer-reviewed journals from around the world. Hundreds of additional studies are cited and recognized for what they add to parenting research.

“Numerous recent studies have documented the importance of responsive parenting to both physical and mental health,” says Kendall-Tackett, PhD, IBCLC, FAPA, guest editor of the Journal of Attachment Parenting and member of API’s Resource Advisory Council. “We are finally recognizing that early parenting does make a difference. In fact, it is critically important to adult health. This volume summarizes recent studies that show this connection. I hope that it will provide an evidence base to both parents and professionals. This volume represents a critical gathering of recent science around responsive parenting.”

API organizes sensitive responsiveness parenting practices into eight principal areas: preparing for pregnancy, childbirth and parenting; feeding; responding; touch; sleep; caregiving environment; discipline; and parental balance. While studies highlighted in the Journal of Attachment Parenting are classified according to Principle, by its very nature, sensitive responsiveness represents an interconnectivity among each of API’s Eight Principles of Parenting. Attachment Parenting is an applicable approach to responsive parenting in the home.

The Journal of Attachment Parenting presents an interdisciplinary look into the findings of various, separate branches of research into parenting practices and a baseline for the scientific investigation into Attachment Parenting. It is API’s hope that the Journal of Attachment Parenting sparks idea generation within the research and professional communities that benefits parents of all circumstances. 

“Our goal in publishing this Journal is to provide an accessible interface between knowledge and the seekers and beneficiaries of knowledge,” explains Art Yuen, co-editor of the Journal of Attachment Parenting and Knowledge Coordinator for Attachment Parenting International. “In bringing this information together this way, we hope the Journal will also inspire collaborations and conversations about parent support."

Some findings from studies included:

  • Mothers of toddlers found parent education helpful for regardless of any reported child behavioral problems or delivery in person or online

  • Child emotional eating is correlated with punitive, minimizing and non-reasoning parent responses.

  • Positive father involvement and close mother-father relationships were beneficial, especially in low-income families with ethnic-minority status.

  • Postpartum depression symptoms and maternal stress were lowered within the first month after childbirth through skin-to-skin contact.

  • Infant sleep patterns showed a clear relationship with melatonin, which promotes sleep and is available only in breastmilk. Exclusively breastfed infants had less colic and fussiness, and slept longer.

  • Family income was found to make a difference in child behavior regardless of the quality of non-parental child care, with lower income children experiencing more challenges. 

  • Maternal response to child distress was specifically related to child internalizing rules of conduct. Maternal warmth was predictive of better behavior regulation in the child overall.

  • Blogging, but not social networking, fulfilled a means of social support to new mothers, providing feelings of connectedness and well-being.

“The Journal of Attachment Parenting is an exciting step forward for the Attachment Parenting community,” says Rita Brhel, API Publications Coordinator. “The evidence has always been there for Attachment Parenting, but until now, there hasn’t been an integrated collection of the research available free of charge to the public. We look forward to building on this foundation."  

Positive response from API's professional community on the release of the Journal of Attachment Parenting

“It’s surely difficult to keep up with the vast amount of new parenting studies that broaden every year, and for the most part, the same concepts that API's editors have promoted since their inception are just being re-proven, over and again, but often with further depth or expanding of our understanding,” says Linda Folden Palmer, DC, parenting research journalist and author of Baby Matters. “The Journal clearly selects the best and the brightest of new, peer-reviewed articles available and succinctly boils them down for quick and clear absorption. The Journal of Attachment Parenting brings the final professional layer needed to support the value and validity of sensitive parenting choices.”

“The Journal is a welcome contribution to the forwarding of awareness of the importance and benefits of Attachment Parenting in our generation,” says Shoshana Hayman, founder and director of the Life Center in Israel and Israel’s Regional Director for the Neufeld Institute. “It is of critical value to provide research that proves, or at least makes a strong case for the importance of, Attachment Parenting in modern times. In the publishing of this Journal, API is making a vital contribution to the future of our children and society. Confirming what our deepest instincts know to be true through honest research and application of its results would be of great support to those of us who promote Attachment Parenting worldwide.”

Attachment Parenting International and the Journal of Attachment Parenting Editors

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