A Typology of the Parent–Child Relationship in a Population Sample

T. Paul de Cock, M Shevlin

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Estimating the early parent–child bonding relationship can be valuable in research and practice. Retrospective dimensional measures of parental bonding provide a means for assessing the experience of the early parent–child relationship. However, combinations of dimensional scores may provide information that is not readily captured with a dimensional approach. This study was designed to assess the presence of homogeneous groups in the population with similar profiles on parental bonding dimensions. Using a short version of the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI), three parental bonding dimensions (care, authoritarianism, and overprotection) were used to assess the presence of unobserved groups in the population using latent profile analysis. The class solutions were regressed on 23 covariates (demographics, parental psychopathology, loss events, and childhood contextual factors) to assess the validity of the class solution. The results indicated four distinct profiles of parental bonding for fathers as well as mothers. Parental bonding profiles were significantly associated with a broad range of covariates. This person-centered approach to parental bonding has broad utility in future research which takes into account the effect of parent–child bonding, especially with regard to “affectionless control” style parenting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalSAGE Open
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 14 Aug 2014


  • parental bonding
  • affectionless control
  • attachment
  • Latent variable modelling


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