Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Australasian Journal of Early Childhood




School of Education


This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of: Wilson-Ali, N., Barratt-Pugh, C., & Knaus, M. (2019). Multiple perspectives on attachment theory: Investigating educators’ knowledge and understanding. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 44(3), 215-229. Original publication available here


This paper presents findings from a study investigating the multiple perspectives of attachment theory and practice through the voices of early childhood educators. Attachment theory has influenced research, policy and practice over the last six decades, offering a framework for understanding risk and protective factors in early childhood. Despite the increasing literature highlighting the importance of attachment relationships, attachment theory has been primarily considered from a medical health or psychological perspective and little is known about educators’ perspectives of attachment theory. In total, 488 Australian educators responded to the online survey, demonstrating a wide interest in the topic of attachment. One early childhood service was selected to participate in semi-structured interviews and observations. Findings indicate diverse perspectives in how educators support attachment relationship development, which varied according to their knowledge, understanding and experience of attachment relationships.



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