AP Journal coverIn response to the growing interest in responsive parenting within the scientific and professional communities, Attachment Parenting International (API) with prominent health psychologist Kathleen Kendall-Tackett announce the advent of the Journal of Attachment Parenting. Access to the online publication is free of charge.

“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, an annual review of the most eye-opening research in sensitive responsiveness. “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.”

For this debut issue, the Journal of Attachment Parenting highlights 41 studies selected through a review process that evaluated articles published in high-quality, peer-reviewed journals from around the world. An additional 324 studies have been recognized for their contributions to the Attachment Parenting community. Example findings from the collection of studies included in the Journal of Attachment Parenting:

  • Parent education, whether delivered in-person or through online classes, was helpful for mothers of toddlers, whether or not they reported behavior problems.
  • Child emotional eating is correlated with minimizing and non-reasoning, punitive parental responses.
  • Positive father involvement and close mother-father relationships were especially beneficial in the case of maternal risk.
  • Skin-to-skin contact lessened maternal stress and postpartum depression symptoms within the first month after childbirth.
  • Exclusively breastfed infants had less colic and fussiness, and slept longer. Melatonin, which promotes sleep, is available only in breast milk and showed a clear relationship to infant sleep patterns.
  • Regardless of the quality of non-parental child care, children from low-quality home environments had more behavioral problems and children from high-quality homes had fewer behavioral problems.
  • While maternal warmth was predictive of better behavior regulation in the child overall, maternal responsiveness to child distress was specifically related to the child’s internationalization of rules of conduct.
  • Blogging, but not social networking, fulfilled a means of social support to new mothers, providing feelings of connectedness and well-being.

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. While this is a monumental step forward for the Attachment Parenting community, this inaugural issue of the Journal of Attachment Parenting has been created as the baseline for the scientific investigation into Attachment Parenting. It is API’s hope that the Journal of Attachment Parenting, over time, sparks idea generation within the research and professional communities in the benefit of families no matter their socioeconomic or at-risk considerations.

“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 API’s Knowledge Base Coordinator. “In bringing this knowledge together in this way, we hope the Journal will also serve as a catalyst for inspired collaborations and conversations, for respect and inclusiveness, and ultimately as another platform from which trusted information and support may be freely available for the benefit all families, parents and children.”

The Journal of Attachment Parenting is delivered in an online, state-of-the-art, content management system created by API Technology Coordinator, Naomi Davidson. The web-based book format allows readers to view the Journal of Attachment Parenting via any device with access to the Internet. It also allows readers to download or print partial or whole versions of the publication to be in paperback form.

“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 at API look forward to building upon the foundation of attachment research with the ever-strengthening case for sensitive responsiveness.”

API has received positive response from its professional community to 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 The Baby Bond. “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.”